As a part of series of health awareness lectures on COVID-19 Pandemic, Faculty of Dentistry, Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) organized yet another e-lecture on “Living with the times: Managing mental health during COVID-19” on 11th June 2021 through the Cisco-Webex platform.The guest speakers for the programme were Dr Ashok Kumar Jainer, MBBS, MD Psychiatry (K.G.M.C, Lucknow), MRC Psych, U.K, FRC Psych, U.K, Consultant Psychiatrist, NHS, U.K and Ms Meena Arora Ex-Squadron Leader, Certified Life coach, NLP (Neuro linguistics Programming) practitioner & trainer and a Clinical Psychologis
t.As a tradition of JMI, the programme commenced with seeking the blessing from the Almighty by rendition of verses from the Holy Q’uran by Dr Mohd Saleem, Associate Professor, Pathology. The programme was marked by the gracious presence of Prof Najma Akhtar, Vice Chancellor, JMI who was the Chief Guest for the programme. Addressing the gathering, Prof Akhtar emphasized Covid-Appropriate behaviour (mask, sanitizer and social distancing) is the key to control the pandemic, the disregard of which few months ago by the public lead to emergence of the second wave. She said Covid’s deadly second wave sparked off a visible yet hidden/silent outbreak of- ‘fear-demic’- the fear amidst the people are of dying, losing their loved ones, being alone, losing their jobs—anxieties that add a new dimension of mental-health issues to the ongoing crisis.
Other mental health issues such as helplessness, panic, grief and guilt, and post-traumatic stress disorders are also on rise. She told the audience about the universities initiatives to cope up with the mental stress during the pandemic by opening a dedicated cell to look after mental health last year in the first wave to help the students and staff to manage the anxiety and depression of the lockdown. She also informed the success of the Covid-19 Vaccination camps for age groups above 45 and assured the possible arrangements for younger age groups soon.
Then, Prof (Dr) Sanjay Singh, Dean, Faculty of Dentistry, JMI and the organizing chairperson of the programme, welcomed and introduced both the speakers to the audience. He also announced the live broadcast of the programme on Radio Jamia 90.4 FM and the podcast will be uploaded on Radio Jamia app available on Google Play Store, to be seen anytime, and anywhere.The 45 min lectures by both the speakers were a very informative session. Dr Ashok Jainer began with the how COVID has triggered the rising mental health issues, stress and personality changes, with younger adults more likely to report these symptoms.
Focusing on how to deal with irrational fear/belief and anxiety, he gave the 4 magic bullets: time of Covid treatment; availability of correct life-saving information and treatment; evidence-based Uniform protocol; and centralised sources of information. He also emphasized on 3 D’s of Covid treatment: right Drug in right Dose for right Duration. Ms Meena Arora focussed on the psychological aspects such as the warning/red signs of the need for psychological help/ counselling. She gave important and precise tips to take care of yourself such as sleep, break from social media content, preventive measures, carefree and creative activities and most importantly exercise, meditation and family time. Throughout the speakers also highlighted Vaccination as the key to reduce the future burden of the disease.
The lecture witnessed an audience of nearly 350 online participants including doctors, teachers, students and public across the nation apart from hundreds listening to the Radio Jamia. After the lecture, there was question-answer session involving the queries from the inquisitive audience. The session was well conducted by Prof (Dr) Neeta Kumar, Professor-Incharge, Pathology and Organizing Secretary of the event. The entire event was hosted and compeered by Dr Harneet Kaur, Associate Professor, Orthodontics, Faculty of Dentistry, JMI.