On June 14, I had the opportunity to attend “Family Day” in Edison along with two dedicated Psychiatrists – Dr. Vasudev Makhija and Dr. Prakash Amin, representing SAMHIN. South Asian Mental Health Initiative and Network (SAMHIN), is an initiative founded by Dr. Vasudev Makhija to reach out to the South Asian population to educate them about the importance of appropriate mental health and the resources available.
SAMHIN, was formed in 2014 to address a broad range of mental health needs of the growing South Asian community nationwide, beginning with New Jersey. It’s Mission statement is:
- Educate, engage, and empower the South Asian community to promote mental health literacy.
- Serve as a resource to provide consultation to health care policy makers and health care delivery facilities.
- Increase collaboration between existing mental health organizations that address specific aspects of mental illness, increase awareness of the existence and roles of these organizations, and decrease fragmentation in services provided to the community.
- Promote and conduct research on mental health to serve the South Asian community in the U.S.
- Develop a searchable database of South Asian mental health care providers, social services, and mental health resources to improve access to mental health care.
- Overcome stigma of mental illness.
- Explore ways of making affordable treatment services available.
During the event, people from all walks of life asked us questions regarding the organization and the ways to take care of themselves. I must say that in the past few years that I have been attending events like these, I have seen a change happening. More and more people are inquiring regarding mental health and self-care. Over the years, generally people have become more open to accept the fact that external help is needed, and have started to reach out for the same. This is a positive change and which gives a lot of hope!!
Also, it was very encouraging to see that many guests showed their gratitude towards SAMHIN and few of them also volunteered to help the organization in spreading the word.
At the event, there was also plenty of food; rides for kids; music etc. Overall it was a beneficial and fun filled family event. I am glad that every year it takes place in Edison, around same time!!!