New Delhi: Bellissimo Wellness Centre and cafe, in collaboration with Athena Behavioural Health, organized an event on July 15th, 2023, aimed at addressing the mental health needs of the LGBTQ+ community. Titled “Promoting Better LGBTQ+ Mental Health and Wellbeing,” the event brought together community members, experts, and mental health professionals in an effort to educate, empower, and support preventive mental health among the LGBTQ+ community members.
The event, held at The Muse, Sarovar Portico, Nehru Enclave, New Delhi was attended by around 35 community members, in addition to experts, organizers, and community leaders. The day-long program was designed with three main objectives:
- Experience Sharing: Prominent community members shared their personal experiences and struggles, providing inspiration and guidance to attendees facing similar challenges. Their stories of resilience and overcoming obstacles served as a beacon of hope, encouraging others to navigate their own journeys and deal with mental health issues caused by one’s sexual and gender identity.
- Workshops and Activities: Interactive workshop sessions engaged attendees, equipping them with practical skills and techniques to address common mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. Mental health professionals from Athena Behavioural Health led art-based therapy sessions, fostering creativity and offering valuable coping strategies for daily life.
- Accessible Resources and Support: The event provided a platform for experts to share their knowledge and insights on the importance of prevention, care seeking, and importance of accessing support systems within the LGBTQ+ community. Dr. Charu Dutta from Asian Hospital offered valuable information and techniques to handle specific issues faced by the community. He further pledged to provide support and treatment to community members free of cost, utilizing all available resources at Asian Hospital.
Some prominent speakers at the event were:
- Damini Sinha, a software engineer, & an activist is a prominent speaker promoting transgender inclusion and empowerment. She has received prestigious awards including the Anam Foundation’s Achievers Award, FTI’s Special Contribution Award, and the G20 C-20 Samajshala (Moderator) Award.
- Devika Manglamukhi, is a leading advocate for transgender rights holding a prestigious Cabinet Rank as an Advisor to the Transgender Welfare Board in
the Uttar Pradesh Government. Her exceptional social service has earned her a National Award.
The event also featured captivating performances by community and non-community members. Mr. Gagandeep, renowned for his talent on “India’s Got Talent,” mesmerized the audience with a breathtaking Tanura dance performance. Theatre artist Ms. Vatsala Khera presented a thought-provoking skit, highlighting the significance of acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community by family and friends.
As a grand finale a podcast was organized, bringing together community leaders, experts, and mental health professionals. Dr. Shradha Malik, Founder and Director of Athena Behavioural Health, moderated the discussion, allowing for an in-depth exploration of key issues affecting the LGBTQ+ community and providing a platform for valuable insights and perspectives.
Mithun Chatterjee, the Founder of Bellissimo, emphasized the vitality of Mental,
Physical, and Financial Well-being, and Highlighted the Collaboration with Athena Behavioural Health as an Important Step Forward. He also added “The psychological stress community members encounter in daily lives cannot be ignored or evaded. Nevertheless, equipped with knowledge and effective tools, we can certainly minimize its impact. This workshop extends beyond theoretical discussions as we collectively brainstorm strategies to foster tranquillity and composure amidst challenges.”
The collaboration between Bellissimo Wellness Centre and Cafe and Athena Behavioural Health promises a sustainable partnership of community owned institutions and private service providers focused on promoting better mental health and wellbeing within the LGBTQ+ community. By providing a safe space for dialogue, education, and support, this partnership aims to break down barriers, eliminate stigma, and empower individuals to lead healthier, more fulfilling lives. The experts and participants recognized the need for more such collaborations for making the mental health services more accessible to the community members. The recognized areas of work for future efforts include prevention, care and support in different aspects of the LGBTQ+ community’s life.
The event was enjoyed by the community members as it had several fun activities as well as information and tools useful for them.
For further inquiries, kindly, contact, Mithun Chatterjee, Founder Bellissimo Cafe & wellness, at 8929410625.