“My life has been a rollercoaster ride since high school. I had a lot of baggage to carry; failures, heartbreaks and a constant feeling of an impending catastrophe that led to mental health challenges.
In 2016, I lost both my grandfather and uncle, who were the closest to me within two months. I was losing all the hope that I had left, all the people that I loved, and lost everything that I could’ve been.
Anxiety, panic attacks, depression; mental illness was on the rise! I turned towards all sorts of help; medication, therapy, etc. I enrolled in B.Sc, Psychology to educate myself about mental health. But those weren’t the only help that I needed.
“Hey, It’s gonna be okay. I’m here for you. It’s okay to feel this way. You’re not alone in this!”, the simplest sentences that can be supportive to someone; I was unlucky to not have received them but I was fortunate enough to understand that I should do something to never let anyone else feel the same way I did. I wanted to help people dealing with similar difficulties and be of some support to them as I wanted someone to be there for me. I wanted to create a space where this could be done inclusively.
Hence, I created The Safe Place, a community that works for mental health promotion in Chennai. It’s been three years since I founded it and I am applying for M.Sc in Psychology through distance education this year while also working full-time at another organization that works for youth mental health.
Because I found help, studying Psychology or working in the mental health sector, I am not immune to mental illness. I am still battling them. But I finally realized that it is another health challenge that I have to deal with through appropriate support.
I have found solace in helping people and that keeps me going. And for anyone reading this, especially the ones who are facing mental health issues, please be kind to yourself and know that you are not alone. You can try to understand the challenges you are dealing with at your own pace, work on them with any kind of support that works for you and live your life one day at a time. Something will definitely help you to keep going, as The Safe Place did for me!”