IN AN effort to tackle stress and address mental health issues of its employees, the health department of Panchkula has started conducting workshops.
The department began its first phase of counseling on January 8, while the first round of trials was held on January 4. “We have received permission and have begun counselling with employees of the government hospitals and government offices. We will soon be seeking permission for the counselling of police officials,” said Dr MP Sharma, head of psychiatric department at Civil Hospital, Panchkula.
As per him, the idea came to life during a conversation between the health department and former Chief Secretary of Haryana, Keshni Arora.
While the counselling was supposed to be a regular affair, with Covid-19 in view, the need for the same was more than before. “Everyone is now facing increased fears and anxiety. People are on the edge and we realised such workshops were the need of the hour,” said Sharma.
The workshop, which was initially supposed to go last for an hour, went on for two as conversation kept going on. “Almost 75 people showed up for the session and we thought they had come because their seniors had asked them to. But after the session began, their queries started pouring in,” says Sharma.
The workshop worked at creating awareness five basic emotions including happiness, sadness, anxiety, anger, and jealousy. “The main worries were about money being the prime reason for happiness and about junior officers receiving trouble from senior officers. We made them understand that money is not the only thing that gives satisfaction,” explained Sharma.
The counselling team comprises three doctors including a psychiatrist, a clinical psychologist and a psychiatric social worker. The session was held for class 2 employees, but will be extended for class 3 and class 1 employees as well.