The vision of mental health in our society of ever-changing mindsets can pose as a challenge to those unfamiliar as well as protective of their conditions. Without a proper support system and the tools needed to battle this illness, patients suffering from the variety of mental illnesses can fall short on their journey of recovery. The Mental Wellness Festival is hosted by Navroop Sood, a leader in psychotherapy and trauma treatment, and pioneer of the Heal With Nav programme. The festival aims to raise awareness in the general public and invite people suffering from their illnesses to come forward with confidence to take a leap of faith into their healing process. The festival also garners support from community partners to create a new perspective on mental health, and build an environment of inclusiveness for the people.
Supporting Navroop is Suman Arora, a music therapist whose outfit deals with mental illnesses and speech therapy using music, chakra healing, and yoga amongst other practices to help her patients in need. This pair of esteemed therapists offers a wide array of methods to treat mental illnesses in people who are struggling to find the right path themselves. With specially curated skillsets, they give hope for a better life to people who are at a standstill in their recovery process. The Mental Wellness Festival features speakers from different practices, ranging from life coaches and counsellors, to psychotherapists and trauma trainers. This band of professionals will provide an insight into what mental health is from different viewpoints, and will prove to be an effort to tackle mental illnesses using different methods and approaches. At the core of this festival lies professionals who push for an initiative that normalises mental illnesses into a condition that is important to identify, treat, and overcome with accessible help and support.
The Mental Wellness Festival event spans over 3 days, each covering different aspects on mental wellbeing and solutions available. Day 1 focuses on inviting the community to learn more about mental health issues. These include introducing them to the gist of mental health in our society, the treatments available, debunking myths about mental illnesses, as well as inducting productive ways of dealing with their illnesses.
Day 2 takes a step further into dealing with trauma and self-care, including the sensitive topic of suicide prevention. These talks and initiatives come from an honest and passionate front, to give patients and sufferers crucial information on the treatments that are available and effective, to give these people a more in-depth experience on what the mental health community can provide.
Day 3 focuses on moving the lives of sufferers forward by providing them with information and tools that can and will help battle their illnesses. This segment introduces the healing process that patients can undertake, as well as insight into how to live life to its fullest in various elements like a happy marriage, stress at workplace, and the crux of mental health recovery in their daily lives.
Interview with Navroop Sood
Navroop Sood, the team lead in this festival, has given us some of her thoughts and future goals for mental health in our society. “My goal is to help my clients to increase their repertoire of resources, building up their mental health tool kit from the very first session while helping them heal from their unhelpful patterns, subconscious responses and coping mechanisms.”, she said. “I work towards empowering my clients to tap into their own inner strength and wisdom. I whole-heartedly believe that clients have all that is required for healing and my job is to nudge them in that direction of healing, holding space and journeying with them as they heal.” With a lavish background in mental health therapy and tools available to her, she has taken it upon herself and her team to kickstart the festival programme to target people who not only need baseline treatment, but will go beyond that to inseminate internal emotional growth in their process.
When asked about her hopes for this Mental Wellness Festival, she said, “My hope is that it generates hope in those who have given up on healing. At the same time, promoting awareness about mental health care, debunking myths around it and enabling people to seek timely help without feeling shame, guilt or burdened by their issues.” This is in line with her passion and forward-thinkingness to make dealing with mental illnesses an integral part of society’s growth.
Mental health support has come a long way, but it is still not in its prime. We asked Navroop about what she feels is important about mental health wellness in our society. Her reply was, “More and more events in the space of mental health awareness with easy accessibility in terms of time, effort and finances. While there is lot being done already, a lot still remains. So, more collaborative efforts on part of the community which would not only normalise the stigma but also enable those who still contemplate seeking help and continue to suffer in silence.”
She has also stressed that the direction forward in dealing with this whole spectrum of mental health treatment is, “…team effort. Because I believe together we can and together everybody achieves more.” With these goals and positive initiatives, the programmes are bound to create a change in the importance of mental health issues, and will look past the negativity and lack of trust for such an industry laden with stigma. These aspirations will, in time, increase the cognisance of mental health, and rightfully place sufferers in a state where they can be confident and unafraid about taking a step towards their success in dealing with the topic at hand.
The treatment and support system of mental health in our society is getting stronger as time passes, but there are still obstacles to overcome, and more foresight to be applied to make this genre of illness one that is as important as any other sicknesses. Navroop was asked a question about the ideal future for mental health. She said, “Where no one feels embarrassed to admit about their mental health challenges and seeking help. Where more and more people are skilled in supporting themselves and others around them, and where mental wellbeing is consistently celebrated, promoted, cherished and practiced , not just one day or one month but always.”
With a common goal and a strive for a better future for mental health, these professionals never falter in their push to bring mental health into the spotlight, to show that it is as important as any other physical illness. Efforts have to be coupled with the deterioration of resistance to seek help and address mental issues internally. Once sufficient support and accessibility is ensured, life will be more susceptible to good change and the path towards clarity and realisation of mental epiphany will be achieved, at a subjective pace, but a step forward nonetheless.
A Word From A Space Between
Mental Health Festival 2022 is a platform for the general public and more importantly, sufferers of mental illnesses in our society. To propel the support system and treatment forward, we need to work as a team and identify solutions, as well as find the right initiative for recovery.
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Navroop Sood is a leading trauma therapist, specialising in healing post-traumatic stress, constant and continuing trauma. She is the founder and CEO of Heal with Nav. Heal with Nav provides trauma therapy and trainings. Navroop is SAC-registered psychotherapist. Her qualifications range from Attachment focused- EMDR, Brainspotting, TRE and Somatic experiencing. She uses a heart-centered, compassionate, calming and healing approach to transform pain into a rejuvenated purpose and a zest for life. A passionate mental health advocate, Navroop is on a mission to increase awareness about trauma and the need for trauma-informed care. Ms. Sood has helped and trained hundreds of people for improving their cognitive, emotional and behavioural outcomes with her unique integrative technique of talk therapy and somatic work.