RGU: ICMR funded Multistate Project on Suicide Risk Reduction launched

RONO HILLS, May 13: Rajiv Gandhi University (RGU) launched a New Delhi’s Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) funded Multistate Project on Suicide Risk Reduction and Improving Mental well-being here on Monday.

Chairing the inaugural-cum-consultative meeting, vice-chancellor Prof. Saket Kushwaha congratulated the team for initiating the important project. While explaining about importance of the project in the area of mental health, he said that RGU is  conducting multiple projects on mental health sponsored by various Govt agencies and stressed on importance of working in a collaborative manner to utilise the resources in optimum way with the support of the GoAP and  GoI agencies.

Registrar Dr. N.T Rikam said that the meeting was needed to orient key individuals about objectives of the project. Social Sciences dean Prof. Sarit Kumar Chaudhuri stressed on identifying biological marker of suicide and advocated uilding of a resource base on the suicide related research in RGU. He also talked about the cultural attributes in relation to suicide.

Finance officer in-charge and joint registrar Dr. David Pertin spoke on importance and relevancy of the project in Arunachal Pradesh vis-a-vis India and hoped that the participatory based research project would be completed on time to bring out workable and applicable way forwards to reduce suicide rates. The project is for three years in its first phase and would be conducted in eight states and union territories simultaneously including Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Delhi, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

RGU’s AITS has been made the nodal centre for Arunachal Pradesh with project’s principal investigator and Co-PIs the schools and colleges in Itanagar Capital Region (ICR), Papum Pare, Lower Subansiri, Dibang Valley, Lower Dibang Valley and Lohit districts would be surveyed.

Highlighting project details earlier, principal investigator Dr. Tarun Mene hinted about initiation of the project and recruitment of the staff in first phase. He stressed on multilayered issues and explained the project players, the population and sample of the study and leadership buildings.

GoAP nominee Dr. Haniya Payee, MD (psychology), SNO (Mental Health Programme), one of the key individuals inquired about policy implementation of the project and stressed on alignment between existing policies and outcome of this project.

Dr. Tana Takum, MD (PH), nodal officer-cum-public health specialist, another GoAP nominated key person, spoke about areas of study and geographical complexities in cluster formation and area selection.

NSS SLO Dr. A.K. Mishra, GoAP’s third nominated key person, highlighted on mental wellbeing and emphasised on providing counselling sessions in schools and colleges and urged to develop SOP.

AITS’s Prof. Jumyir Basar talked about the project’s cultural aspects in tribal society about mental health. The project would be implemented taking into consideration cultural and ecological aspect of the state.

Amongst others the AITS director Prof. S. Simon John, all project Co-PIs -Dr. Lijum Nochi (economics), Dr. Dharmeshwari Lourembam & Dr. Kakali Goswami (psychology) and Amit Kumar (AITS) also shared their ideas about the project, according to a RGU release.

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