Let’s Talk—AIESEC’s World Cafe on Mental Health
With the lockdown underway to safeguard one’s physical health, mental health has become the sacrificial lamb in this fight against Covid-19. To shed light on how this hapless struggle has taken a toll on mental health, AIESEC organised its first-ever virtual World Cafe in collaboration with Blank 101 and the Student Support Team. Their main aim was to initiate a healthy and mindful conversation between the attendees to influence a change in the right direction. This online interactive session took off at 5:45 pm on 19th July.
Three speakers addressed the attendees, beginning with Satvik Sethi, founder and CEO of Runway, a student venture promoting mental health awareness. Mr Sethi shared his insightful journey in the creation of this virtual service which provides support to people suffering from mental health in silence. Following him, Syam K Ravindran, an experienced consultant in the Department of Clinical Psychology at MAHE enlightened the participants on the basics and nuances of degenerative human behaviour upon encountering a drastic and radical event and how to deal with it. The third speaker, Karthik Hariharan, a Counselling Psychologist and Mental Health Advocate, took a different approach. He dedicated his entire time online to address the attendee’s questions and ambiguities about mental health.
After each speaker finished, the participants were divided into groups with student delegates overseeing each group. In these groups, everyone shared their opinions on a question displayed on the screen, all the while maintaining decorum. Overall, three of these interactive sessions were held. The participants discussed their views on subjects like—if neurotic behaviour is promoted due to misinterpretation of mental health, if prevention of mental health is a viable solution as opposed to its cure, and where society as a whole is lacking in breaking the stigma around mental health. A few student delegates were called upon at the end of each discussion to share the narrative of their group dialogue. The event concluded with a promising speech from the student representative of the Student Support Team.
World Cafe began a discourse among people with different perspectives but strengthened an already strong objective that everyone shared—to shatter the stigma around mental health. In these challenging times, when the world is dwelling in hostility, events like this are vital to maintaining balance in society. It is, ultimately, the responsibility of the present and forthcoming generations to nurture a change as Mr Satvik Sethi in his speech rightfully said, “Change is coming. The youth is going to be the one to drive it forward.”
Featured Image Credits: AIESEC in MAHE