May 9, 2010
AMRITSAR: Vice Chancellor,Guru NanakDev university Prof Ajaib Singh Brar and Dr. Daya Singh Sandhu, the Senior Fulbright–Nehru Research Scholar from the United States has taken the initiative to launch Indian Association of Mental Health Counsellors at the Guru Nanak Dev University to meet the mental health needs of our people.
This would be started under the Department of Psychology of the University under the chairmanship of Dr. Navdeep Singh Tung and in collaboration with the United States-Indian Educational Foundation (USIEF) and Fulbright House, New Delhi.
Dr. Navdeep Singh Tung, Head of the Psychology Department of the University said that the main objectives of this national association include raising consciousness about mental health problems as they are quite different from mental illnesses. He said that it also includes the launching of mental health counseling movement throughout India to redress a host of emotional problems relating to anxiety, stress, mental depression, marital discords, addictions, suicide ideations, etc.
Some examples of prevention programs include: suicide prevention, HIV prevention, violence prevention, prejudice prevention programs, etc, added Dr. Singh said.
Prof. Tung said that still another very serious issue plaguing our society is the issue of suicide. Unfortunately this is clearly a serious mental health crisis in India when hardly any day goes by when there is no news about suicide. He said that on an average, 1.25 lakhs people in India are committing suicide every year. As suicide is an ultimate indicator of psychological distress and psychopathology, it sends a stunning warning that something is seriously wrong with the psychological health of India, he added.
He said that the Executive Director of this Association is Dr. Daya Singh Sandhu, Fulbright-Nehru and Senior Research Scholar Guru Nanak Dev University. Dr. (Mrs.) Suninder Tung of the University is the President while the Dr. (Mrs.) Ashum Gupta, University of Delhi, Delhi and Dr. J.P.S. Bhatia (MD), Psychiatrist, Amritsar are the Vice Presidents.