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Mental Health Awareness Session in Luton, UK

BAPS Charities in Luton teamed up with representatives from the local OM Group to deliver a mental health awareness session at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir on Sunday 8 January 2017.

The session furthered BAPS Charities’ commitment to promote health awareness in local communities and was the first joint venture in collaboration with OM Group.

Dr Vikas Acharya addressed the audience of over 150 individuals of all ages. He spoke of the challenges in the British Indian community of accepting and recognising mental health issues. The insightful presentation provided examples of common mental health conditions known to be prevalent among people of Indian origin and left all with a clear message to be aware and seek help where needed.

A drop-in service was available after the presentation where individuals asked for guidance on specific concerns. People were also invited to scribe messages of support and encouragement to mental health sufferers in a gesture of solidarity.

OM Group were grateful to BAPS Charities for providing a platform and hoped to continue the partnership to benefit more people in the community. Priya Acharya remarked, “There is a lot of stigma and discrimination particularly in the Asian community and I am keen to break these barriers and get more people conversing for it to become normalised topic of conversation.”

Yogmurti Lalji, a BAPS Charities volunteer in Luton, added, “We’re really pleased to have had this opportunity to address such a sensitive topic in a safe and supportive environment, to reassure young and old that help is not far away and there’s nothing wrong in asking for it.”