Buddhist, grandad and a karate black belt. Meet Prasadu ahead of Mental Health Awareness Week

Prasadu is a Buddhist name meaning brightness and clarity and that's what he hopes to share with CHFT colleagues who have been inspired by his mindfulness courses. In our latest Hello My Name Is.... he tells us more about himself... and that snake*.

Hello My Name Is... Prasadu.

I studied psychology at the University of Hull then went on to take a postgraduate degree in clinical psychology at the University of Manchester qualifying in 1982. I live locally with my wife, who is also a clinical psychologist. We have three sons who have all left home now to pursue their careers.

My eldest son has two children of his own, so I'm a proud grandad of two grandsons.

After studying comparative religion for a short time with the Open University, I became interested in Buddhism and began studying at the Manchester Buddhist Centre, eventually being ordained into a Buddhist Order in 1994.

I was given the name Prasadu by my preceptor which means, amongst other things, brightness and clarity. Since then I have taught mindfulness* and meditation while maintaining a personal practice in both. I also teach Buddhism from time to time in Manchester.

I was appointed Director of Psychology Services for CHFT in 1996 after working in various positions in the North West Region, gaining experience in primary care, drug and alcohol services and older adult services.

After working for South West Yorkshire Mental Healthcare Trust as an associate director on the trust board while maintaining my clinical role in Calderdale, I was later appointed as Director of Psychology for CHFT where I am also an honorary Buddhist Chaplain. 

One of the many highlights of my career so far has been taking on the responsibility for mindfulness teaching to the staff of this trust.

My clinical role in three words can be described as "providing psychological interventions". 

When I was growing up I wanted to be the lead guitarist in a rock band. 

My hero is David Gilmour of Pink Floyd who achieved what I never could! 

When not at work I relax by trying to keep fit, running and weight training, doing crossword puzzles and sailing whenever I can.

My favourite place is where I was born: Whitby. 

Surprising fact: I practiced Kyokushinkai karate for a while and hold a black belt in Shotokan karate!

*When Prasadu was on holiday in Sri Lanka he was dared by a friend to put a python around his neck, after passing a snake charmer with a box of snakes. Well of course he couldn't turn down a dare!

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*Take a look at all the courses on offer.

It's also Mental Health Awareness Week starting on Monday 13th - and we're getting behind the #EmpowerHalfHour campaign run by Mental Health First Aid England - see attached or look at their website

There are loads of Mindfulness Courses on offer for our colleagues, from short three week courses aimed at busy people, to courses to help combat stress. It's worth looking at the timetable so you can plan your diary. Take a look below:

Mindfulness for Wellbeing (20 places on each)

A four week course sharing a toolkit of mindfulness practices that are associated with improvements in health and Wellbeing.

CRH – starts May

  • Tuesday 14th May 10 – 12 Large training Room CRH
  • Tuesday 21st  May 10 – 12 Large training Room CRH
  • Tuesday 28th May 10 – 12 Large training Room CRH
  • Tuesday  4th June  10 – 12 Large training Room CRH

HRI – starts May

  • Wednesday 22nd May 10 – 12 DR2 HRI
  • Wednesday 29th May 10 – 12 DR2 HRI
  • Wednesday 5th June 10 – 12 DR1 HRI
  • Wednesday 12th June 10 – 12 Boardroom HRI

Mindfulness for Busy People (20 places on each)

A three week course looking at micro practices – the mindfulness of day to day activities

CRH – starts July

  • Monday 15th July 14.30 – 16.30 Medium training Room CRH
  • Monday 22nd July 14.30 – 16.30 Medium training Room CRH
  • Monday 29th July 14.30 – 16.30 Medium training Room CRH

HRI – starts July

  • Wednesday 17th July 14.30 – 16.30 DR2 HRI
  • Wednesday 24th July 14.30 – 16.30 DR2 HRI
  • Wednesday 31 July 14.30 – 16.30 DR2 HRI

CRH – starts November

  • Monday 4th November 10 – 12am Large training Room CRH
  • Monday 11th November 10-12am Large training Room CRH
  • Monday 18th November 10 – 12am Large training Room CRH

CRH – starts September

  • Monday 9th September 14.30 – 16.30 Medium training Room CRH
  • Monday 16th September 14.30 – 16.30 Medium training Room CRH
  • Monday 23rd September 14.30 – 16.30 Medium training Room CRH
  • Monday 30th September 14.30 – 16.30 Medium training Room CRH

HRI – starts November

  • Tuesday 5th November 14.30 – 16.30 DR3 HRI
  • Tuesday 12th November 14.30 – 16.30 DR2 HRI
  • Tuesday 19th November 14.30 – 16.30 DR2 HRI
  • Tuesday 26th November 14.30 – 16.30 Lecture theatre HRI

“One off” stand-alone sessions

Mindfulness Taster session – an ideal for anyone who is curious or new to mindfulness to find out a bit more and give it a go before committing to a course!

  • Tuesday 11th June 10 – 12 Large training room CRH
  • Tuesday 6th August 10 – 12 DR2 HRI
  • Monday 12th August 14.30 – 16.30 Medium training Room CRH
  • Wednesday 9th October 10 – 12 DR2 HRI
  • Monday 25th November 10 -12 Medium training Room CRH

Mindfulness of Sound and Silence

A pilot programme new in 2019 – stress reduction and increasing presence focus: relaxing into your work environment via of hearing and listening

  • Monday 19th August 14.30 – 16.30 Medium training Room CRH
  • Monday 14th October 14.30 – 16.30 Medium training Room CRH
  • Wednesday 4th December 14.30 – 16.30 DR1 HRI
  • Monday 9th December 10 – 12 Large training Room CRH

Drop-in sessions  

One off sessions, open to anyone who has attended a previous mindfulness course and wants to brush up on their skills or re-boot their practice

  • Tuesday 18th June 10 – 12 Large training room CRH
  • Wednesday 19th June 10 – 12 DR2 HRI
  • Monday 5th August 14.30 – 16.30 Medium training room CRH
  • Wednesday 11th September 14.30 – 16.30 Boardroom HRI
  • Monday 7th October 14.30 – 16.30 Medium training room CRH
  • Monday 2nd December 10 – 12 Medium training Room CRH

To book a place please send an email to gemma.stokes@cht.nhs.uk or occupational.healthCHT@cht.nhs.uk