This Mother-Daughter Duo Is Working Towards Making India A Mentally Healthy Nation
- IWB Post
- January 4, 2018
The year was 2015, the date April 25, when Nepal was hit by an earthquake of 7.9 magnitude that shook the world with a death toll of 9,000. But the casualties did not end here. While the injured would heal with time, the horror and terror they felt in those minutes of being inches away from death, would take forever to abate. Arushi Sethi was one such survivor.
“Even today, when I think of that moment, I can’t help but shudder remembering those moments. Before that day I thought that I was someone who could bounce back from anything and everything in life. I was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and while I had my mother, who has been a clinical psychologist for the past 32 years, I realized that not everyone finds help that easily,” said Arushi, as she recounted how her and mother’s jointly found mental health organization,Trijog – Know Your Mind Pvt. Ltd, became a personal project.
In a country where the mere mention of mental health is considered taboo, Arushi and her mother, Anureet Sethi, decided to build a unique and non-judgmental mental wellness platform, which is born out of a penchant for enabling minds and creating a stigma-free society, where caring for minds is as normal as caring for our bodies. Let’s find out how this mother-daughter duo is achieving this goal together. Excerpts:
While your current dedication to Trijog stems from the insight you gained in this terrible incident, how did Trijog come into existence?
My mother, Anureet, has been a clinical psychologist for the past 32 years and I’ve seen her transforming lives and making such a difference to humanity. In my final year of BMM at Jai Hind College, I had to create a dummy company for my ad design project. I wondered why not make it much more than a fake work but make it a platform to combine my knowledge and my mother’s compassion and give it to the world in a progressive manner. Together, we started Trijog.
A mother-daughter duo working towards a common goal, haan?
Well, cribbing about mental health not being given the seriousness and practicality it needs is not going to solve anything. Something had to be done to redefine the space of mental health and make it more approachable so that it becomes a part of our lifestyle and not perceived as an illness but as concern for mental health wellness that needs our attention too. There has to be a shift, with acceptance.
But these spaces can’t be a stiff, boring environment, we need spaces which are fun and we at Trijog define ourselves as a ‘spa for the mind.’
A unique definition it is! So what exactly does Trijog do?
We are into individual transformation which includes anyone from the age of 2 to 85 and we deal with everything from counseling, assessment to diagnosis. Be it stress, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, autism, dyslexia, confidence building, self-esteem, we are a preventive platform that also offers a cure.
Trijog has close to 150 clients every month and works with many corporations to bring about a mentally healthy nation to the forefront.
There is this stigma, this hesitation that exists over getting help for your mental health, how will this cease to exist?
For that to happen, first of all, the mental health corporations out there have to lose their stiff therapy sessions and change into an easy conversation. It has to give up its age-old concept of problem-solution. Only then can an individual approach them without the inherent fear of being misunderstood.
Exactly! Okay, so why don’t you tell me what it feels like to run an organization alongside your mother?
Haha! I’ll tell you what it feels like. It is as if you’re playing interesting roles. We are mother and daughter at home but that changes marginally to fit in the role of founders and partners when we are in office. But my mother has been my rock as far as I can remember, my best friend, my support. We share the most amazing bond where we have admiration for each other. And I think it works out really well because even a counselor needs another counselor once in a while!
So has there been instances when you both have counseled each other?
Post the Nepal earthquake, it was my mother who brought me out of the trauma of the event. Other than that our best counseling to each other is talking time-out- we go to the spa, watch a movie, engage in a game night. We know how important it is to maintain this balance and to de-stress because if we are stressed, we can’t go about pulling others out of the same.
But apart from being your best friend/counselor, I am sure Anureet must have shared with you some awesome advice too.
My mom is like this treasure box of great advice. But the one I label as her best is the one where she tells me to be always transparent in the expression of my emotion and the second would be to deliver absolute quality to whatever you are doing.
Priceless lessons. Well, I was going through your website and came across workshops that you conduct in corporates.
Well, for India to become a healthy corporate nation, it has to ditch this ignorance of what is mental health and its profound impact. One is stressed but has no idea what that stress is about and how to tackle it but this is not from lack of information but from lack of attention one gives to self. This continuously hampers are real stamina and skill levels and is all it takes to make our country lose out in the corporate sector and our workshops are structured to solve this problem.
But don’t you think it is more than an individual’s issue, an employee can’t go to his boss to ask for an off for the wellness of his mental health, can he?
Why not? Let’s look at it in this way- all the modern technology and the quick succession in which it gets work done is the result of human minds, right? So, doesn’t it need a time-out from all the work pressure? Corporates, organizations, need to understand that for a mind to work in full force, it needs to break the monotony of the routine to recharge and re-energize your brain. They should start giving importance to not only IQ but also to MQ (mental quotient).
In what ways do your workshops help them in achieving the same?
Oh, our workshops are interactive and above all, fun. Art activities, music drama, the employees, executive are made to understand their own mind and recognize signs that it needs to switch off for a while and accept that working nine to 10 hours continuously is no path to success for any corporation but to a trail of mentally exhausted employees.
Correct me if you find me wrong, but I’ve always found that a woman in the corporate sector goes through much more mental health issues than a man.
You see, a woman’s role includes a lot of multitasking. If she is a mother, she has the pressures of motherhood to balance as well. For example, if she is also a high-level working executive and has to handle her household chores as well in addition to excelling at her job. To strike a balance between all these things is really difficult. And this difficulty leads to stress, anxiety, and negative emotions like guilt, anger for not being able to give equal attention to every sphere.
Coming back to corporations, how can they maintain their employees’ upbeat energy and keep away the clouds of stress from hogging it?
Fun, as I said earlier, is the key. Install games like table tennis, foosball, celebrate small moments to up the energy of the employees, allow them to listen to music on their headphones, give them time to unwind. Encourage your employees to approach their supervisors with their queries, this induces a positive energy in the office environment.
Trijog has a team of versatile psychologists from over the globe, who work in tandem to offer a variety of solutions, catering to the individual need of every client, institution, and corporate.
But doesn’t all this, the inability to come out with your emotions, lack of confidence to stand up to your oppressors, stressing over the most trivial things stem from one’s upbringing?
It sure does because it is the foundation that shapes an individual. So, if we want our children to grow up as emotionally equipped individuals, we need to be democratic and permissive in our approach. Encourage transparency and the courage of emotion in your child. Be the role model you want your child to grow into.
Images sourced from Trijog’s Facebook Page.