Consultative Workshop with Young People on Climate Change and Mental Health in Sundarbans - Songoti

Consultative Workshop with Young People on Climate Change and Mental Health in Sundarbans

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Sundarbans : Recognizing the challenges faced by the Sundarbans, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Child in Need Institute (CINI) and The George Institute for Global Health, Delhi (TGI Delhi) co-hosted a consultative workshop in Kultali. Held on April 18th, 2024, at the Block Development Office, the workshop focused on exploring creative solutions to address climate change and mental health issues, particularly those impacting young people. Workshop Brings Together Stakeholders to Address Youth Concerns The event brought together young people from the Sundarbans who participated in a recent survey on climate change, along with community stakeholders. This collaborative approach aimed to identify potential actions that young people can take to raise awareness about climate change and reduce its psychological impact.


Distinguished Guests Lead Discussions, Shri Suchandan Baidya, BDO Kultali Block, Government of West Bengal, Dr. Mercian Daniel, Senior Research Fellow, The George Institute India, Smt. Suparna Kanthaa, Lady Counsellor, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of West Bengal, Shree Sujoy Roy, National Advocacy Officer, CINI along with Block and GP level Panchayte representatives were present to grace the occasion. Dr. Mercian Daniel emphasized the workshop's role in building upon the initial survey. He highlighted the importance of youth involvement, stating, "This workshop serves as a platform to share preliminary findings and stimulate discussions. We want young people to propose tangible actions for adapting to climate change and reducing its mental health impact."


Young participants actively engaged in the discussions, expressing their concerns about the greenhouse effect. Sathi Pal, opposition leader Child parliament said, A participant highlighted the connection between climate change and mental health, stating, "The uncertainty about the future is scary. We need more awareness campaigns to help young people cope with the anxieties caused by climate change."


The discussion acknowledged the growing concern for mental health in the Sundarbans. Ms. Suparna Kantha, representing the Department of Health and Family Welfare, noted, "Through RKSK programs, we serve a large population of young people aged 10-24. Recently, we've observed a rise in mood swings, particularly during the summer season."


Mr. Sujoy Roy, National Advocacy Manager at CINI, emphasized the interconnectedness of mental health and climate change. "They are inextricably linked," he stated. "The uncertainty, loss, and displacement caused by climate change can significantly impact mental well-being. We must address these challenges together and build resilience within our communities, particularly by empowering young people to become agents of change."


Sri Suchandan Baidya, WBCS, Block Development Officer, Kultali Block, Government of West Bengal, echoed this sentiment. He said, this issue is very close to my hearth, our government has taken many initiatives to combat climate change. However, these efforts will only be successful if the general public also takes responsibility for protecting our environment. By working together, we can minimize the effects of climate change and ensure a healthy future for the Sundarbans."


The workshop incorporated quizzes and audio-visual aids to create a more engaging experience for young participants. The Block Development Officer, Kultali, is commended for their contribution to the workshop's success. This collaborative effort by CINI, TGI Delhi, and the local community serves as a crucial step towards empowering young people in the Sundarbans to address the challenges of climate change and mental health.

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