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Sukoon: New TV show aims to break stigma of mental health

Srinagar: Department of Information and Public Relations (DIPR) is starting a series on Doordarshan to break the mental health stigma and address the psychological issues of the people in the valley.

Sukoon (Contentment), the TV show is aimed to spread awareness about the psychological effects of the lockdown and measures to be adopted to overcome them.

The tele-sessions with noted health experts of the valley, will run every Tuesday at 9 pm.

Director DIPR Dr. Sehrish Azgar said the TV show aims to address the psychological issues of individuals.

“The expert doctors will discuss a host of issues related to mental health on the show,” she said.

She noted that the TV show will also benefit the people in the post COVID scenario when the manifestations of the stress will be much higher.  “We have identified several health experts and the recordings are on. The first episode has been telecasted so far and it has received a good response,” she said.

Joint Director Department of Information and Public Relations, Haris Handoo said discussing mental issues is the first step to break the stigma.

“Living through the uncertainty of lockdown can be detrimental for mental health. However, it is not so easy to talk about issues like depression and anxiety in our society,” he said.

He noted that the show can be a relief to those who suffer silently knowing they are not alone in their feelings.

“The health care professionals will talk on myriad issues on mental health pertaining to the general public and how they can manage it,” he said.

 He said that not only psychiatrists and social scientists, the show will open up the canvas for other health-related issues.

“We are planning to talk on issues of fitness and other lifestyle disorders as well by bringing cardiologists and diabetologists on the show,” he said.

Dr. Junaid Nabi, Consultant Psychiatrist at Government Psychiatric Hospital said the show is the need of the hour.

“The growing fear of Covid-19 and the prolonged lockdown has triggered immense anxiety, stress, and insecurity in the minds of people,” he said.

The psychological crisis intervention is urgently needed for the timely prevention of hazards from the secondary mental health crisis and the TV show is a great platform to address the issues, the doctor said.

Earlier, the divisional administration in coordination with Department of Psychiatry, Kashmir had formed a WhatsApp group to deliver psychological help for the stranded Kashmirs in various parts of the country.