Arting Mental Health for Impact

The George Institute for Global Health, India and the Wellcome Trust/ DBT India Alliance have joined hands to promote a unique collaborative project, called “Arting Health for Impact” as part of which artists and researchers will come together on one platform to promote awareness on mental health, especially workplace stress.

Workspace stress remains an often-neglected aspect across different industries and countries, including India. World Health Organization (WHO) defines workspace stress as “the response people may have when presented with work demands and pressures that are not matched to their knowledge and abilities and which challenge their ability to cope”. Some policy guidelines from WHO to tackle work stress and improve workplace culture are:

1) Analysing the mental health issues,

2) Developing the policy 

3) Developing strategies to implement the policy 

4) Implementing and evaluating the policy 

“Our aim is that all workspaces in India are seen as a fair and non-discriminatory zone as far as stress, and mental ill-health are concerned,”

says Pallab K Maulik, Deputy Director,  George Institute for Global Health India, adding:  

“The government should play a key role in ensuring that policies are in place that address workspace stress. Not only should the government identify vulnerable populations such as women, persons with disability at different workspaces, but also ensure that every sector has appropriate safeguards to protect the rights of all employees including vulnerable populations”.

Arting Health for Impact has been conceived jointly by the Welcome Trust/DBT India Alliance with Infers Group (Botswana) and Interfer (South Africa) and is being implemented in India with the George Institute, as a multilateral and multinational collaborative project that aims to connect artists, scientists and the general community to explore science and health through street art, providing a creative urban space and an opportunity for all participants to express their ideas.

“With biomedical science as inspiration and art as a medium for engagement, we aim to innovate and implement novel strategies for effectively communicating the art of science to the public,”

says Shahid Jameel, CEO of the Welcome Trust/DBT India Alliance.

As a first step, the two organisations will organise a one-day workshop on workspace stress and its management on August 30 in New Delhi. This workshop will include open discussions, experience sharing and creative arts sessions to help participants understand, express and engage with the complexities of mental health

This will be followed by a public engagement event on September 14 at the Saket Select City Walk Mall where live art and theatre performances will be held with all partners present. The event will be open to the public. Customers visiting the mall will get to interact with the artists, community representatives and biomedical practitioners, allowing the interaction to influence the artwork.