On the occasion of World Mental Health Day, IIM Bodh Gaya organized a Wellbeing Conclave 2021. The objective of celebrating World Mental Health Day is to raise awareness of mental health issues worldwide and mobilize efforts to support mental health. IIM Bodh Gaya has always been at the forefront of the discussion around mindfulness. Taking another step in this direction, a panel discussion was organized, and the esteemed guests for the discussion were Dr. Neena Verma, Appreciative Inquiry Thought Leader and Grief & Growth Specialist, and Dr. Shubhra Hajela AVP, Global Wellbeing Leader, Concentrix. The theme for the day was ‘The Science of Wellbeing.’ centered around grief and its relevance in the workplace. The patron for the conclave was Dr. Vinita Sahay, Director, IIM Bodh Gaya, with the convenors being Prof. Teena Bharti and Prof. Nidhi Mishra.
The session started with Dr. Sahay welcoming the esteemed guests and speaking on the recently passed Daughter’s Day. She shared her experience of grief and wellbeing, thus opening the forum for discussion. The discussion started with Dr. Neena sharing her pleasure in seeing people becoming more upfront about mental wellbeing on a personal and a professional level. She continued her address by talking about what grief is and how complicated it is to deal with. She emphasized helping people coping with grief, especially in today’s time when COVID has brought grief to such a significant share of the population.
That being said, we are making progress in this aspect, which Dr. Shubhra affirmed by talking about several Employee Assistance Programs that are being offered in organizations that include counseling sessions, webinars, etc. The final phase of the discussion was centered around how students have dealt with their problems for the last two years. Dr. Neena shared her experience of how she has spent her nights talking to young adults who have been overwhelmed with the happenings around the world. They have persevered through them, but there are instances where they are bound to question everything, sometimes themselves. Their elders should become their guides who can offer them a space to express their problems without necessarily fixing them. She talked about the HELP approach – holding a space for them where they act as empathetic listeners, perhaps. Dr. Shubhra encouraged the students to make the most of technology and engage with their faculty and fellow students as much as possible, given that we can only do so much sitting at home. Dr. Neena’s words of wisdom were the closing remarks for the session from her poem from her much-anticipated book, which emphasizes how hope and positivity play a big role in tough times. In her words, “We should always be mindful of what is showing up when things are falling apart.” Prof. Teena Bharti and Prof. Nidhi Mishra brought the session close by offering a hearty vote of thanks.