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Brainstorming session held on mental health in Srinagar

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Srinagar: A two-day brainstorming was held on 24th and 25th March 2018 on ‘Mental Health and Well Being’ in Srinagar. The initiative organized by Yakjah Reconciliation and Development Network, a non-profit social innovation brought together diverse stakeholders including Jammu and Kashmir State Sports Council, CMs Grievance cell, Entrepreneurship Development Institute, Drug De-addiction Centre of JK Police and Community Organizations like Women’s Collective, Sehar, Sonzal Welfare and Karwan-e-Umeed.

The brainstorming generated cross gender, cross institutions and cross regional solution oriented dialogue around mental health dynamics in Jammu and Kashmir.

Applying globally acclaimed design thinking methodology two students from School of Design, Stanford University in California, USA Samira Daswani and Lisa Von Rabenau shared the design process for generating solutions keeping users, need and feelings aspects in mind.

The groups were led by Yakjah Volunteer Thought Leaders who were from all the three regions of Jammu and Kashmir.

On the first day Ashima Kaul, Founder Yakjah shared the concept behind the project, explained to the stakeholders how the mental health project came into being and the idea behind bringing stake holders together. It was followed by a presentation by Samira and Lisa on the process of design thinking. They led the participants through the different steps of observing, understanding and defining the problem, ideation, developing prototype and testing and lastly implementation.

In the stakeholders’ perspective session Shuja Mir representing JK State Sports Council made a presentation on how sports are making a huge difference in the lives of young people thus opening space for their expression, growth and development.

Two women coaches Irtiqa Ayoub of Rugby and Qudsiya Altaf of Football shared their personal stories of transformation and how their inclusion in the arena of sports broke gender stereotypes. They also shared how sports has benefitted their mental well- being.

A video on how sports is changing the mind sets and narrative was also screened by Mir. Arif Mohammad Khan of EDI led the participants through a graphic representation of EDI’s intervention in starting local ventures by youth in the region. He shared the data regarding the success rate of ventures lead through EDI.

Dr. Muzaffar from JK Police drug de-addiction center talked about the current status of the rehabilitation center and that how they are trying to improve their services to meet the needs of the people in the State.

On the second day, stakeholders created six different themes for solution. The solution space was facilitated by Samira and Lisa. Several speakers spoke about different aspects of mental health dynamics including sexual minorities, gender, legal community interventions for health care and challenges of youth wanting to start their own enterprises and start-ups.

The participants developed porotypes which will be tested for outcomes. The initiative created an energized solution space generating social conversation and connections for a better shared future.

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