Dr. Kamini Rao's Master Class
“Mental Health is just as important as physical health and people with mental health conditions deserve as much support and compassion as people with physical health conditions.”
This episode of Dr. Kamini Rao’s Master Class features, Dr Prabha S Chandra is a professor and former Head of Psychiatry at NIMHANS- National Institute of Mental and Neurosciences in a detailed conversation with Dr. Kamini Rao.
Dr. Prabha Chandra spent her girlhood in New Delhi and completed her formal education from Kendriya Vidyalaya. She later obtained her MBBS from Lady Hardinge Medical College. The previous Head of Psychiatry at NIMHANS joined this organization as a trainee. She was awarded the Silver Jubilee Medal for the best outgoing MD (Psychiatry) student from NIMHANS. She was a part of the faculty in 1993; over a few years, she was promoted as a professor of psychiatry. She was an International NHS Fellow in the UK and received training in perinatal psychiatry, gaining an overall experience in the organization of health systems and principles of good governance. There was a significant transformation in her career post her return to India in 2004, where she set up the first Mother Baby Inpatient Psychiatry unit in NIMHANS. This one of its kind units has now become a model for several low- and middle-income nations. The Perinatal Psychiatry Service in this organization has been heralded as a model internationally. She has to her credit the setting up of the NIMHANS Centre for Well Being (NCWB) as a model for Urban Mental Health. Dr. Chandra’s activism for women’s mental health is also evident in her role as Secretary for the International Association of Women’s Mental Health (IAWMH) and her works with the World Psychiatric Association (WPA). The Gatekeeper Training program in suicide prevention was initiated under her leadership which trained about 5000 counsellors, teachers and parents. Dr. Prabha Chandra is known internationally for her study and championing in Women’s Mental Health with reproductive psychiatry and mental health intercessions for Intimate Partner Violence and Sexual Violence. The majority of her work has focused on the clinical presentations and neurobiology of postpartum psychosis. Besides psychiatry, she also has an interest in palliative care. Let's know more about her journey in this episode of Dr. Kamini Rao’s Master Class.
Stepping into People Oriented Field
“I would read a lot and try to understand human behaviour, history, what is going on in people’s life. I was gradually driven to a people-oriented field.”
Professor Chandra narrates how she would enjoy reading books in her early days, one routine which she carries even now. It is said that reading books benefits both your physical and mental health. Benefits from reading books can last for a lifetime. Exploring various characters in a novel heightens the ability to understand the frame of mind and theories of others. Dr. Chandra states: “I think I’ve been trained to listen to people.”
“When people say something, behind that there is a lot more.”
Suffering individuals always look for someone who can hear them out, understand them and make them feel less desolate. Emotional distress originates from non-physical sources. But psychological pain does not seem to get adequate attention and often left untreated. Are you a willing listener for someone?
Good listening connects you to the people around you and fosters meaningful relationships with them. When we listen to someone, we listen to not only the words but also the feeling of what is being conveyed.
Professor Chandra further agreed with Dr. Kamini when she speaks on the ‘power of silence as a language.’ What is the power of silence? What is the language? Watch this edifying conversation to know this power?
The Impact of Society on Teens
“These are conversations which need to come out. It should not be something traumatic for the girl.”
‘Menstruation’- perfectly normal experience for every girl, but which can be incredibly alienating for women around the world. Periods are quite a usual phenomenon which occur with all women, every month. A girl getting her first periods is marked with celebration (often referred to as puberty function) in several locations across India. Dr. Chandra also talks about the gender bias in celebrating these functions.
“Nobody has ever asked the girl what the celebration means to her and how does it make her feel?”
Adolescents also suffer from social elimination due to erroneous beliefs about menstruation. We must have girl-friendly conversations that would tackle the stigma and taboos around periods. Dr. Prabha strongly feels that a more open conversation that is meaningful for these young girls is required. More time should be spent mentally preparing the girl about the changes she is going to experience than the rituals. Her project MOGGU: Mental Health of Girls Growing Up, addresses mental health for adolescent girls from low-income settings.
Mental Health is Everybody’s Business
“Mental health is too important to be left to physiatrists alone. It has to be everybody’s business.”
There is a stigma attached to mental health issues that makes many of us feel vexatious about our mental ill-health. Deciding to talk to your medic about your mental health is the first step on your journey to feeling better. Mental Health has made its way to conversations all along. But does this conversation necessarily have to be with the physiatrists? Emotional help from family and friends is a significant part of helping someone going through a mental illness.
Watch this informative and motivating session of Dr. Prabha S Chandra in her Master Class. Her conversation with Dr. Kamini on Ecological Model, Mother-Infant bonding problems is unmissable. She has an important message for the viewers, so watch this episode now!
With the first few chapters, we have seen some legendary speakers like Dr Ferzaan Engineer, Co-founder and Chairman of Cytecare Hospitals, Dr Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairman, Biocon, Academician Dr Gururaj Karajagi, Director of Academy of Creative Teaching, Vasanthi Hariprakash, founder of Pickle Jar Media, Former IGP Gopal Hosur, International swimmer Khushi Dinesh, Actor Ananth Nag, Indian Classical Dancer Vani Ganapathy, IPS Officer D. Roopa, Classical Musician and Veena Maestro, Dr Suma Sudhindra and Healthcare Consultant, Dr. A S Arvind.
Stay Tuned for more such enlightening episodes!
Look for possibilities everywhere with the right set of people, who can emit beautiful positive vibes. ‘Rediscover yourself now’ with Dr Kamini Rao's Master Class. Let's together bring out the best in you.
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