7 students from MYP 4 and 5 got to be a part of World Mental Health Collaboration between The Doon School and British Overseas School on 9th October 2021. Mental Health is an essential component of health which is often disregarded and stigmatised in society. The theme ‘Mental Health in an Unequal World’ provided an opportunity for participants to focus on the issues that preserve mental health inequality around the world. On World Mental Health Day, raising awareness on mental health and sharing ideas about how inequality can be addressed to ensure people are able to be mentally healthy was the focus of discussion. It is estimated that 970 million people worldwide have a mental or substance use disorder. Despite such high statistics for mental health disorders, we choose to ignore it and stigmatize it. Society is more likely to care for a person struggling with a ‘Physical Disorder’ than a person struggling with a ‘Mental Disorder’. To solve this wrong misconception, the ‘The British Overseas School’ and ‘The Doon School’ held a three-hour-long conference to address the same.
The entire conference took place in 8 Baraza groups that discussed different subtopics of the central theme. These Baraza sessions were led by two moderators who initiated most of the discussions. These Baraza sessions entailed many activities, discussions, and heated debates. While it’s true that all the 8 Barraza groups had different topics of discussion, however, these different topics were connected back to the central theme again, every time there was a keynote speaker. One unique form of discussion was the panel discussion that allowed all Baraza groups to interact with one another. Finally, after 3 hours of listening to insightful keynote speakers, panelists, the conference concluded with a resolution statement which summarized the discussion of all students and also highlighted the significance of celebrating the ‘World Mental Health Day’.