Since forever now, mental health has been a difficult conversation in our country, all thanks to the much-dreaded stigma around the topic. And just when we were beginning to think that the conversation finally had a direction, the highly problematic coverage of Sushant Singh Rajput's tragic death and his mental health has proven that we still have a long way to go. 'Look at his happy face and tell us if he looks like someone with depression,' news anchors have been seen asking on prime time news in the past few months. Well, if only it took as much as looking at someone's face for a mental health diagnosis!
To add to the current pool of problems, more often than not, seeking therapy in India is perceived to be as big a 'problem' as mental illnesses itself. I mean, one can be sure of being branded in a certain way once the news of them seeking therapy goes out. The need of the hour? To address this ludicrous mindset, to have positive conversations about mental health and therapy, and celebs being vocal about their own mental health struggles to normalise the topic.
Well, Amitabh Bachchan's granddaughter Navya Naveli Nanda seems to have taken the endeavour by co-founding a health organisation that focuses on mental health and the importance of seeking therapy. By starting Aara Health earlier this earlier in May, Navya joined the league of celebs like Deepika Padukone who have taken it upon themselves to educate people about mental health.
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Through this organisation, Navya along with three other co-founders has been working hard to raise awareness about women's health and mental health. In fact, to catalyze this dialogue, she shared her own struggles with anxiety in a recent discussion and also talked about how seeking therapy helped her a great deal.
Speaking about therapy, Navya shared, “It was something new for me as well. I wanted to kind of experience it myself before talking about it. Obviously, my family knows that I am in therapy but I don’t think any of my friends do. I don’t know if I would still go and tell them."
She further added, “I went fairly recently like you said that you realise when you hit rock bottom. I feel like I hit rock bottom multiple times and I just couldn’t figure out why. I was like okay, obviously something has to change, I need to talk about it. I think it helped to come to that conclusion. Now once a week I am in that routine and I don’t think I am even close to hitting rock bottom because I have everything in control, I am talking to someone. Now I can identify what are the things that even get me to hit rock bottom. People realise too late sometimes that they need to get help."
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Bringing you our first ever Aara Conversation - from the founders: Mallika Sahney Pragya Saboo Ahilya Mehta Navya Nanda Honest. Personal. And very real. We want to share all our experiences with you, in hopes that you may relate to it♥️ Today we wanted to talk about our experience with therapy. Something that all 4 of us have experienced and been through, we wanted to share our journey with you guys. DM or comment below to share your stories with us! And let us know what you want us to talk about next 🙌🏼 #AaraConversation
During the session, Navya also talked about how each one of us is unique and have our own ways of coping with different situations. For instance, it is light, non-serious shows that help Navya in coping with anxiety. She also expressed that our environment has a significant impact on our mental health and that's why it's important to choose wisely the people that we share our vibes with.
“There have been times in my life when I haven’t been surrounded by positive people and I have seen how negatively it has impacted the way that I think. Not just about myself but about the world. I have learned from then on that I am only going to surround myself with people who make me feel good and happy,” she added.
A recent study posits that "During the initial stages of COVID-19 in India, almost one-third of respondents had a significant psychological impact." And while experts around the world are working hard to hamper the coronavirus pandemic, I wish we could say the same about the mental health pandemic that we currently face. Well, kudos to Navya for coming out with her experience. Here's hoping that this encourages more people to share their experiences and thus normalising the mental health conversation in India.
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