Mention “depression” or any other mental illness in casual conversation with a South Asian and you are bound to be shunned. There’s no question about it: mental health is heavily stigmatized in South Asian communities. Thankfully, however, there are a number of organizations and initiatives out there trying to break the silence and help Desis. May is Mental Health Awareness Month and we, at Brown Girl Magazine, are proud to feature a few incredible resources to help you get going on your mental health journey.
MySahana is a South Asian American nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness about mental health and well-being. Through articles, videos, workshops, and more, they provide education on a number of emotional health-related issues. These range from describing various mental health ailments to offering cultural-specific advice and coping strategies.
MannMukti describes itself as a “one-stop resource” for South Asians and, in many ways, it is exactly that. From featuring testimonials to a forum and even a podcast series, the organization aims to fight stigma, educate, and provide South Asians with a voice. MannMukti also offers detailed resources to help people locate help within their area, while constantly providing users with the most updated relevant research and articles.
The Desi Wellbeing Project is a social media project dedicated to celebrating and promoting those people and qualities that cultivate emotional well-being in South Asian communities. Inspired by Humans of New York, the project features everyday South Asians attempting to battle those cultural factors contributing to the mental health crises within Desi communities. Everybody’s free to contribute and can email Founder Sheena Vasani or The Desi Wellbeing Project inbox with their stories.
SAMHIN, short for the “South Asian Mental Health Initiative & Network,” also offers a variety of resources for those struggling with mental health issues. They offer their own directory of mental health professionals that users can search by location, specialty, languages spoken, and more. The organization even hosts its own Alcoholics Anonymous meetings specifically for South Asians in New Jersey.