“The magic of belief and positive thinking while recovering abdominal TB made me be an advocate of mental health” – Richa Saini
Richa Saini, Mental Health Advocate, and Creator is all well-skilled to teach you how to help yourself. Richa is a 22-year-old woman from a small town in Punjab pursuing her master’s in Psychology with specializations in Clinical Psychology, Counselling Psychology, and positive psychology. And with her social media, she tries to use her knowledge and learnings to motivate and support people with their mental health.
“On social media, I try to actively motivate people and help them to stay positive by giving them all the knowledge that I’ve learnt over my 8 years of study. I focus on fostering positive mental health and making people aware about their feelings.” – Richa Saini
We had a quick chat with Richa about her life and what government should be doing to promote mental health and here’s what she said –
1. Tell us about your journey of becoming a Mental Health Professional, and a mental health creator.
When I was 11 years old, I watched this movie called “The Secret” with my family, and I was surprised about how thinking positive thoughts can have such a great impact on our lives. From that movie, I learned about Psychology and the power surrounding the law of attraction & I knew that I too want to inspire people and want to pursue a career where I can help people live life in a happier and healthier manner. Therefore, after my 10th board, I decided to pursue psychology. I didn’t have any idea about the scope in India, and so many people were against me taking humanities, but I had to go after my passion. So I managed to take it and proved to everyone that I did right by following my dream, and so I scored 95.4% in Humanities and was the school topper in a school where people didn’t like me for my non-serious and playful nature. It was a shock for many, and the smile on my family’s faces was everything to me. It was the first time I was interviewed by Press. I was also very intrigued by Social media from I was 13. I loved using Facebook back then and loved to create pages and post. However, I began with my Instagram journey in 2016 and it took me 5 years to understand how I can use this platform to truly inspire people and make mental health awareness more visible and prominent around me. I began to consistently post and write content around mental health from this march, 2021, and people began to notice and acknowledge the fact that we all need motivation and positivity in our life, especially in the pandemic when everything is going wrong around us. I started getting opportunities for live sessions and collaborations. This is my journey of being a mental health creator, and I’m in my final year of master’s in psychology, so soon going to be a counseling psychologist as well.
2. What are the three things that you think should be implemented in the country so as to have a better mental health status for its people?
I feel that The government should work on creating a greater budget for mental health professionals so that mental health gets more accessible in hospitals, becomes cheap and affordable for people, yet the psychologists get good pay for their efforts.
The second should be to clearly define the rules and qualifications for different psychology branches so that those who aren’t practicing ethically could be noticed.
The third thing should be to promote mental wellness as much as they promote physical wellness.
3. To what extent, are Instagram influencers and mental health content creators helpful? To what extent should the mental health creators be trusted?
I feel that mental health creators are very useful these days, as most of the population surfs through social networking sites. And these creators have made it easier for people to read posts and watch videos that can make them understand useful concepts that they never knew about because most people don’t like reading books, or take up psychology. So I feel that mental health has progressed to raise awareness among people through social media. Mental health creators could be trusted as long as they are open and authentic with their audience. However, people should always check the qualifications of these creators before they DM them to book a session for therapy. There are a lot of ethics involved in it.
4. Was your choice of becoming a mental health creator driven by any personal experiences?
Absolutely yes. I experienced the magic of belief and positive thinking in my own life, which made my passion and goal even stronger. When I was 12, I suffered from abdominal tuberculosis and it was pretty serious, as I had to stay in hospital for days. In those moments, where I used to get scans, injections, medications every day, the only thing that truly helped in my survival and the prevention of developing cancer was “faith”. I prayed to God every day before my tests and scans, in the present tense “thank you, god, I’m recovered. Thank you so much”. And I did recover beautifully. I also worked on getting my teeth fixed, getting the highest marks in my 12th boards, and many more such goals by practicing faith and believing in miracles.
5. Your message for the people reading this piece for how to gather strength when dealing with mental health issues
Don’t be afraid if you’re not feeling okay. Just know that help is available. And even if you are so tied up that you can’t reach out to someone, you can always learn how to help yourself. You have the capacity to fight with your demons. Your issues are not your identity. It’s just a part of your being, and you’re meant to resolve them, one day at a time. You will be okay!
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