Saturday, April 18, 2020

Emotional CPR & Spiritual Emergency: Lauren explained about emotional crisis that led to her being diagnosed with “schizophrenia” and further hospitalization.

Health Advocate and Peer counsellor , Vipan Sachdeva asked Dan what his understanding of the term was and if in his opinion it had some similarity to “Spiritual Bankruptcy” Mr. Vatsyayan clarified that “Spiritual Bankruptcy” is a term frequently used in “Narcotics Anonymous”. Lauren provided context to the term “Spiritual Emergency”. She had used the term during training to explain her emotional crisis that led to her being diagnosed with “schizophrenia” and further hospitalization.

An online meeting was organized by Dr. Daniel Fisher (Dan) and Lauren Spiro in association with Nada India Foundation as a follow up to the training conducted on March 16th, 2020 to discuss the future of Nada Health Advocates as practitioners of emotional CPR on April 9th,2020 at 17:30 IST. The meeting was attended by Mr. Suneel Vatsyayan (Chairman, Nada India), Ms. Pallavi V. (Project Director, Nada India), Ms. Riya Thapliyal (Peer Counselor, Nada India), Ms. Jyotsna Roy, Mr. Vipan Sachdeva, Ms. Kushangi Roy and Ms. Pooja Choudhary. The agenda was set to taking feedback post the training session as we as discussing the road ahead.  While Lauren had conducted the training last month, Dr. Fisher and the emotional CPR practitioners were interacting for the first time. What is emotional CPR? 
Emotional CPR (eCPR) is a public health education program designed to teach people to assist others through an emotional crisis by three simple steps: C = Connecting, P = emPowering, and R = Revitalizing. People who have been through the training consistently report that the skills they learned have helped them communicate better in all their relationships.”
“We believe in eCPR to bring better communication, especially in times of distress. We are excited to connect beyond language and culture and want for people to support and understand each other.”
  • Dr Daniel Fisher 
 Therapy v/s emotional CPR.
Mr. Vatsayan mentioned how he thought therapy is complicated process. He felt eCPR on the other hand was as simple as getting a glass of water. Dr Fisher appreciated this analogy and added that he wanted to make emotional CPR accessible and easy to reproduce. In his opinion too, therapy procedures are complex whereas eCPR is a simple way of being; how one can be with themselves and other people, how one can communicate better and on a deeper level. To this Lauren added how eCPR is simple and a heart to heart connection. She believes that it is all about compassion. 
“The greatest gift that we brings to another person in distress is, ourselves”, said Lauren. 
Practicing eCPR
Health Advocate, Pooja Choudhary, felt that everyone uses eCPR in their daily lives, knowingly or unknowingly. She also observed that generally we practice it with people we know. “jo humse close hote hain, unhi ke saath hum eCPR practice karte hain. Anjaan log jab apno se hi nahi baat kar pate toh humse kaise karenge (We practice it with people who are close to us. When a stranger can’t tell their plight to the people they know, how will they discuss it with us)”, noted Pooja. Dr Fisher agreed that connecting is easier with people we know however eCPR can be practiced with strangers also. It’s like CPR. In his words, “It (eCPR) is a universal language of emotions which supersedes language and culture.” He substantiated this with the example of a baby. We and the baby don’t share a language; it cries and we try to soothe it. We don’t know why it is crying, it gives us clues, we try to address its needs but almost always it needs to be soothed and eventually we realise what it needs. To this Mr. Vatsyayan added, “you don’t tell the child to not cry, you comfort it. We should be the same way to people”.
Spiritual Emergency
Mr. Vatsyayan briefed Lauren and about how in previous virtual discussions with the health advocates we have discussed self-care, quiet time and our understanding of a “Spiritual Emergency”.
Health Advocate, Vipan Sachdeva asked Dan what his understanding of the term was and if in his opinion it had some similarity to “Spiritual Bankruptcy”. Mr. Vatsyayan clarified that “Spiritual Bankruptcy” is a term frequently used in “Narcotics Anonymous”.Lauren provided context to the term “Spiritual Emergency”. She had used the term during training to explain her emotional crisis that led to her being diagnosed with “schizophrenia” and further hospitalization. It took her 25 years to realise that all she needed was for someone to listen to her and practice eCPR, there was no need for medication. Dan observed how we are all living in an era of spiritual bankruptcy, we are cut off from our spirit and emotions. He said, “This process of ecpr came from my lived experience that was labelled schizophrenia. If I had been accompanied by people who had been through their own spiritual healing and had not been distressed by my own distress, I would not have needed to be hospitalised”. In his opinion, mental illness is connected to heart, soul and being and not just the brain. “We can’t remain mindful in times of distress, we need other to nourish us”, noted Dan.   
Qualities of an emotional CPR Practitioner
Dan and Lauren mentioned the following qualities that a person needs to have to be an efficient eCPR Practitioner:
  • Passion for helping others
  • Big-heartedness
  • Comfort with working with groups
  • Exposed to eCPR and passionate about it.
  • People who are transparent and comfortable with their feelings.
  • If they’re professional, they shouldn’t hold tightly to the boundaries of their profession. They are a human being first.
Separating Profession from eCPR
The last quality mentioned by Dan brought Health Advocate Kushangi Roy to explain to Dan and Lauren how she has been trained in different kinds of therapy and how it has been nailed in her to ask questions, make suggestions and how it is difficult for her to just listen, which is what eCPR is all about; listening. Her question to Dan and Lauren was how to practice eCPR and not ask questions. Dan mentioned how they discouraged asking questions and giving suggestions. They felt that by questioning and making suggestions, one is “serving the need of the society to conform and behave.” However, since she has been trained in it, she could stick to little questions around curiosity and wonder and avoid close and interrogative questions. Kusha further questioned on how during physical distancing in the times of corona, she can develop a connection with people over phone. To answer this, while Dan mentioned the importance of tone, Mr. Vatsyayan explained how he himself disconnect with the world in order to connect with the person in distress. Lauren resonated with Mr. Vatsyayan and mentioned how she followed a similar technique. 
The Road Ahead
Both Lauren and Dan were excited to bring the practiced of eCPR to India through the digital medium and wished to take it one step at a time.  

Thursday, February 20, 2020

World Cancer Day 2020 @Nada India

Riya Nada India Youth Catalyst attended "Survivor's Day" organised by Indian Cancer Society on 6th February,2020 at Select Citywalk Mall. The event had a burst of colour and laughter celebrating the victory of people against cancer. There were dance and musical performances by survivors young and old as well as some professional groups who had all come together to create a joyous afternoon in the wake of World Cancer Day. What stuck with me were the words of a doctor from Max Hospital who said, "We fall sick alone, but we can heal in a community. Let's forms a human chain to combat cancer."

World Cancer Day 2020: Cancer Prevention through Alcohol Policy
Alcohol-related cancer deaths are a global public health crisis.
For breast cancer globally, alcohol is the single biggest risk factor.
In total, alcohol-related cancer causes 650.00 deaths every year.

But awareness and understanding of the alcohol-cancer link remains shockingly low and a far cry from the levels of awareness of smoking and cancer.

This is not only a matter of public health concern but a social justice crisis.


It is time to change that and turn the tide on alcohol-fuelled cancer.Evidence shows that informing people, increasing awareness and understanding of alcohol's cancer risks leads to bigger support for alcohol prevention and control measures. This in turn leads to significant reductions in cancer mortality.
We calculated the cancer deaths averted from improved alcohol policy through a 10% and a 30% total per capita alcohol consumption reduction scenario. 
  • Assuming 649,840 alcohol-related cancer deaths in 2017, a 10% reduction of total alcohol use would lead to 9% fewer alcohol-related cancer deaths, meaning 57,300 fewer deaths.
  • With a 30% lower total alcohol consumption, calculations show that 26% of alcohol-related cancer deaths could be averted, meaning 171,460 fewer deaths. 
 let's start the movement to raise awareness among the broader public and empower decision-makers to tackle the alcohol-cancer link. The returns on investment will be substantial...

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Jyotsna Govil .... Our Views,Our Story



Jyostna Govil’s lifelong experience of caring for people living with NCDs has taken many forms. Following her father’s diagnosis with an inoperable stomach cancer 35 years ago, she helped to build the Indian Cancer Society in New Delhi and began dedicating her life to cancer screening, awareness, and patient support. In 2013, Jyotsna’s husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and she spent 6 years caring for him. Today, she works tirelessly with the Healthy India Alliance to help break down stigma and discrimination surrounding NCD treatment and care and to bring her intimate insights of dealing with co-morbidities to the field of NCDs. Universal Health Coverage packages must address the needs of people living with multiple chronic conditions in order to be comprehensive and people-centred. Nada India is founding Governing Board member of Healthy India Alliance 

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Patient Champion Spotlight: Jyotsna Roy

August 2, 2019

During the 2019 World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva, Global Health Council provided several patient champions with the opportunity to share their stories, and contribute to discussions around universal health coverage (UHC). Following the Assembly, we sat down with each patient champion to get their thoughts on WHA. Hear from our patient champion Jyotsna Roy who volunteers with the Nada India Foundation. Nada India has been creating the spaces & nurturing diverse networks of community-based initiatives amongst the marginal and most at-risk populations in the urban and rural. Through its capacity building work Nada India has enabled the vulnerable adolescents & youth to make choices for healthy ways of living. Nada India has also included in its programmes senior citizens and women from the “urban villages”. Gender equity is a strategic objective of Nada India in its vision for a Gender Equal and Just society. Additionally, Nada India works under the framework of the Convention of the Rights of Children, CRC, with children, adolescents and PLWNCDs through the Young India Network for Good Health.

Tell us a little about yourself?

I am an Indian woman and my name is Jyotsna Roy. I have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, which has impacted on my mobility, motor flexibility and sometimes the acuity of my brain. However, on a positive note it has made me sharply aware of the signals my health conditions give me. I am prepared for the long haul of this disease and the consequent morbidity. I am also aware that the medical insurance that I have does not cover this disease. In spite of having a condition which requires close daily monitoring and self –management, I travel and work on international assignments and also in post conflict situations.

I advocate for general “good health and wellbeing” among women who have rheumatoid diseases, specifically focusing on youth with mental health and substance dependence including alcoholism. Nada India, the organization I volunteer with, works with youth groups and also does work through community-based mobilization.

Describe one of your favourite events or one-on-one conversations during WHA, and why?  

The gala evening [Heroines of Health] organized by Women in Global Health in which professionals delivering health services at different levels from specialty hospitals to the primary health care centres were acknowledged, thanked and felicitated.

The session on “accountability” at all levels and through the different stakeholders who are the rights holders and duty bearers. The targeted and transparent delivery of resources and accounting for it is key for efficient and effective service delivery of health services.

In the one-on- one with the fellow Patient Champions we agreed that the political will to reach the last person who needs support for ensuring health is critical and essential. The second is the availability of resources, technical and financial, through the public and private sectors’ participation and contribution was also discussed.

We know this was your first time at WHA. Did anything surprise you?

At WHA for the first time – yes! The availability of snacks and beverages after each event really surprised me, as in other such events these things just vanish.

On a more serious note the partnership of the twelve organizations that are working on the different “accelerators” for the Global Action Plan for Health and Well-being impressed me. The research and development, and the demographic research for the incidence, prevalence and surveillance of diseases as essential accelerators are critical for the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 and its targets. The accelerator on civil society role and engagement and its discussion and actions will interest me.

What were some of the main recommendations or insights that you provided on panels or discussions?

Wow I spoke from experience…

One of the important highlights was that health is hugely gendered and embedded in the socio-cultural and economic micro –and macrocosms.
Ill health costs livelihoods. This affects the workforce and even causes underemployment among the professional or white-collar workforce.
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are mostly not recognised and are a long-term financial burden. There is cause for anxiety and stress related to suffering an NCD because of the longevity in a morbid state and the risk of other comorbidities (NCDs) occurring along the way. Medical insurance does not cover NCDs, the medication, or the disabilities that follow.
There is need for more research on specific NCDs, in addition to the big five diseases. Patient testimonies will be of immense use. Patient empowerment through emotional support, information on holistic health traditions and variety will lessen the morbidity and make them productive.
Women’s health is not only reproductive health. I suspect that the prevalence of NCDs is high among women.
How do you plan to continue or relay these global conversations back home?

The WHA has created a flurry of activities here too, Delhi/India, and we had a youth roundtable on Health, a workshop on SDGs with 200 college students (youth again) as well as a one-day workshop for community health counselors after I returned. And everyone would like a byte and a blog, post event! Phew!

In addition, Nada India has a calendar of events and I am invited to participate and facilitate and contribute. The Young India Network for Good Health is an active network which works at the community level and in the campuses. They are completing a baseline survey on ‘Prevalence of NCDs among alcohol and drug users in Delhi/NCR (National Capital Region)” to understand the need for provision of health education on non-communicable diseases and its risk factors at rehabilitation centres for substances and alcohol dependents.

The members of this group are media savvy and use mass media for messaging on health. This group of young people self-finances their activities of research, awareness raising, community mobilization and action. For them to move to the next level in terms of outreach and engagement with issues and advocacy they need financial and technical support. A very senior journalist blogged about the efforts. I am on call for them as a Resource Person.

What are your top three takeaways from the week?


  1. Patient Empowerment and Patient Advocacy
  2. Get savvy in the use of social media
  3. Partnerships at all levels and geographical spread, to move the SDG 3 agenda and its asks for technical cooperation, effective financial mobilization and Accountability.
Copy rights are with Global Health Council 
Source courtesy:   https://globalhealth.org/patient-champion-spotlight-jyotsna-roy/

Emotional CPR & Spiritual Emergency: Lauren explained about emotional crisis that led to her being diagnosed with “schizophrenia” and further hospitalization.

Health Advocate and Peer counsellor , Vipan Sachdeva asked Dan what his understanding of the term was and if in his opinion it had some si...