Happy D.O.S.E. By Sara Byzcek & Lisa Kim Son
Charvi Gangwani & Nandini Bhachawat
AUGUST 6, 2020
With the overall objective of raising awareness regarding mental health issues and mobilising efforts to ensure mental well being, The Amygdala organised an international webinar on Thursday, August 06, 2020 in collaboration with The Scrunchie Project, a US based organisation. The 17 year old founder of The Scrunchie Project, Harshini Padala talked about how the organisation promoted gender equality and education by connecting and empowering women, through virtual workshops, awareness calls and selling scrunchies in merchandise fundraisers. The event witnessed the participation of over 200 attendees from 10 different countries – India, Canada, USA, Argentina, Taiwan, Nepal, UK, Lebanon, Turkey and Bangladesh.
The webinar revolved around the theme 'Happy D.O.S.E' to boost the happiness chemicals, Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin, Endorphins, and instil positivity and mental well being during this pandemic. Eminent speakers for the session, Dr. Sara Byczek, Director, University of Michigan and a clinical psychologist, and Professor of psychology at Barnard College, Lisa Kim Son of Seoul broke the stigma around mental health by sharing their astounding yet inspirational experiences. The speakers brought forth various mantras and coping mechanisms to deal with stress and everyday problems, especially during COVID-19. Misconceptions regarding depression, anxiety and mental health issues were clarified through an interactive Q&A session. Dr. Sara indulged the attendees in a mindful relaxation activity which involved shifting focus on any object around us. Lisa talked about metacognition, and how courage plays a pivotal role in overcoming challenges to our mental health. Heartfelt advices "We are not perfect, but perfectible" by Lisa and "Its okay, not to be okay" by Dr. Sara left an indelible imprint in the minds of all. Partner school teacher, Mrs. Nadine Nayef Saassouh of Hasbaya Public School, Lebanon shared about the emotional turmoil being faced by the Lebanese and how the webinar was a means to establish mental peace and stability during such exigent times. The session ended on a positive note with endless smiles, relaxed and aware minds!