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  • Writer's pictureBeenish Ali

Positive Mental Health Research

Our Summer Internship Programme (Positive Mental Health Group) starts with an exploration of the “I”

- July 2022, Nani's Ghar, Karachi, Pakistan

As part of our strategic vision, The Center for Arts-based Methodologies and Wellbeing (CFAW), PHC Global, is focusing on the mental health of young people and adults. Mental and psychological well-being encompasses not only the way you feel about yourself but also the way you deal with external situations and the quality of your relationships. It is important to remember that positive mental health is not simply the absence of mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety. Being mentally healthy is predominantly about the presence of characteristics such as a feeling of purpose, contentment, maintaining fulfilling relationships and participating in life to the fullest. The approach that CFAW promotes is a resource-oriented one. These approaches focus not on deficits, rather are designed to tap into the strengths of people and utilize their positive personal and social resources. Such models can be considered as ‘resource-oriented’. Eventually, they may indirectly affect the symptoms of a defined disease, but their primary target is "patients’" resources, rather than deficits.

In our first meeting with 9 (+2) bright and smart interns from all over Karachi, we set the ground for our arts-based exploration of perceptions of mental health in young adults by delving into the notion of identity, an extremely important starting place because how we identify determines our perceptions, thoughts, feelings and behaviours- YES ALL OF IT IS BASED ON HOW I VIEW THE WORLD AND MY PLACE IN IT. If our identity is too narrowly defined we may get rigid and feel threatened by the smallest of things (think of all religion-motivated cruelty and wars that we have experienced in human history or hyper-nationalist/racial movements like the catastrophe of the German holocaust). Having a broad identity also allows us a lot of space to “play” and learn= more options (read empowerment) = positive mental health. If we cannot identify “cosmic” then we should at least strive for a “global”, or better perhaps a “planetary” identity.

I see some intrigued faces, a few confused, one very uncomfortable and all with sparkling eyes and straining ears. I am open and present (facilitator- Habib)

My Name is Searching

A poem by Shabbir Mohammad

Creative Associate CFAW and participant

My name is the darkness that lets light through

Finds hidden things in stormy nights

Under the Milky Way and the moon-

Take a breath.

Within every Godly creation, you will find chaos

You will find reason

You will find my name.

Peel away the layers

Peel away the unique-

The beauty, the hidden, the visible

Peel away the seasons.

There is a light that never goes out

My name is searching

You may call me Shabbir

Follow us on our Website, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook for more updates on our research and the another group of artists organizing the Mai Karachi Festival

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