Sangath launche
Sangath launche

Sangath launches young artists's illustrated zine on mental health

ANI | Updated: Aug 27, 2018 13:29 IST

New Delhi [India], Aug 27 (NewsVoir): International mental health expert and one of Time 100's most influential individuals, Dr. Vikram Patel has launched an art exhibition and series of illustrated books about mental health and depression by young artist and mental health advocate, Ishita Mehra at a large discussion event in New Delhi.
Dr. Patel emphasised the importance of self-expression and art in helping break down mental health stigma, saying, "Even though mental health difficulties are common in young people and often hidden from view due to the stigma attached to these problems, using art can be a more effective way to engage young people and bring mental health out of the shadows," he also highlighted how important and significant it is that young people are joining this movement in such an inspiring way.
The event was organised by Indian mental health NGO, Sangath, along with the American Center and the Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute, Harvard University, and also featured youth health expert, Ishita Chaudhry who founded The YP Foundation, a youth-led and run non-profit organization.
During the discussion, all three speakers spoke candidly about their own mental health, challenges, experiences and emphasized the need for more accessible mental healthcare services for young people in India.
"Many of these pieces were created last year when I was in the middle of months of breakdowns, depression, anxiety and self-harm. There is nothing charming about grief and anger. Yet, when I look back, what came out of it, was beautiful. I became, me," said 23-year-old Ishita Mehra talking about her inspiration for the exhibit and the zines.
"Living with chronic depression for five years made me feel strongly about the issue of young people's mental health. I hope to use my art and creative expression to create stories from lived experiences that have the power to connect with people and help them understand their journey as well," added Ishita.
Dr. Shekhar Saxena, Director of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse (MSD), WHO, Geneva delivered the closing remarks for the discussion.
This event was part of a series 'In Our Own Words' by 'It's Ok to Talk', a unique youth initiative by Sangath that engages adolescents and youth with issues of mental health through digital interventions and community based activities.
The program runs a website that offers young people across India a dedicated space to talk about their mental health and illness. (NewsVoir)