By: Preety Chaudhary
Renowned Mental Health Experts Dr.Samir Parikh and Kamna Chhibber have launched the book ‘Alone in the crowd: Overcoming Loneliness of Urban Living’. The book comes at a pertinent time when the loneliness of urban living has been getting highlighted prominently, especially in the context of covid era, where most of the people were confined to their homes. The book provides significant insights into where the problem of loneliness emerges from, how it affects people – their mental health and overall well-being. The book describes the multifaceted approach that is needed to tackle the issue.
Most of us have experienced loneliness in some form or the other and more so in the covid lockdowns. As people navigate their way towards growth and success, they find themselves ‘busy’ and others around them ‘unavailable’. This urban existence with its multidimensional challenges has led to an upsurge in the experiencing loneliness and taking stock of the issue remains crucial. The book explores the spaces from which the problem of urban loneliness arises. It portrays in detail the facets of our lives which are contributing towards the emergence of this scenario. In Alone in the Crowd, the authors go beyond highlighting the existence of the problem to enlisting ways in which this pandemic, in the midst of the current pandemic, can be tackled. Encouraging readers to concurrently focus on the need to live mindfully, this book also highlights key learnings from the pandemic.
While releasing the book Dr Ashutosh Raghuvanshi, CEO & MD, Fortis Healthcare said, “In today’s time, particularly given the context of the pandemic, we recognise the huge detrimental impact that loneliness can have upon people by impacting their mental health. It is critical that people, individuals and communities, take active steps and measures to understand and assess this growing problem and go beyond simply acknowledging it in the direction of inculcating proactive measures to tackle it effectively.”
Dr. Samir Parikh has in the recent past released several books that pertain to promoting mental health and well-being both for children and adults. He shared, “We recognise that there is a growing disconnect that many people experience within their families, communities and workplaces. This has a strong negative impact on their sense of well-being and can be a precursor towards the development of mental health related problems. As a result, it is critically important that we emphasize the development of approaches to combat this state of loneliness.”
Kamna Chhibber shared, “The book has been written to help develop a comprehensive understanding of where loneliness can stem from and the ways in which people can engage in caring for themselves, while focusing on living more mindfully in the urban spaces they occupy. Research suggests that loneliness in the longer run can affect the mental health of people. It’s time that people and societies come forward to discuss about the much-ignored issue, which has engulfed the society be it children, adolescents, adults and the old generation. A multi-stakeholder approach needs to be adopted to reduce the growing burden of mental health which stems from loneliness and other related issues.”
The book has been published by Rupa Publications and is available at Amazon and leading bookstores.
Department of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Fortis Healthcare
The Department of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences at Fortis Healthcare is an integrated mental healthcare system comprising a multidisciplinary team of experts including psychiatrists, clinical and counselling psychologists, art and movement-based therapists, psycho-oncologists, remedial experts, psychodynamic psychotherapists, organizational behaviour psychologists and sport psychologists. Led by Dr Samir Parikh, Director, Fortis National Mental Health Program, it is the one of the few multi-city multi-centric comprehensive mental health programmes in the world, with a presence in 24 centres across Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, Mohali, Ludhiana, Amritsar, and Jaipur. With a key focus on preventive and positive mental health, the department runs the Fortis School Mental Health Program, which is completely free of cost to schools. The Fortis Stress Helpline (8376804102) is a 24 X 7 helpline run by a multilingual team of mental health professionals to support individuals experiencing emotional distress.