The Press Club of India and Working News Cameramen’s Association organised an interactive session with Dr Nimesh G. Desai, Senior Consultant in mental health and psychiatry and former director, Institute for Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences,(Delhi). The session was organised at the Press Club of India and the topic of discussion was 'Bearing the Brunt of Leading from the Front, Reducing Mental Stress among Media Persons'.
Dr Desai started the discussion by saying, “Mental health issues have increased among frontline workers like medical professionals, civil service providers and media professionals. Since the pandemic has arrived, they have come across different circumstances like facing anxiety, fear and post-traumatic stress disorder. The reason could include facing intrusive conditions on the ground like war and death, losing jobs and financial crises. Although, these circumstances still couldn't hinder their sense of duty.”
While talking about what can be done to make things better, he shared, “After facing any traumatic experience, it is natural to behave in a different way. Although medical professionals wait and detect an individual’s behaviour for some time. If the symptoms continue, they are further decided to provide medical help. If not detected on time, it can even lead to the point of self harm.”
Raghu Rai, a senior photojournalist, while sharing his experience says, “The first and foremost thing is to accept that we are living through a global pandemic. With acceptance, it is also necessary to self aware and assure to avoid mental distress.”
Dr Desai concluded the discussion by saying, “Indians hesitate while sharing about the mental problems, therefore we require semi-formal or semi-professional ways of dealing with mental health issues. Directly consulting a Psychiatrist is not the solution, one should talk to their friends and family first because sharing is caring. However, when an individual has suicidal thoughts, then it is important to consult a psychiatrist.”