UKTSU hosted their fifth annual health awareness event,‘Nalamthaana’ on Saturday 31st March at Ealing Amman Temple. Nalamthaana was a one day health workshop event that aimed to educate the Tamil community of common health issues faced by many Tamil people in the UK. Healthcare professionals including Consultants, GP’s, Cardiologists and Opticians as well as many Healthcare students came together to provide advice, free health checks and promote a healthy lifestyle amongst the community.
This year, we explored issues surrounding ‘Mental Health’ which is a common problem in the Tamil Community. Due to the stigma surrounding Mental Health related topics, it still remains an issue of taboo to many of our Tamil people as it is not openly discussed in a large scale. In addition to Mental Health, we also discussed ‘Arthritis’ as this is another rapidly growing health problem amongst our people.
The day started off with a series of talks. First was a talk by Dr Balu Pitchiah, a consultant psychiatrist, who discussed common mental health issues including depression, stress and anxiety and explained some of the key factors that contribute to these conditions. He explained how a lack of a healthy lifestyles and everyday work and social pressures can affect your mental wellbeing. Dr Pitchiah has a clinic in London where he provides psychiatry services and consultations for a range of conditions. More information regarding his clinic and its’ services can be found here, www.emotionalwellnessclinic.co.uk/
Next, was an engaging talk given by Gajan Kengatharan, a medical student who discussed the importance of paying attention to Arthritis. He described the different types of arthritis including back pain and explained the treatment and management of the conditions including the management of pain and the importance on incorporating exercise into our daily routines. Lastly, was a talk given by Sinthuja who spoke about the NHS and the various procedures and regulations surrounding waiting times, referrals and appointments.
Following the talks was a Q&A session with a panel of clinicians who answered common health questions and clarified general health concerns among the audience. The panel was made up of a range of professionals; comprising of two GP’s, a cardiologist and a psychiatrist. Some of the topics discussed in the Q&A included dietary recommendations for diabetic patients, basic first aid and occupational health.
Finally, the audience had a chance to visit the various stalls where they had the opportunity to talk and gain advice from the professionals directly. The different stalls included Mental Health, Cardiology, Optometry, Physiotherapy and Diabetes as well as a health check stall where the audience went to get their BMI and blood pressure measurements taken. As the day came to close, a prize was also presented to our lucky winner from our raffle ticket competition where she won a fitness tracker.
We would like to thank all the professionals, students and volunteers who helped to make Nalamthaana a successful event! Many benefited from your help and we hope to continue to promote good health in the future. If you would like to get involved or find out more information regarding next year’s event please do get in touch with us at [email protected], we’d love to hear from you.