Based on the response that the programme receives, it will be extended to all healthcare workers including ASHA workers, the organisers said.

Silhouette of a doctor walking along a desolate corridor Representative Image/ Picxy/DREAMWORKS
news Mental Health Tuesday, July 06, 2021 - 16:35

Jhatkaa.org, a Bengaluru-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) in association with the Centre for Social Research and Development (CSRD), is introducing a course on emotional wellbeing for resident doctors working on the frontline across India. The course aims at initiating conversation about mental health, and offering coping mechanisms to the resident doctors. This is part of Jhatkaa.org’s ‘Care4Care’ programme, which was first launched to help those providing COVID-19 relief amid the second wave. 

“In light of the pandemic, Jhatkaa.org, partnering with CSRD, is offering an Emotional Wellbeing course for doctors and nurses across India to initiate healthy conversations about mental health challenges, create support systems and hopefully offer a few coping mechanisms to manage a host of mental health issues. This has come out of Jhatkaa.org initiative #Care4Care program where citizens are coming forward to help health warriors,” Jhatkaa.org wrote on their website. 

Punita Maheshwari, senior campaigner, Jhatkaa.org who is part of the project, told TNM that if the campaign is well-received, it will be extended further for all workers in the healthcare sector, including ASHA workers. “The course is presently focusing on young resident doctors, since there is a lack of a safe space for them as the institutions they study and work at are not supportive. We plan to extend this course to all healthcare workers in the future. With the first batch, we are accepting 50 applicants and will begin the course as soon as 50 applicants enrol for the course,” she added.

The course is designed for smaller groups, with a maximum of five participants at a time. It will also be customised to suit the needs of the recipient groups, said Bhoomika Halemane, a psychologist and social worker associated with CSRD. However, one-on-one sessions will be provided if requested by a participant. Bhoomika added that the three-part course will be spread over three weeks.

“Over the course of three weeks, the course will focus on assisting the doctors in identifying and recognising emotional triggers, how they can regulate the emotions through prescribed techniques and focus on providing preventive and remedial measures along with offering self-care frameworks. A facilitator will be conducting these sessions; they have to ensure a safe space for these doctors to speak without inhibitions,” Bhoomika said.

She added that psychological, emotional, cognitive or behavioural interventions and coping mechanisms will be devised to tackle anxiety, stress, depression, post-traumatic stress and other mental health issues based on the individual or group’s response during the course.

Resident doctors who would like to register for the course can do so here.

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