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IMAGINE: A day-long forum to inspire a movement

New Delhi. 28.09.18: Current research chillingly states that one in four people in the world are affected by mental health disorders. WHO reports that50% of mental health disordersmanifest before 14 years of age and puts 30% of young Indians as having been diagnosed with mental illness; reality far exceeds that number.Indiahas been affected by an alarming increase in depression and mental illnessesand suicide is the leading cause of death amongst our youth.


IMAGINE, acollaboration between child and adolescent mental health instituteChildren First,andTeamwork Arts,apioneering entertainment company committed to social action, has beenconceived as a movement to combat this disturbing corrosion of the mental health of our young.IMAGINEwill be held on 26th October 2018in Delhibringing together national and global experts to share ideas and practices that can make this world emotionally safer for children and youth.


IMAGINE’s gathering of influencerswill include psychologists, occupational therapists, educators, special educators, psychiatrists, pediatricians, NGOs and policy makers, participating in debates and discussions, identifying hurdles and seeking solutions. Young people and parents too will join into sharetheir perspectives.


The one-day forum aims to begin a critical and much-needed conversation around building emotionally safe environments for individuals from birth to 25 years of age, especially within the disquieting context of marginalizing experiences like mental illness, disability, sexual orientation and gender issues.


“Emotional safety is a pre-requisite for a child to live a joyful life where he or she can grow, thrive and flourish. Therefore, it becomes our responsibility to come together and build ecosystems that our children deserve.”, said Dr. Shelja Sen, one of the co-founders of Children First.


Mr. Sanjoy Roy, Managing Director, Teamwork Arts, said, “An escalating depletionof mental resources in children and adolescents is currently at a tipping point and needs to be tackled with effective tools and vast pools of collective empathy and experience. The time to do this is now: we need to think with the strength of all our expertise and begin the narrative of change.”


IMAGINE will target three main themes:


  • Nurturing Early Years- Moderated by child and adolescent psychiatrist and co-founder of Children First, Dr. Kavita Arora, this section will focus on understanding neurodevelopment and practices to facilitate growth and development through play, sensory input and building attachment with caregivers. It will include Stories by Dr.Sue Jennings, and a discussion on Early Intervention by the Children First developmental services team.


  • Scaffolding Strengths – Moderated by child and adolescent psychologist, family therapist and co-founder of Children First, Dr. Shelja Sen, the sessions will feature Dr.Vibha Krishnamurthy, Dr.Nandita De Souza and Ms.Jo Chopra as they share experiences of helping existing systems and spaces become more inclusive and child friendly – advocating for children who are at risk of being marginalized in schools and neighbourhoods; empowering parents and professionals to advocate for children and facilitating children tofurtherinclusion for each other.


  • Building Ecosystems – Moderated by Dr. Amit Sen, co-founder and director of Children First, and the founder of the mental health programme at Salaam Baalak Trust, this segment will address the need to create spaces and systems to cater to the needs of children and youth who fall beyond the purview of existing systems. This session will localize mental health in the community with a session by Prof. Shekhar Seshadri on deinstitutionalizing mental health, and by Mr. Sanjoy Roy highlighting theconcerns of children who live on the streets and in underserved communities.


About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.

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