World Mental Health Day is never complete without a march around Colombo dodging traffic and breathing in bus fumes.

With World Mental Health Day coming and going on October 10, it’s been a busy time in the mental health and the media world.

In September, there were four different training sessions offered for over a 100 journalists on mental health reporting. In October, there were events almost every day promoting various mental health issues, all of which required news releases, photos and website updates. I also somehow managed to get invited to the Minister of Health’s office, hang out in Parliament for a few hours and have a sit down in the President’s living room!?!

Working in a mental health media unit of one, I’ve been a busy volunteer.

I also managed to find myself sometimes thrust in front of the microphone too and I was instantly reminded why I chose to go into the print side of the media 12 years ago in journalism school. It also reminded me that all of the TV assignments I did put together in school were used in the blooper video at graduation.

I might have made it as a comedian, but not as a broadcaster.

Needless to say, TV has never been my forte, but when you’re already working in a completely foreign environment, why not go on national TV as a judge in a debate?

So that’s what I did a few weeks back, when I was called in as an emergency replacement judge on The Debater, a high school debating tournament. The judging panel included the Director of the College of Journalism, the head of a University English department and me, some white guy from Canada who volunteers at the mental hospital.

As you’ll see in the video below, I did my best, but I definitely picked the right path in school.

I also recently was interviewed on a current events show looking into attitudes about mental health. It was a great experience and excellent national exposure for the issues I’m dealing with, but I’m guessing this will be the end of my Sri Lankan TV career. Okay by me.



P.S. I’m wearing a butterfly to support a World Mental Health Day project I was a part of…check it out on Facebook:

Global Perspectives on Mental Health

Part 1

Part 2 –

Part 3

The Debater

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4