By CM Niroula
Bhutanese Community of Central Ohio (BCCO) completed a month-long mental health awareness programme aiming to reduce the mental health stigma, with support from National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
Four educational/ awareness videos were published on BCCO’s Facebook, conducted Facebook live interaction sessions, and distributed brochures in the community. The project engaged media personnel, mental health experts, religious leaders, community mental health workers and community counselors.
Some of the experts who were involved include Dr. Dinesh Chauhan, Clinical Psychologist; Dr. Ping Zheng, associate professor of psychology at Elmira College, priest Narad Nepal, Executive director of BCCO Sudarshan Pyakurel, Community mental health navigator Druga Subedi, and BCCO Community Counselor Soma Thapa.
Highlighting the importance of programme of this kind, project manager Laxmi Narayan Dahal said, ‘We have many myths and stigma about mental health in our community. The project was designed to offer culturally responsive education and start a dialogue to increase awareness about mental health. The program aims to decrease mental health stigma and replacing negative views on mental illness.’
Dahal added, ‘so many lives were lost following resettlement but none of the agencies took an action. We are trying our best to help the community members overcome it.’