Dr. Shaifali Sandhya
Life-Coaching and Intercultural Relationships
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Samsara School Program
Depression is a serious medical health issue in India today with urgent implications for teenagers; 13.5- 20% or 240 million of all Indians suffer from core mental disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar, psychosis, and major depressive disorder; this estimate does not even include depression and anxiety, the colds and coughs of mental illness. Depression is growing among India’s burgeoning younger population, the highest globally. Limited but emerging data suggests that a significant proportion of Indian teenagers are depressed. Child psychologists view adolescence as a time of “stress and storm”, a difficult and tumultuous time not just for teens but their parents and teachers as well. No individual is immune to having a loved one struggling with mental health concerns today. The stressors of adolescence, strips the teenager of resilience making them less likely to deal with depression in effective ways.
The Samsara Mental Health Awareness program taught by experts from the University of Chicago, US, provides mental health awareness to students, their parents, and teachers in a sensitive, compassionate, and safe environment; it uses cutting edge, scientific research, to help create communities that can collaborate around important mental health concerns that empower rather than alienate, connect, and build hope to strengthen children at a critical point in their development. Secondary benefits of the program include educational achievement, increasing self-esteem and creativity, and addressing family-teenager conflicts, attention deficit issues, and problem behaviors in the classroom.
Samsara Mental Health Awareness Program
The Mental Health Awareness Program educates high school students, teachers, and parents about the illness of depression and productive strategies to cope with it. Through a student curriculum, a training program for health and school-based professionals, and presentations for parents and communities, Samsara delivers the core message that depression is a treatable medical illnesses and that concerned individuals should seek help. Through this work, Samsara aims to increase awareness about mood disorders in young people while stressing the need for prompt evaluation and treatment.