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The “Exploring Brain and Mental Health” exhibit opened at the Nehru Science Centre (NSC) in Mumbai, India, on Monday, February 11, 2019.
Developed by McLean Hospital, a leading psychiatric hospital in the United States, in collaboration with the NSC and the Dr. N.S. Vahia Foundation, the exhibit aims to reduce the stigma associated with mental health. The exhibit features interesting information about the brain and mental health, compelling stories from people who live with mental illness, and the opportunity for visitors to handle a real human brain. Along with the exhibit, the NSC is also hosting a daily lecture series that covers mental health topics of significance to people of all ages.
Among the first visitors to the exhibit were cricket legend Shane Warne, who handled a brain and discussed his interest in promoting mental health awareness, Praveen Pardeshi, additional chief secretary to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, who discussed the government’s commitment to improve mental health care, and Ranjit Barthakur, executive chairman of the Rajasthan Royals cricket team, who was instrumental in bringing this special exhibit to the NSC.
One in five Indians—an equivalent of 200 million people—may experience depression in their lifetime. Yet, despite that dramatic number, because of the stigma that is associated with mental illness, as well as lack of awareness and limited access to psychiatric care, less than 15% will seek help.
The exhibit at the NSC, E. Moses Road, Worli, Mumbai-400018, is free and open to the public daily, 11:30am-05:30pm, through February 17, 2019.
Nehru Science Centre, Mumbai, is a part of the National Council of Science Museums, an autonomous scientific institution under the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. It is dedicated to imparting science education and creating scientific awareness and scientific temper through scientific exhibition and interaction between leaders in science and young students. It receives more than 700,000 visitors annually.
The Dr. N.S. Vahia Foundation, a not-for-profit NGO, was launched in the year 2007 in memory of the late Dr. N. S. Vahia. He pioneered the concept of providing global standards of care for the mentally ill when he set up the first-ever department of psychiatry in a general hospital in India, the K.E.M. Hospital and Seth G.S. Medical College, Mumbai. His well-wishers and students founded the Dr. N.S. Vahia Foundation, which aspires to propagate Dr. N.S. Vahia’s vision and mission to provide global standards of medical care to the mentally ill in India. The foundation hosts educational programs for young psychiatrists and other mental health professionals from Maharashtra on subjects related to newer developments in the field of mental health.