Ātman. It is a concept in Hinduism that refers to the ‘spirit’ of a person. The spirit of a person has such power over that individual. The Ātman more or less influences willpower. Breaking this ‘spirit’ of a person would have many effects on his/her life.

According to data collected by the World Bank in 2019, the suicide rate in Sri Lanka was found to be 14(per 100,000). Although there has been a slow decline in this statistic over the past years, it still placed the country in the top 40 in terms of suicide rates.

While it is still a prevailing social issue seen in the country, the most alarming observation is the taboo that surrounds it and the reluctance of people to come forward and talk about it. It is with this in mind that the Rotaract Club of Excellence -District 3220 along with the Interact Club of D. S Senanayake, Colombo and the Rotaract Club of Kavre Campus – District 3292 have taken the initiative to organize ‘Re-Energize 2.0: Embracing the power of Atman’.

The event was held on Thursday, the 30th of September from 7.30 pm onwards via Zoom.

This event looks to break the social barriers that are in place which prevents individuals to come out and speak openly about their personal issues and griefs. It was a discussion forum that focused on the questions that were collected by the public through surveys prior to the event. The forum comprised several key spokespeople who were able to shed some light on the issue of suicide and answer the inquiries sent in by the audience members.

Ms. Rasini Bandara, a renowned psychologist at Mind Heals Pvt. (Ltd) would be one of the guest speakers at the event. She was joined by Ms. Nevindee Amarasinghe, founder of GoodPR and Good Media, Mr. Ranil Thilakaratne, manager of the ‘1333 – CCC line’, a suicide helpline and Mr. Nivendra Uduman, counseling psychologist and psychotherapist as guest speakers in order to discuss the problems surrounding this social issue and thereby break the social stigma surrounding suicide.

This was an evening that was helpful for more than 100 participants locally & internationally to understand mental health issues. It was definitely a night full of great experiences shared by the speakers. You are not alone,

‘embrace the power of Ātman’.

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