SHALMALI JADHAV

Hi, I’m Shalmali, a graduate student and mental health activist from #Kolhapur. Here’s sharing my story of how I started an organization working to spread mental health awareness in
youth.

I was in 12th when the issue of #mentalhealth hit me first. I was going through that phase called ‘mini-depression’, and realized that most of the youngsters were facing the same problem at that time. I went through this phase myself but got to know we need to talk about it.

But soon, I got a very different #experience. It was a bright sunny day in June, my sister was on the edge of
her bed. I happened to accidentally open her room door and what I found was, she was sitting with a bottle of pills in her left hand and heap of tablets in her right. The ceiling lamp hanging on her and her #computer open with a goodbye letter. She was about to commit #suicide. What if for at least one time I would have spoken to her and not as a sister but as her friend. Her #goodbye letter said, she had a feeling that nobody loves her, nobody needs her and her existence is ruthless.
I thank #heaven enough times everyday for making me enter her room.

Recently, I founded a #nonprofit organization called “Empathy 4 You”, working for raising mental health #awareness and breaking the stigma of mental health in the #youth. Initially, I used to counsel people online via social media. It wasn’t prof counseling at that time, but at least I was able to read and understand them. And till now, I have #counseled 60 people, the #happiness I get after seeing smile on someone’s smile
because of me is what keeps me going. Later then, we started
conducting lectures, seminars in schools and colleges for raising mental health awareness among the youth through E4U and have covered more than 35 colleges in and around Pune. Recently we also #collaborated with a California Based organization called ‘Letters to Strangers’. That feeling of making someone’s day is very very satisfying.

In the future, I have decided to complete my post graduation in
Psychology and take my movement forward for the betterment of society.

#thewonderwomenworld #features #interview

SHALMALI JADHAV
Founder – Empathy For You
President – Letters of Empathy Official
Mental Health Advocate | Graduate Student

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