Quote of the week
Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen. -Winston Churchill
Laugh Out Loud!
What streets do ghosts haunt?
National Institute of Mental Health
Having a healthy mind is just as important as a healthy body. While some of us have been lucky enough to have both a healthy body and a healthy mind, there are a few who have not been so fortunate. They are physically healthy, but suffer from various mental illnesses. For years, they’ve had to deal with not only their mental illnesses but stigma or discrimination. Not being mentally sound does not make anyone any less of a person, but society has deemed them unworthy of being treated as equals.
Fortunately, there are people and institutes prepared to help these individuals fight their illnesses and lead a successful life. The National Institute of Mental Health is one such place that offers care for the mentally impaired. The state-run NIMH, which was opened in 1929 is Sri Lanka’s largest tertiary care institution that cares for people with mental illness. Individuals are admitted to receive medication on long term basis or short term basis depending on the severity of their illness. Situated 15 km away from Colombo, in Angoda, this hospital is not the kind where you find rows and rows of white beds with patients on them. Instead, you find cheerful looking people waving at you, Victorian arch windows and even drawings done by the residents.
While the 15 hectare NIMH premises are divided into several wards, the Adolescent mental health unit is the only ward which admits children suffering from mental illness. This unit houses children between the ages of 12 and 18 who have serious mental illness, who have lost their parents and also, children whose parents are ill and are being treated at the same facility. Though some of these children are battling mental illness, they have no physical issues whatsoever. Therefore, this specific ward takes the nature of a children’s home rather than of a typical hospital ward.
The brightly painted ward currently houses five children between the ages of nine and 16 and can accommodate nine altogether.
The staff has taken on the responsibility of providing these youngsters with as much normality as possible and freedom to engage in leisure activities while maintaining a routine. A schedule hung on a wall informs everyone of the tasks to be done daily, a habit that many of us still fail to keep up with on a daily basis. From what we were told, on a typical day, the residents of the ward wake up at 6.30 am and proceed with their morning routine of getting ready, having breakfast and also exercising. The rest of their day is usually spent learning the alphabet, time tables etc, drawing, reading, playing sports and watching a little for entertainment.
Little Manfred – Michael Morpurgo
Mental Health isn’t an easy game to play. Around 450 million of the world population suffer from this. The most common mental illnesses are depression and anxiety which occur mainly due to stress. World Mental Health Day, celebrated on the 10th of October, aims to raise awareness of problems like these. This day was first celebrated by World Federation for Mental Health in 1992.
Calling out all the Bookworms across the country!
Welcome to Creative Corner where all creativity and fun exist. Each week we’re giving you the opportunity to write a short story or a poem related to the given topic and the best story or poem will be featured in our page next week (or the week after). So grab your pens, notebooks and thinking caps and let your imagination do the rest. And don’t forget to send it to The Nation when you’re done.
Happy writing Bookworms!
Topic: The Pumpkin and The Ghost
Deadline: October 18
Girls’ High School