24 May 2018
The Department of Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences of Fortis Healthcare has launched a series of storytelling modules, ‘Weaving Skills through tales and folktales.’ The campaign was launched as a national campaign of the Fortis School Mental Health Programme. Till date, 68 workshops in 36 schools across several cities including Mohali, have been successfully conducted. Each workshop is 45 minutes long followed by a round of questions and answers. The campaign is led by Dr Samir Parikh, Director, Mental Health & Behavioural Sciences, Fortis Healthcare.
The modules have been designed for primary school students (Panchatantra tales and problem solving), adolescents (abstract thinking using stories), schoolteachers (stories as an effective approach to thinking) and parents (parenting tips using stories and storytelling). A trained team of mental healthcare professionals administer these workshops.
Dr. Samir Parikh, Director, Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Fortis Healthcare said,“We believe stories have lasting impacts on the lives of young people. It allows them to identify with characters and situations, also helps them to become creative and connected with the cultural roots at the same time. We used stories from Panchtantra with children and they enjoyed it. We conducted our School Counselor Forum series on Storytelling as a Psychotherapeutic Method for over 40 school counselors, and helped them learn the application of story-telling in counseling for child and adolescent psychological issues.
Jyoti Sharma, Counselling Psychologist has been conducting these workshops for Fortis Hospital Mohali. She has conducted sessions for 10 schools across the tricity reaching over 2,220 students, 150 parents and 120 teachers.
According to Jyoti Sharma, “I have been conducting a variety of workshops but the kind of focus, attention, interaction and creativity which follows in these Weaving Skills through Tales and Stories workshops is beautiful to witness. Same story eliciting unique responses with different groups highlights that it encourages us to be imaginative, actively participate and think out of the box.”
She added, “Storytelling as a medium is not only effective amongst students but across all the age groups including parents and teachers. We have been using storytelling to inculcate Life skills such as problem solving and abstract thinking; & for parenting tips and as an effective approach to teaching.”
The objective is to introduce new and innovative techniques to enable learning. The establishment of a higher recall value using stories as a learning medium is the originality of this campaign. In the past, values and learnings have been passed down from generation to generation through the medium of stories. However, in today’s fast paced world, no one uses stories as a medium to impart wisdom and advice. Every adult is focused on maximizing time in the most efficient manner, and to do so the art of storytelling is lost.