In a time where friend requests and follows on social media occupy most of our time and mind space rather than real communications with our loved ones, the stress it gives undeniably takes a toll on our mental health. The pressure to get validated by our social media “friends” and be “liked” by our virtual audience has been doing more harm than good to all of us. 

The virtual world can get harsh sometimes. One can find themselves on the receiving end of hate and trolling for casually posting some random picture. People could call someone “attention-seeking” or “fake” for expressing their genuine opinions. Yet, in a place where the world can seem so negative and strenuous, we found a few Instagram accounts that instil positivity in anyone who even glances at them. 

They all have different stories and different journeys, but the one thing that binds them all together is their love and passion for mental health.

Take a look at these and you will know why we are saying this…

Ayushi and Adishi – @mentalhealthtalksindia

Ayushi Khemka founded this initiative in April 2018 and was joined by Adishi Gupta as a co-founder in May 2018. They believe creating honest conversations around our vulnerabilities can bring about significant changes in the way we live and this is exactly what they’re doing with their endeavour – get people talking. Both Ayushi and Adishi have experienced mental health concerns at some points in their lives and the stigma they encountered while trying to articulate their issues made them realize how much work had to be done in this space to change the situation. Hence came up Mental Health Talks India.

Their content comes from lived experiences which are mostly their own. Having experienced mental health concerns in their lives, they bring forth the perspective of a person facing these issues and spread awareness through it. They wish to bring out more voices of lived experiences in the coming years to dismantle mental health stigma in India. Well, they’ve done some really important work, check them out for sure!

Richa Mehta – @mentalhealthwithricha

Richa Mehta is a practising psychologist based in Delhi. She is a gold medallist in both her Masters and M.Phil. She says her first encounter with the mental health field happened when she enrolled for her first psychology class back in high school and she instinctively knew that she wanted to work in this field. She has been working to make her mark in the field ever since.

What makes her content stand apart is that it has both educational and therapeutic approaches while spreading awareness all at the same time! She clearly explains how people can apply all these techniques easily in their lives. She aims to create awareness and remove the stigma that surrounds mental health in India and also contribute to the research and knowledge creation in this profession. Looking for a self-help guide online? Her handle is the right place to go. You can even check out her YouTube channel

Ritu Yousuf – @yourskindlypsychologist

Ritu is a psychologist, counsellor, and life coach. She is also an educator and social worker. She says she has always been interested to help people around her and gradually realized mental health was a way to that! She began as a social activist interacting with underprivileged children while counselling them and went on to pursue higher education in the field of psychology. 

Her content moves ahead with the motive of making mental health inclusive for everyone and make them understand that it is a necessary part of holistic development and growth. She says her content is “beyond the idea” of assuming mental health for people going through mental health issues. In the time ahead, she wishes to create communities that are mental health-friendly and especially make them accessible to women, men, and all the people of marginalized communities of India. She also wants to work towards making mental health advocacy grow from reforms to policies in India. Do visit her Insta handle and her blog page and support her. 

Hasita Ivaturi – @happyminds_hasita

Hasita is a budding social entrepreneur and an aspiring psychologist currently in her final year of graduation. She likes to call herself a learner who is always up and ready to learn anything new that comes her way. She says that by high school she knew she wanted to build a career in the mental health field for she had seen how the mentally disturbed around her were being treated. She certainly wanted to change that. She is really passionate about it and has set up a mental health awareness project called HAPPY MINDS in June 2019. Through this initiative, she has managed to reach out to around 1000 students from various schools and colleges in a span of 1 year.

All her content comes from the common man’s perspective making it very relatable to everyone. It focuses on simple yet effective communication. The posts are largely based on the real-life events that we all encounter usually and it connects instantly to all age groups. She also has a website that she manages by herself where she posts weekly blogs about various general life events from a psychological perspective. In the next 5 years, she wishes to establish a fully functional start-up that works towards making mental health affordable and accessible for all sections of society. Take a look at her Insta handle and her website and you will certainly come across some insightful stuff.

Manasi Varwandkar – @mind_versity

Manasi is a student pursuing a career in the field of mental health. She belongs to a family of mental health enthusiasts and grew up in an environment that celebrates mental wellbeing. She decided that mental health was her space to pursue a career in after having an inspiring journey and touching 40 million lives through an internship program with the Fortis Institute of Mental Health and Behaviour Sciences. She says that though the internship ended, her enthusiasm and love for this cause have come a long way!

Her conviction for and dedication to the cause makes her content unique from the rest. She usually talks about sensitive issues like exam stress, anti-bullying, suicide prevention, and body positivity. She expresses herself by penning poems and writings that are totally heartfelt. She also has a self-hosted blog called “Meandering Thoughts” where she posts all her writings in the form of poems and musings. She wishes to reach new heights in this profession in the coming years where she is trying to make the world a happier place to live in. You should certainly take a look at her page for some intriguing content!

These accounts are a beacon of hope to the Indian context of mental health, but we still have a long way to go in destigmatizing it. The youth will shape our future and these youngsters are definitely moving in the right direction, because they are emphasizing upon the most important thing – Your Mind Matters!

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