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To initiate a conversation on the effects that Lockdown might have on individuals, Shivani Shah, an architect and mental health enthusiast, along with Jinal Doshi, Manager, Office of Student Services, Anant National University (AnantU), held an interactive session called ‘Conversations That Matter’. The session, held over Instagram Live under the ‘Making The Invisible – Visible’ initiative, addressed how mental health has been neglected and has remained stigmatized in Indian society. We find ourselves a part of vast culture and blooming tradition, but this issue has remained in the dark for too long. While we face the crisis of the pandemic, it is also imperative to realise and appreciate the importance of mental health and wellbeing.

Everyday we find ourselves struggling with emotional and mental problems which bog us down. Both the speakers expressed their concerns and shared some methods on tackling these problems. The purpose of this was to make people, especially the millennial, aware of these problems and provide simple steps and methods to counter them. This issue may seem both daunting and new, but there always comes a time when we have to speak about it. To talk, to express, to communicate, and relieve ourselves of the load.

As the world changes, we must change with it. The idea may be new to many of us, but we may think of it as a choice for the weak. But that is not the case. Think about talking to your dog about your feelings when you are sad and thus, confiding in a more understanding being. If it still seems daunting, it is due to the stigma that society has created for generations around this issue.

Shivani explained how they have tried to implement cartoons to target the millennials, making it more relatable and understandable. Transforming from talks in person to meets online, the idea of mental health and mental wellbeing has changed too. It is evolving into something not to be feared, but to be understood by everyone. This has only one solution. TALK! Talk about the things you feel uncomfortable about, talk about the things which make you feel sad, talk about what’s going on in your mind, just talk! Interact and share with someone you trust, and someone who knows you. People think if they let out their feelings to someone, they might be judged. But the other person may start to share too!

As Shivani says, “Listen to someone patiently, listen to someone without any judgement, listen to someone not to give your opinions or feedback but just to be able to make them comfortable in a space with you.”

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