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Dhairya Foundation Launches School Mental Health Program


Nepalnews
2023 Sep 10, 19:21, Kathmandu

Dhairya Cancer Foundation (DCF), a leading organization known for its unwavering commitment to cancer patients, has taken a significant step toward addressing another pressing concern - the mental health of adolescents in Nepal. In a groundbreaking initiative, DCF conducted a Mental Health Awareness Program targeted at Grade 7 and 8 students, recognizing the critical importance of equipping young minds with the tools to navigate the complexities of adolescence.

Adolescence is a period characterized by rapid physical, emotional, and social changes, which can leave young people vulnerable to mental health challenges, especially when coupled with factors like poverty, abuse, or violence. Protecting adolescents from adversity and fostering socio-emotional learning and psychological well-being are essential for their overall health and future well-being.

Global statistics are sobering, indicating that 1 in 7 individuals aged 10 to 19 experiences mental health conditions. Tragically, many of these cases remain unrecognized and untreated. The program underscores the urgent need to raise awareness about mental health issues among the youth.

Furthermore, adolescence is marked by increased neural circuit activity using dopamine, a neurotransmitter central in creating our drive for reward. This underscores the significance of addressing mental health during this crucial developmental stage.

Adolescents facing mental health conditions often endure social exclusion, discrimination, and stigma, making it challenging for them to seek help. These challenges can lead to educational difficulties, risky behaviors, physical health issues, and violations of their human rights. In response, DCF emphasizes non-pharmacological approaches, avoiding institutionalization, and respecting children's rights in line with international human rights instruments.

Terisa Tamang, Founder and Counselor of Dhairya Cancer Foundation, played a pivotal role in educating students about mental health through interactive workshops. These sessions covered the causes, symptoms, effects, and practical coping strategies, including stress management techniques.

In Nepal, mental health remains a topic veiled in silence, primarily due to a lack of awareness and limited resources. Terisa Tamang passionately advocates for open conversations about mental health, firmly believing that dialogue can help reduce stigma and discrimination related to mental health problems in Nepal. She emphasizes that mental health should be valued as highly as physical health.

DCF has been actively conducting awareness programs in more than 20 educational institutions, with a particular focus on government schools. Their dedication to mental health awareness aligns with their commitment to supporting cancer patients. DCF has also collaborated with Bir Hospital to provide counseling services to cancer patients and their families.

Terisa Tamang, the driving force behind DCF, has two primary goals - making a positive impact in the lives of cancer patients and advancing mental health awareness. Her tireless efforts are reshaping the conversation around mental health in Nepal and offering hope to countless young minds in need of support and understanding. DCF's vision is to expand such programs throughout Nepal, ensuring that mental health receives the attention and care it rightfully deserves.


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Dhairya Cancer Foundation organization Cancer Patients Cancer Mental Health nepal social changes government schools Bir Hospital mental health awareness
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