Mental Health Program
MAFS conducted the mental health talk session on March 15th, 2023, at Schaumburg Library. 40 seniors from the Schaumburg and surrounding suburbs attended the session. The speaker was Dr. Devi Jayan, a Clinical Psychologist at the University of Chicago. She addressed the issue of stigmatization of mental health from the South Asian perspective. She encouraged the audience to shed off deep-rooted inhibitions and openly seek professional help for mental health issues. She spoke about Depression and Anxiety and how the two are often interconnected. Useful tips and tools on how to handle these two conditions were shared with the seniors. The speaker incorporated a very effective mindfulness exercise in the session which gave instant relaxation to the audience. The whole talk session was translated into the Hindi language by MAFS staff for seniors to understand easily. The audience asked many questions related to their specific problems which Dr. Devi answered patiently. She also shared some very useful resources with the audience e.g., links to mental health books, relaxation techniques, and names of mental health providers. In the end, the audience participated in mental screening through questionnaires PHQ-9 and GAD-7. MAFS staff collected their contact information via the screening forms so that scores can be communicated at a later stage. Overall, the session was very engaging and successful in spreading awareness about mental health concerns in the South Asian senior community.