Vision for how you live

SYMPOSIUM: Psycho-Social Well-Being: Experiences From the Field
Organiser: AKOIJAM, A. Bimol (University of Delhi).

This session focuses on those aspects of 'health' associated with the changes that are taking place in contemporary Indian society. Indian society is going through a rapid change marked by a tension between tradition and modernity. Old values and practices are coming under increasing pressure from emerging ethical standards, values, beliefs, and new life styles. Such a trend poses new threats to people's psycho-social well being. Thus, in this session, people working in the area of mental health will deliberate on the major problems affecting the psycho-social well-being of the people and, resources and strategies available for promoting the same.

SYMPOSIUM: Neuropsychological Assessment and Rehabilitation.
Organiser: GUPTA, Ashum (University of Delhi).

Neuropsychological 'assessment has been used to study the organization of brain activity and its translation into behaviour. Of the many practical applications of neuropsychological assessment, its diagnostic usefulness has probably received the most recognition. Precise information about specific behavioural, emotional or cognitive symptoms is essential for careful management of neurological patients. Rational planning for the patient requires an understanding of the patient's capabilities, limitations, the kinds of psychological changes, (s)he is undergoing and the impact of these changes on his/her experience of himself/ herself and his/her behaviour. Data from successive neuropsychological examinations repeated at regular intervals can provide reliable indications of whether the underlying neurological condition is changing, and if so, how rapidly and in what ways. Repeated testing may be used to assess the effects of treatment or retraining. Based on it, the concerned family needs to the informed accordingly in order to deal with the patient appropriately, understand the nature of cognitive emotional or personality problems and readjust to such changes. Assessment provides a profile of the parents upon which rehabilitation plans are based. A wide range of cognitive functions need to be assessed so as to identify impaired areas of functioning as well as preserved skills. Strengths are as important as deficits in planning the total rehabilitation programme. The goals of cognitive rehabilitation are tied to the real world behaviour, that is, to allow a individual with brain disorder to function optimally, to reduce the burden on his or her support system such that less assistance is needed and to develop skills and use environmental resources to overcome residual impairments from a brain disorder.

SYMPOSIUM: The Millennium Adolescent: An Introspection
Organiser: NAGPAL, Jitendra (Vidya Sagar Institute of Mental Health & Neuro Sciences).

Adolescence is a time in life span when children realise who they are and what they would like to be. It's a transition fraught with trials and tabulations.. As we enter the next millennium and introspect on issues that matter to us as part of a rapidly changing society, it is imperative that an appraisal be made of the psychological needs and influences on the adolescent of the nineties who will be leading the baton of human chain into the 21s' century. After 50 years of Independence, we had produced a generation labelled "children of liberalisation". They were supposed to be decisive, street smart, competitive and with loads of attitude. But of late some youngsters seem to be in a vague kind of mourning, of having lost something, of a sense of betrayal, a gnawing frustration that often blaze into violence, aggression, insecurity, loneliness, boredom, defiance and a feeling of being on the brink of crisis-symptoms that are spreading through the nervous system of an entire generation. Developmental stress, emotional distress, academic pressures, physical stress, economic stress or social distress. Where do we begin? Is there time left for us to hold out little ones by their hand and lead them into the twenty first Century as physically, mentally and socially healthy, happy and stress free children. Does God send children merely to preserve the human race!!.. There is genuine reason for introspection, for tomorrow is yet another day. The next millennium is around the corner. The tasks are many, but the bottom line is to be able to reconcile and accommodate differing realities.

SYMPOSIUM: Environmental Health: A Challenge for the Next Millennium
Organiser: RAGHUPATI, Lakshmi (Ministry of Environment and Forests).

The progress of a nation is measured in terms of its industrial growth and economy. The consequence of this activity has a direct impact on the environment in terms of the resources drawn from it and the burden of pollution. The increasing demand for better products and large quantities for better life style has resulted in satisfying one's greed rather than the need. We have already crossed the danger mark and are in a critical position with respect to the available natural resources. One of the areas which is directly associated with the human survival is Environmental Health, a much neglected area. We, therefore, need the scientific, social and cultural inputs such that a judicious mix of these could promote the human consciousness to work towards an Integrated Environmental Health Programme. The health status of an individual or a community needs to be assessed in terms of the environmental exposures. A base-line data on the health status would help in the risk assessment and this will in turn facilitate in taking preventive measures to protect the population in question. Environmental Health includes environmental epidemiology, risk assessment, poison control mechanisms, environmental tissue bank, etc. Environmental issues tackled in isolation may not yield results as the study of environment itself is an inter-disciplinary science, more so, when we talk about the environmental health aspect or the consequence of the activities that are causing an imbalance of the nature's stable system. Some of the issues such as health risks, liabilities and cleanup have to be quantified and addressed to specific problem areas, while the others such as research and development, regulatory control mechanisms, etc. could be enforced through an action programme. The most important are the social and psychological factors wherein the population has to be moved to raise to the occasion and adopt the advises and facilities provided such that the goals are achieved. Environmental Health is rather the most important area which has to be addressed in the next millennium to ensure the survival of mankind.

(SAAP-Delhi Con.-1999)
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