Ten-day mental health awareness program at bylakuppe and hunsur Tibetan settlements

Men-Tsee-Khang Mental Health Department, which is based in Bengaluru, organized a ten-day mental health awareness program from 22nd June 2022 to 1st July 2022 at Bylakuppee and Hunsur Tibetan Settlements. The team led by Dr. Tenzin Choying (HoD) included Tibetan Astro-Science Practitioner (TASP) Sonam Tsamchoe, Dr. Tsultrim Namgyal, Mr. Tenzin Kalden and Ms. Tsering Choyang of the deptt, and TASP Tenzin Dolkar of Astro. Department, Bengaluru.

Quoting from His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s message on taking care of mental health alongside physical health, each session started with the HoD giving a brief background of department and the main objective of this ten-day program, which is to create awareness of mental health among Tibetan settlement residents.

The doctors spoke on the significance of mental health, primarily focusing on mind-body connection, loong-energy, diet and lifestyle recommendation from the perspectives of Sowa- Rigpa (Tibetan Medicine) while the TASPs gave an introduction of Tibetan Astro-science— highlighting the different types of astrological charts prepared by Astro-science dept, and explained how these charts are related to mental health care. The team also gave presentations on mental health care to around 400 senior section students of Sambhota Tibetan School, CVP School and TCV Bylakuppee.

The team would like to thank Mr. Lobsang Yeshi, Settlement Officer of Lugsum Samdupling Tibetan Settlement, and Mr. Chemi Dorjee, Settlement Officer of Dekyi Larso Tibetan settlement, Bylakupee, Karnataka State, for their support towards this mental health program. The team covered 7 camps of Lugsum Samdupling settlements in two sessions, and 16 camps of Dekyi Larso in seven sessions. In total, the program witnessed 340 actively engaging participants in these two settlements.

After speaking to the Chakur settlement residents, the team arrived at Hunsur Rabgyeling Tibetan Settlement, and continued with the mental health program series through four sessions to 14 camps, witnessing 117 participants. The doctors and TASPs provided medical and astro. counseling help to individuals during and after the sessions when needed or requested at both Byllakupee and Hunsur settlements. The team would like to thank Mr. Thupten Tsering, Settlement Officer for supporting this program, and Mrs. Nyikhu & family of J-Village for providing free accommodation and daily commute facility during Hunsur program. This entire Mental Health Awareness event would not have been possible without the kind support of our director and on behalf of the organizing team and participants; we extend our sincere gratitude to Mr. Thupten Tsering, Director of Men-Tsee-Khang.