October 13 started as the most normal day with all freaks roaming around, nerds running towards their classes, but something was fishy. There were some students, wearing green coats, dressed perfectly; they were running here and there. Following those students, I read about it at various places on notice board. They reason they were giving to be organized was something like this:
“A pinch of testing and a dash of insight building feedback – this camp is a unique opportunity exclusive to students, staff and faculty members of the University so that they can experience psychological testing and feedback first hand in a relaxed and fun filled environment. Confidentiality is always our top priority and rest assured that you have nothing but professionalism to expect from our well trained senior students manning the various stalls at the camp.”
Then, I came to know that this event was called MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS PROGRAM, which is organized every year in university especially for the students of Bahria University by Bahria University- Institute of Professional Psychology (IPPBU). After attending the event, I felt they were up to the mark! The management was good, the students were well trained! All the management team was very friendly. They were organized. There were around 500 visitors and all left that event with content face. I was one of the 500 visitors. It was an amazing experience for me to know about myself by professionals. What I liked specially about this event was its contents; because, to carry out an event on such a topic, it is a tough job to keep the audience active and make the program interesting. They did this by focusing on five areas: Anger Management, Emotion Management, Organizational Control, Mood Management and Drawing for Personality.
At Anger Management, I had to tick mark the “anger level”, I thought I would have at the particular moment described there (which were very difficult believe me!!). Then based on my points, the psychologist taught me how to control anger. When I moved towards Emotion area, people were being handed with different Questionnaire (bit confusing one) from which they come to know if they are emotional or not and the methods to control it. Then, there was Organizer and Mood Management where they were counseling how to organize your life and to manage your mood swings, which I found very important for me. Last but not least, there was drawing activity in which I had to draw human body and after observing the way I draw it, the professionals were describing my personality.
Every counselor seemed to be very dedicated and well trained. They were treating their “patients” very friendly. Professors were guiding students. I also came across faculty members who were taking guidance from senior professors. At a point, it seemed as if all the attendees are a family showing care to each other through counseling.
When I was done with my investigation, I thought to gather some feedback from the visitors.
Murtaza Hashmi – BBA 7C expressed his views by saying:
“This camp was a very good initiative took by the Psychology students which provided awareness about people’s behavior & way of thinking. They were well organized in spite of covering large area.”
Abdul Aleem- BBA 3E
“I thought psychology is the most ordinary subject a person choose when he isn’t have any other choice. These people proved me wrong!”
Maryam- BBA 4
“Though there were times when i said NO! i am not what you are saying but there were ttimes when i was like SHIT! how are you judging??- Really nice experience!”
Palwasha Ashraf 7E
Apart from observing and asking feedback, my own experience, being a patient, was bit confusing. I registered for three stalls, but I was referred to other stalls also because of my complicated nature. Maybe, my answers were confusing or the strategies they were telling were already in run, I got no proper cure.
Well, I like the questionnaire. At least, they forced me to think about myself. There were some questions in which I got confused because they were so common that I never thought about it. But, I never thought these common questions can affect my personality. I personally liked drawing section very much. At other stalls, I observed students weren’t judging, but trying to get what I knew about myself and let me know the cure for it.
I almost gave up, but when I reached drawing, the person hit me with a sword in first attempt. I felt as if energy, I lost in other stalls, was all back. I chatted with that Commando for half an hour or so, but still I was ready to talk more and more! He was again and again hitting the nail on the hat! He diagnosed me complicated as well as Interesting at the same time! ENOUGH SAID to explain me!
Mental health awareness programs is good initiative in a country like Pakistan.It is important to know that psychiatrists are not only for mad people but psychiatrists are also physicians who enhance the person’s quality of life by providing psychiatric assessment and treatment.