According to current studies, one in four people in the world is affected by mental health disorders. WHO estimates that 30% of young Indians face mental health conditions, though our experience makes us believe that it far exceeds that! It is estimated that 50% of the mental health conditions begin before the age of 14 years. In India, suicide is the leading cause of death in the youth. A student commits suicide every hour!
In this context, IMAGINE aims to provide a forum to bring together experts at the national and international level to share ideas and practices that can make this world emotionally safer for our children and youth.
Children First is a child & mental health institute which is doing ground-breaking work in the area of providing clinical services, school mental health programmes and community outreach (www.childrenfirstindia.com). We believe that each child has the right to an emotionally safe space i.e. a space which is inclusive, nurturing and fosters growth without discrimination or neglect. Emotionally safe spaces are at the core of children’s holistic development from early years through school and college. Some children are rendered more vulnerable due to disability, learning difficulties, mental health concerns or limited availability of resources. They struggle to access emotionally safe spaces at home, school, college and in the community putting them at risk for lifelong patterns of invisibility, rejection and failure. It is crucial that we come together to share, support and learn from each other to stand up to forces of stigma and shame.
We invite psychologists, occupational therapists, educators, NGOs, special educators, psychiatrists, pediatricians, and policy makers etc. to participate and help create a community of concern for children and youth. We also invite participation from youth and parents to share their unique voice and perspectives.
Sessions will be held through panel discussions, interactive sessions, music, dance, videos, creative installations so that the participants have an unforgettable experience that they can take back to their work and life. The day will close with an evening of live music, open mic, fun and dinner out in the beautiful lawns at Zorba.