Salma Safree a participant from Setco Foundation reciting a poem documenting her lived experience during Community Mental Health Training Program – 4 using Narrative Ideas and Practices.
I can feel it
Why don’t you see it?
I can feel it
I can sense it
I’m sure it’s there
Yet again, it has come back to bother me;
That preoccupation with my health
Something is holding me back from
leading a life of vigour
Is it (the preoccupation with health)
Or am I holding it?
Prathama Raghavan, one of our MHTP – 7 participants is a Disability and Mental Health Practitioner consulting with children, young people, families, and schools for their well – being and working towards nurturing safe spaces for all ways of being.
In her article, she explains how consulting with children and young people on the Spectrum forced her to examine these ideas of ‘normal’ and taught her how to be an ally to the Autistic Community.
Jehanzeb Baldiwala and Raviraj Shetty from the Mental Health Team at Ummeed Child Development Center recently conducted a short term training on Narrative Ideas and Practices in Kolkata.
Here’s the five-day shift shared by Kolkata Group to describe their journey of exploring the first module of Narrative training in July 2018.
The 5-day Shift
Jittery, curious, excited were we
Before we met Jehanzeb and Ravi.
Landscapes, spaces, maps and stories,
Kept us wondering ‘what were these!?!’
Lost in translation, and sometimes in groups,
We landed up among the constellation of ‘new(s)’.
Cups of tea – black, white and sweet –
Picnic baskets, and homely treats.
Some from here, and some from there,
Together, we were everywhere.
Circular, classroom, and disarray
Unfolding, piecing, bit by bit,
What we knew but weren’t doing it
Just like this…but in our own way…
Validated thankfully by R & J!
Identity, Action and Landscape
We’ve come to a place of no escape…
From wonderful ideas, metaphors and agency,
Stories shifting, new, and sparkly!
– Jyotika, Sweta, Asimayan, Mihika & Shaneel
Kolkata, July 2018
Work in progress gradually
Each of us is inevitably
Standing tall with possibility
Over landscapes of action and identity
Decentered yet influential
Always non judgmental
The problem we externalise
Images and words help us visualise
Mastering the art of Storying
Over the course of loitering
Know how, skill and action
Kolkatans live up to the artsy reputation
The Mental Health Team at Ummeed collaborated with community workers from Sahyog to understand mental health in their context through narrative practices. The first block of two days saw a rich exploration of ideas, practices in the community that may or may not support people’s mental health and the workers’ hopes for their communities.
Prateek Sharma covered stories that attempt at shifting perspectives on mental health by viewing it as much more than a pathological entity. Here is the final piece where he talks about narrative therapy, which blooms this outlook and opens up a progressive approach to care.
“The development of narrative therapy gained speed during the time when the feminist movement was influencing ideas of mental healthcare. Consequently, a lot of self- identifying feminist professionals use narrative approaches in their treatments. One of the most remarkable works featuring the use of narrative approaches was with the aboriginal communities in Australia, who have endured centuries of abuse, violence and suicide. A prolonged series of studies established that in the most horrific of situations, people still possess the resilience to survive, and can be helped if their ability to deal with the pain is identified.”