Activites Details
 
Mental Health Unit at Lajpat Nagar Boys Home
In the year of 2016, many initiatives were taken to engage the residents of both the homes at Children Home for Boys through interesting and recreational activities. Such endeavours were initiated by Manas as per our philosophy of holistic development and overall well-being.

Prevention of Sexual Abuse and Gender Sensitization
The workshop was conducted with the CHB boys of 14-18 years to make them aware about their physical development and their perspective on love, friendship and maintaining balance between the two. A brief discussion on love, attraction and ways to understand emotions was also part of the workshop.

Understanding Depression
The workshop began with a discussion to understand the participants’ understanding of mental health. Then the facilitators informed them about the common concerns related to mental health such as depression and anxiety. The focus of the workshop was to provide emotional support, reduce stress and boost the participants’ self-confidence. The boys were told about the importance of seeking help. The workshop ended with a feedback session.

Effective Communication for Staff Members
Workshops were held over a period of three days to help the home staff understand the impact of their positive and negative behaviour on the children. The workshops were especially for the caretakers, housefathers and the security guards. The sessions focused on effective communication; techniques of increasing positive interaction and the importance of management of one’s emotions. Participants were encouraged to come up with pointers regarding implementation and non- implementation of the suggested techniques.

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Workshop on Health and Hygiene
The children were asked to draw or write what ‘health and hygiene’ meant for them. The participants drew images of activities such as cutting nails, bathing, washing clothes, brushing ones’ teeth and clean sanitation at home. These showed that the children at the Village Children Home are familiar with the basic habits of hygiene.

Group Session for Conduct Issues
Four boys with similar conduct issues were recommended by VCH to the MHU and a group session was held with them on the topic of respect. Meaning of respect, the different people whom we respect and how to display respect were the types of points discussed. The session aimed at helping the boys build positive relations with others by relating to the behaviour displayed towards role models.

Group Play Sessions
A number of play sessions were conducted with the younger boys to promote team work and cooperative play, increase concentration and attention, encourage imagination and creative questioning and increase general knowledge. It was observed that children learnt faster through visual medium, games and practical application.

Self-Hygiene and Cleanliness
A target specific group session on personal hygiene and cleanliness was conducted with four boys. The importance of hygiene was discussed with the help of an activity and the practical application of the same was monitored with the help of token economy discussed with the welfare officer concerned.

Dealing with Criticism
A group session was held with the senior boys on effective ways of dealing with criticism. The need for this session was felt because issues such as difficulties in communicating with the authority figures, misinterpretation of the messages received from the environment leading to conflicts and acting out came up during individual sessions of the boys. The group session was initiated with an ice breaking activity followed by role playing by two different groups. The difference between feedback and criticism was explained and the alternative ways to deal with criticism was shared with the participants.

Critical Thinking/ Creativity
Group sessions were undertaken with a mixed group of junior and senior boys on creativity and craft. As the summer vacations had approached, it was an initiative to engage the boys in creative and constructive work to channelize their energies in a positive direction as a part of “fun hour”.
Another such mixed group session with focus on critical thinking was also conducted. Instead of a discussion a fun activity was included; the participants were asked to prepare a collage using newspaper clippings of a particular alphabet and describe the picture in detail.

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Stress Management/ Importance of Academics
A group session on effective ways of dealing with stress was held with the senior boys with short term cases. The need for a session on this topic was felt during the individual sessions. The sessions were held with them; the first session included introduction to stress and stressful situation, the second session was about the physical and emotional signs of stress and in the last session the negative and positive effects of coping with stress was discussed.

A group session was initiated with boys of long term cases regarding their concerns related to academics. It began with positive reinforcement of the regular attendance at school. The children were psycho-educated about the importance of education and alternative ways to deal with their concerns.

Good Touch and Bad Touch
Group sessions were held on the physical changes their body goes through and the emotional changes that follow. These were held to psycho educate them about ‘good touch’ and ‘bad touch’ and increase awareness about the same. Similar sessions were separately conducted for both boys and girls in the VCH.

Peer Pressure
The participants were given a platform to share the issues that are affecting them in their daily life. Few of them shared that when they meet school friends who are not from the institution they are often forced to smoke and are teased when they refuse their friends. They were appreciated for sharing their concerns in the group and the facilitators explained how they can be assertive in that kind of situation. Assertiveness training was administered with the help of role play. They were taught to say `NO`. The harmful impact of smoking and drinking on physical health was also discussed.

Social Skills/ Life Skills
The purpose of the group sessions of social skills was to make the children understand how discipline and mannerism is important at this stage. They were asked if helping other people brings happiness in them and they shared incidences where they had helped others. They were encouraged to help people in a positive way such as helping their friends to study for exams.

Life skills were taken up as another topic for the group sessions, where the focus was on teaching life skill of respecting self and others, and the problems faced in implementing the same. Activities such as storytelling, discussion and showing short clippings were used in the sessions.

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