There are peaks and troughs of mental health and finding a cure for mental instability is much harder than curing a physical injury. Especially during these turbulent times, many undergo different mental issues due to lack of human interactions, job insecurity, working from home, and various other causes. Hence in the spirit of the mental health awareness theme for the year 2021 “Mental Health in an Unequal World”, RACUOCFMF initiated a joint project ‘Break Free’ with Rotaract Clubs of Calumpit and Alicia from the Philippines and Rotaract Club of Pitalito from Columbia as their first project under the International Service Avenue for the Rotaract year.

Break Free was a two-phased project where the first phase was a webinar that got blessed with mental health experts and the second phase was a fun games night that cheered the crowd with excitement.

The first phase ‘’A Better You’’ was held on October 9th at 6.30 a.m via Zoom platform. Despite the unusual time in Sri Lanka where many were in deep sleep, an engaging audience was presented proving that many adored an interactive session. The event commenced with the quote “You are confined only by the walls you build yourself! Thus, believe in your infinite potential and Break Free” followed by the opening speeches of the Rtr. Hasna Imtikhab, President of the Rotaract club of University Of Colombo, Faculty of Management and Finance Rtr. Arshad Ismail, President of club Calumpit Rtr. Gail Carlos and President of club Alicia Rtr. Kristina Bautista.

Next, our first guest speaker Ms. Joy B. Albania representing club Calumpit from the Philippines spoke about self-awareness and coping mechanisms for mental stress-related issues with her experience as a psychometrician. This was an interactive session where the participants answered some tests and Ms Joy evaluated them. This was followed by a Q & A session where participants cleared their doubts. Afterwards, to lighten the atmosphere a member of Rotaract club OF Pitalito from Columbia sang a Spanish song and a fellow member of RACUOCFMF, Shaheni sang ‘’Heal the World’’. The soothing voices of the singers blended well with the morning bliss.

Mr. Naren Selvarathnam who is a psychologist representing RACUOCFMF Sri Lanka then took the screen with how to deal with stress during the pandemic while also sharing real-life stories. This was an informative session which was then followed by a Q & A session. Next, the Rotaract club of Alicia shared a lip-syncing video performed by their members. Lastly, Rtr Piraveena Pahirathan the MC for the event ended the webinar which was followed by a formal vote of thanks by the other Co-chairperson Rtr. Senuri Samaraweera successfully concluding ‘A Better You.’

The second phase ‘Virtual Clash’ was held on the 10th of October at 6.30 pm where members of the collaborating clubs had a relaxing night with games such as guessing foods and countries based on the emojis, gibberish, Bring Me, guess the songs and movies, Bingo, etc. The virtual clash ended with members from different countries interacting and developing fellowship among cultures while increasing their mental well-being.

A project that increased mental health and established unity between nations marked its conclusion brightening the mood, adding a smile in many faces and creating everlasting bonds with Rotaractors beyond the boundaries of Sri Lankan ocean.

Written By:-

Rtr. Hasna Imtikhab
(Member 2021-22)

Edited By:-

Rtr. Lumini Wellala
(Blog Team Member 2021-22)

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