DU Students launch safe space for people battling with mental health issues

The Happy Company (THC) is an online organisation on Instagram. With nearly 22,000 followers, the way this company works is by trying to provide ‘a safe space for people battling with mental health issues.’ By simply messaging a ‘hi’ to the Instagram page, anyone who wants to talk about their issues or needs someone to listen to them will be assigned a volunteer who will talk to them and listen to their problems.

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The Company has been active for a little more than a year, at its inception last April, it only had 200-300 followers. The first set of volunteers that the company had enlisted was just 15, and now they have 70 people working for them with nearly 22,000 followers on Instagram. On average, 20 people reach out to them on a daily basis for help and someone to talk to.

The founder of the company is a second-year student from Sri Venkateswara College, Delhi University. Bhavika Mehta, pursuing a B.A programme in sociology and English, founded the company because she felt that even though mental illness and its realities were slowly being acknowledged in India, most organisations were working on raising awareness and not much was done to reduce mental illness and improve mental health, and that is why The Happy Company was founded.

On speaking with Aapka Times, Bhavika reflects on how starting this company has helped her grow as a person in the last year. She says “I’ve learned and unlearned a lot, I used to think I am an empathetic person, but clearly, I have grown to be more empathetic, and I know there’s still a long way to go.I’ve become more sensitive with the words I use, and my actions, I think I’ve grown kinder, but the biggest change is, I acknowledge my shortcomings, I know I’ve to be more kind, and more sensitive.”

When speaking about mental health awareness among college students, she points out that while there is increased awareness, there is also an increase in the negative romanticization of mental illness.

When asked to speak about how to take care of one’s mental health during the lockdown, she points out a few simple steps. She says “Stay away from news, or be very selective about your source of news, there is a lot of negativity and exaggeration on the news. Stretch, work out if it’s possible, don’t get influenced by influencers who tell you to be productive each day, if you’re productive, amazing, if you’re not, that’s okay. This is a difficult time, do what makes it easier for you. What might work for one person, doesn’t have to work for the other, find what works for you.”

Bhavika and her organisation are an inspiring example of how students can come together to help each other and support each other. It shows the power a student has to change the lives of so many people and affect positive change in the world. Whenever a student feels powerless or small, let us look at examples like these to remember that all of us have the ability and talent to change the world.

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