“Cultural therapy” for mental health patients!
Research is needed to determine the best approach to treating patients with mental illnesses. A group of Dhaka University students of theater and performance studies department started research at Pabna Mental Hospital -- on how patients suffering from mental illness can be treated using "cultural therapy".
In the past two days, a group of five departmental students -- Fazle Navid Onon, Tanvir Newaz Tirtho, Jannatul Mawa Nibir, Farzana Afrin Meem, and Shithi Ishra Risil -- conducted field research among patients and medical staff of the hospital, reports our Pabna correspondent.
"Many of the mentally ill people we spoke with have an extraordinary ability to expose themselves. In addition to traditional medicine, they also need cultural therapy to help them enjoy life. Cultural therapy can help a mental patient in this way," said Fazle Navid Onon, a member of the research team.
He explained that theoretically, cultural therapy is divided into three categories: "art therapy," "drama therapy," and "music therapy."
"Different patients have various preferences. Some patients enjoy drama and painting, while others enjoy music. Before working with a patient, we must first determine what is appropriate for that patient," said another team member Jannatul Mawa.
"The majority of the patients we spoke with and tried to implement these three methods with during our visit to the mental hospitals in Pabna had positive responses, so we are optimistic that the cultural therapy will be successful for mental patients," she added.
"We have already gathered patient histories and followed their medical care before deciding to start therapy," said Tanvir Newaz, adding that the initiative will be more successful if it takes on an organisational structure.
Students launched the research work under the supervision of departmental teacher Professor Dr Ishrafil Shahin to implement "cultural therapy" for giving treatment among the mental patients.
However, Dr Safkat Wahid, director of Pabna Mental Hospital, told The Daily Star that if "cultural therapy" can be properly implemented, it will be a key development in the treatment of mental patients, but it should be implemented at the domestic level.