National Conference 2019

The two day ICSSR sponsored National Conference  on Enhancing Mental Health Across the Life Span : Issues, Challenges and Interventions organized by the Psychology Department of M.E.S College of Arts& Commerce, Zuarinagar Goa  was held on the 1st and 2nd  March 2019 at Ravindra Bhavan, Baina-Vasco. The convenor of the National Conference was Asst. Prof. Cedila Pereira e Gomes. Principal Dr R.B. Patil welcomed the gathering while Asst. Prof. Cedila Pereira e Gomes introduced the theme of the conference while Dr. Freda Pereira introduced the dignitaries of inaugural function and Asst. Prof. Sweta Matonkar proposed the vote of thanks.

The Chief Guest for the inaugural function was Dr Richard Velleman, an Emeritus Professor, of Mental Health Research, University of Bath, UK. He emphasized the importance of encouraging mental health, across the lifespan, about creating a focus on health, not illness or disability or problems. According to him, there are many factors in young people’s lives which increase the risk that things will go wrong for them such problems in their families (e.g alcohol, violence), problems with their friends (getting into the wrong company, trying alcohol or drugs, especially at a young age) and problems in their society (inequality, poverty, discrimination).He also emphasized the fact that family and  Individual/Community  factors increase the chances of a healthy adolescence with attachment and Security being the key elements that lead to resilience. He also stressed on 5 key things that can impact on our mental health as move into old age such as participation in meaningful activities, retaining or developing relationships, physical health, poverty and discrimination.

Address by the Keynote Speaker- Dr. Suchita Kochargaonkar, Principal, Bhonsala Military College, Nashik. According to her, many factors contribute to mental health problems, such as biological factors, life experiences, family history of mental health problems and various circumstances of life e.g. Death or profound illness. She felt that we need to respond to the early warning signs of a mental health problem. She also emphasized that neuropsychiatric disorders are among the leading causes of worldwide disability in young people. She also cited the common mental health disorders such as anxiety disorders, behavioral disorders, eating, disorders, mental health and substance use disorders, mood disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, personality disorders, psychotic disorders, suicidal behavior, trauma and stress related disorders and social media related disorder. She also highlighted the essence of positive mental health and wellness and the issues and challenges of mental health in India.

Various resource persons from different parts of the country contributed to the two day National Conference such as Dr. Wilbur Gonsalves, Asst Prof. in Psychology, Department of Applied Psychology and Counselling Centre, Mumbai University who chaired a session on ‘Enhancing Resilience among the youth’.

Dr. Megha Deuskar, Associate Professor, P.G Department in Psychology, Fergusson College- Poona chaired a session on ‘Enhancing mental health in the elderly’. She also conducted an expert session on the topic, ‘Mental health problems among the elderly: issues and challenges’.


 Dr. Ritu Sharma, Associate Professor & Chairperson in Psychology, School of Liberal Studies - Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University chaired a session on ‘Enhancing psychological well being at the workplace and conducted an expert session on the topic, ‘Gender stereotypes in mental health’.


 Dr. Shanmukh Kamble, Associate Professor and Chairperson, Department of Psychology, Karnatak University, Dharwad chaired a session on ‘Understanding the dimensions of mental health across the life span’ and conducted an expert session on the topic, ‘Promoting mental health for at risk children and youth’.


Dr. Shinde, an Associate Professor, H.O.D, Department of Psychology, Poona University chaired a session on ‘Enhancing mental health in adult life’.

The Chief Guest for the Valedictory Function was Dr Amit Dias, Assistant Professor, Department of Preventive Medicine, Goa Medical College, Bambolim.

The Guest of Honor was Dr Mahesh Pai, Principal of Home Science, Panjim and H.O.D department of psychology, Govt. College Khandola.

At the Valedictory function, Principal Dr R.B. Patil welcomed the gathering while Dr. Freda Pereira introduced the dignitaries, while Asst. Prof. Cedila Pereira e Gomes proposed the vote of thanks.

In all, there were participants from 11 outstation colleges from the states of Karnataka, Maharashtra, Hyderabad and Gujarat. From within the state of Goa, delegates from 10 colleges participated in the National Conference. 27 delegates presented their research papers in the two day National Conference, while 23 selected papers were published in the UGC Peer Reviewed Journal “AJANTA”.  Around 120 students, professionals and educationists participated in this two day National Conference. Ms. Michelle D’Mello, Lecturer in the Department of English was the compere for the Inaugural and Valedictory functions.