“Moner Dorjae Amra” – a special suicide prevention campaign jointly organized by Moner Bondhu, a mental health care provider, and the multinational company Daraz – was held at Jahangirnagar University on Monday, May 30, 2022 with the support from Jahangirnagar University Debating Society – JUDS.
The campaign sparked a massive response among students across the university as they mourned the loss of their classmates in a string of recent suicides. In his inaugural address, Mahir Pranto, President of Jahangirnagar University Debating Society (JUDS), spoke about misconceptions about mental health and mental illness.
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Dr. Helal Uddin Ahmed, Associate Professor at the National Institute of Mental Health and Psychiatrist and Advisor to Moner Bondhu, spoke on the occasion. He discussed at length the frustrations and anxieties students face and mentioned ways to overcome stress and criticism. Through questions and answers, he explained to young students how to cope with suicide, understand the signs of suicide in someone and how to help friends if they are having suicidal thoughts.
Rajan Das, Associate Psychosocial Counsellor, Moner Bondhu, led a practical session on how to manage stress. Munia Islam Majumder, alumnus of Jahangirnagar University, and Head of Planning and Partnerships, Moner Bondhu, facilitated a second session on how to develop life skills.
Tawhida Shiropa, Founder and Managing Director of Moner Bondhu, spoke about the background of the initiative, Moner Bondhu. She said that since free and frank discussions about mental health issues are considered taboo, Moner Bondhu serves as a safe, confidential, non-judgmental and mutually respectful platform for people to speak openly. Apart from direct service in their Dhaka office, she also spoke about their social media presence including Facebook, TikTok, Instagram and YouTube and their dedicated helpline number.
In addition to providing services through experienced and trained counselors during the COVID-19 pandemic, she mentioned the 40-hour Mental Health and Behavior Certificate Course organized with UNDP support to help raise awareness. to mental health problems. She reiterated that this course will help students maintain their psychological well-being.
The “Moner Dorjae Amra” campaign will run throughout the year in different colleges and universities in Bangladesh including Dhaka. Its content partner was The Daily Star and its radio partner was Colors FM 101.8.