“We often ask people how they are doing in many of our day-to-day interactions, but are we ever really interested in understanding the respondent’s frame of mind? Well, the answer to that is usually a predictable ‘No’. And I guess, in this fast-paced world, our conversations have become more about quick updates and small talk rather than a deep, meaningful, glimpse into another person’s mind.
Now, I started pondering upon these thoughts only after going through a weird phase with my mental health back in 2018-19. Having been raised in Abu Dhabi and subsequently shifting to Chennai for college, I was a third-culture child who felt she didn’t really fit in anywhere. Of course, I did make some beautiful friends along the way but this identity crisis too was somewhere looming at the back of my head constantly. And subsequently, post my graduation, getting into a job that didn’t excite me, only took a more powerful jab at my mental health.
It was definitely a confusing stage in my life, where I didn’t realize why I was feeling the way I did. Thankfully though, I was able to come out of it with time and align my life and interests towards things where I was both happy and able to contribute my best! Designing was one such forte and I knew for sure that I wanted to use my talent to give back to others who might be going through similar rough patches.
So after a lot of research, reading, and speaking to well-wishers who were professionals in the field, I began working on developing a chatbot that would assist people in their journey towards mental wellbeing! Be it feel-good updates or just simple reminders to enjoy the little things like taking a break, looking at the sunset or even growing a plant, I wanted to do my bit to add value to people’s spirits.
Empathy was at the core of it all, and in due course, I’m also looking to adapt my chatbot in regional languages, so that a larger section of people benefit from the initiative. I’ve been at that stage where days felt long and things, numb, though I had a lot of privileges growing up in terms of access. And if someone in my state could go through all that, I’m pretty sure there are plenty of people amidst us all who are silently tackling their internal battles without much clue on the cause or the implications of it all. Therefore, I want to be able to use my education to be of service and eventually contribute to the betterment of minds! Mental health is real, and it’s the responsibility of those who have access to aid the others who don’t!”