My name is Raashi Thakran and I am currently based in Pune. I was born in Dehradun into a military home. So, we were moving a lot due to my father’s profession. I’ve always loved meeting new people and experiencing new places. I’ve had a very close relationship with my family especially my little brother. We’ve had our fights and differences but they’ve made me who I am.
This year, on 6th January I lost my little brother to suicide. He was only 18 years old.
It was very sudden, shocking and happened when we least expected it. It was the darkest phase of my life. I was lost and scared. Confused, angry and lonely. I had spent months trying to get an answer to this one question – Why? I was suffering from crippling anxiety and insomnia. I was an ugly mix of emotions and was so full yet felt so empty. I wouldn’t sleep for weeks at a time and would cry uncontrollably.
One day, I stumbled upon an email from Change.org regarding a one-year-long fellowship. I decided to apply and got selected. This was the beginning of my journey as a mental health advocate. I finally found a purpose and at the same time, I decided to get professional help for myself because there is no shame in it.
I have started a petition on Change.org asking the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to launch a national helpline number for suicide prevention in India. It has received more than 1.8 lac signatures till date and there has been an outpour of support.
We had a meeting with the Health Advisor of Niti Aayog regarding my campaign and they are very interested in taking this forward.
I have collaborated with various organizations i.e NNDC-IF, SPIF, Teach For India and I am also using social media to talk openly about these issues and to let people know that it’s okay to not be okay sometimes.
I have also had the opportunity to speak about my journey at various conferences.
This #WorldMental HealthDay, I want to let everyone know that there is no shame in feeling the way you feel and wanting to reach out for help.
We can all save lives.
Click the link here to be a part of this initiative.
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