National Alliance on Mental Illnesses {NAMI} has announced ‘September’ as National Suicide Prevention Month. From 13th of September to 18th of September, the National Institute of Mass Communication and Journalism (NIMCJ) commemorated Suicide Prevention week, where not just the topic less often talked about was spotlighted but also taking assistance of various subtle art and wellness activities. 

“#WeAreHere” was the catchphrase and the whole college was adorned the way any human being would want in order to feel welcomed, accepted and loved.

The week-long campaign was designed in such a way that right from day one through posters and placards, all the students came to know about what mental health is about, and how being there for each other, reflecting kindness in surroundings is what it asks for. 

1) Denial

2) Anger

3) Bargaining

4) Depression

5) Acceptance

The Kübler-Ross Stages of Grief was depicted on billboards along with the positive prompts with the intention to install hope and rejuvenate all. 

Day three brought with it one of the most difficult yet liberating acts. “Did you talk about IT?” was the lockbox kept at the entrance and students were told to write and drop anything they felt to vent out. Confidentiality was maintained, as no one, even the volunteers, could access it. What was dropped in the box would remain in the box.  

A lot of times, just letting things out makes us feel light, and that is exactly what the campus of NIMCJ observed that day. Following the same, the team introduced the BEAT IT box for people to overcome the issues. Students shared their way of dealing with situations, their way of viewing life by dropping their notes in the BEAT IT box. Enthralled were the souls noticing how time teaches us things we never thought we would master. 

Food is the love language we all live for. Comforting foods actually comfort us in the way we never even thought to be comforted. The fourth day was all about Food therapy. Popcorn and Lemonade were served with love and care to all the students. 

And as we went along, the most amusing day filled with wellness activities arrived. 

Balloon and Darts, Punching bag, free writing therapy and painting therapy. 

All the activities were arranged in different classrooms for smooth functioning and all the students were requested to attend whichever activity they felt inclined towards because volunteers were there everywhere to make them feel better.

“Going to Life is more important than choosing death.”

These were the words, Ms Pooja Nath (Assistant professor in Clinical psychology at National Institutes of Forensic Sciences, Gandhinagar) left us with. Ms Pooja was the guest who earmarked this week-long campaign with their pious presence and valuable time. 

The conversation with Ms Pooja with all the students made us realise the importance of Listening, having an active life, communicating and seeing life from a different perspective. Right from explaining to us and making us aware of what mental health is all about to make us understand how having coping abilities and a solution-oriented approach can act as protective factors against mental illness. 

Seeking help could be a stigma earlier but not anymore because she did explain how talking and interacting sometimes to loved ones and in extreme cases with professionals can actually make us move on in life. 

Having a one to one conversation with Ms Pooja, receiving the answers to unresolved questions from them, all the students actually felt embraced. 

The students of NIMCJ conveyed gratitudes towards the Director’s head, Kashikar sir, our professor Kaushal sir for giving us these opportunities to be better not just as a student but also as a person. Ms Himanshi Gupta, the editor in chief of Antahkarana and Mr Aziz Cutleriwala, a final batch student who invested their heart and soul along with their team to make this campaign reach the sky.