Zonta Club hosts global webinar on Mental Health during Covid-19
Zonta Club of Dhaka II hosted a global webinar on Mental Health during Covid-19 for all the Zontians in the world. The session was held on September 12, 2020. Honouring ‘World Suicide Prevention Day’ every year on September 10, Zonta Club invited four mental health experts from four countries as panellists to discuss the topic, said a press release.
A Varshnel et al survey suggests that currently, one-third of the population is facing significant psychological impact due to Covid -19. Issues like trauma, insomnia, anxiety and depression are on the rise. In the current condition of the pandemic, it is critical to look after our mental health as much as we do with our physical health. Now more than ever we see that there is a stigma attached to mental health, which makes it difficult to talk about. With the effects of Covid-19 on our physical health increasingly documented, we can no longer collectively fail to notice its effects on our mental health.
Our negligence in mental health is obvious from the insufficient commitments we devote to it; the crisis response is now hampered by our lack of investment in mental health promotion, prevention, and care before the pandemic. Keeping this in mind, Zonta Club arranged this global webinar.
Among the panellists, Dr. Shobha, G M.Sc, Ph.D- Educator, Counselor, Nutritionist, Wellness and Life skills Coach, currently working as Associate Professor, Department of Human Development, Smt.VHD College of Home Science, Bangalore, represented India. Ms. Ardlay Mohammed, Counselor and Asst. Center Manager for Shanthi Maargam, a youth center that focuses the emotional well-being of youth, trainer, facilitator and advocate for mental health, represented Sri Lanka. Dr. Mita Rana, Associate Professor and Clinical psychologist at Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, Institute of Medicine, Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, Kathmandu. Dr Mita Rana holds M.Phil & PhD degree in Clinical Psychology from Tribhuvan University and has been in the academic and clinical field of Clinical Psychology for more than 20 years, represented Nepal. Tawhida Shiropa, Founder and CEO of Moner Bondhu, a platform to provide mental healthcare and well-being support service both in the digital platform and interpersonal level, attended the session as the host country representative.
There was also a session on mental wellbeing through yoga and meditation where a senior Zontian, Board Director of Zonta Club of Greater Dhaka Ztn. Sonya Panni explained few important breathing techniques. Zonta Club introduced a young and energetic moderator Shomy Hasan Chowdhury, who is a multi-award winning Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) activist from Bangladesh. Shomy is also the Co-Founder of global youth-led org Awareness 360, a US Dept. of State Alumna, a Global Citizen Youth Advocate, the Asia Representative of the Commonwealth Students’ Association, a Global Changemakers Fellow, a Royal Commonwealth Society Fellow, Youth Advisory Board Member of Youth Combating NTDs, a certified Commonwealth Leader, Commonwealth Youth Forum 2020 International Taskforce Member, a Global Youth Ambassador for Their World, a TEDx Speaker, and an International Election Observer. She has addressed keynote and inspired millions across 5 continents.
Among the participants, District Parliamentarian Ztn. Dilruba Ahmed, Past District Governor Ztn. Fahmida Karim, Area 2 Director Ztn. Momtaz Chowdhury, Past District Governor, Ztn. Shahnaz Nathani, District Finance Committee Chair Ztn. Mahazaveer Dalal, Past President of ZCDHAKAII Ztn. Zaheda Khatoon, Past President of ZCDHAKAII Ztn. Shaela Bhanu & many respected Zontians from District 25.
President of Zonta Club of Dhaka II, Ztn. Nilufar Rahman said, a NGO with General Consultative Status and a member of open working groups, ZONTA advocates for gender equality and works with other NGOs to ensure women’s active and equal participation in decision-making processes at the UN through the Commission on the Status of Women, the Sustainable Development Goals—in particular, Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls including trafficking—and working groups on aging, education, child marriage, drugs and crime.
Nilufar also stated, Zonta Club of Dhaka II is grateful to be able to organise such a time worthy global webinar during this pandemic while everything is happening online. Nilufar said, we took the opportunity to invite Zontians from the world to participate in this global webinar & share their thoughts. Zonta stands for women’s rights. We advocate for equality, education and an end to child marriage and gender-based violence. We believe in making the world a better place by empowering women. We find joy in doing this in a supportive community of like-minded professionals from diverse countries and cultures. Zonta expands opportunities for women and girls through our international education programs and service projects. We willll not rest until women’s rights are recognized as human rights; said Nilufar.