LovvYouZindagi: A fest of happiness and mental health

LovvYouZindagi: A fest of happiness and mental health

Psychotherapist Minu Budhia is a woman on a mission. A rather ambitious and much-needed one, she wants to normalise the conversation about mental health. She wants it to be popular and fashionable.

“Just like when we meet for lunch, brunch, tea or any social occasion and have conversations about our health and looks, ‘Wow, you look great. Please share your dermatologist’s number’ or ‘It’s so amazing your health issue is resolved. Please share your specialist doctor’s number’. We should be able to discuss our mental and emotional needs. I want people to be able to say, ‘It’s so good to hear you are doing better. I’ve been going through something too. Will you please share your counsellor’s information with me?’ And I know that day is already here,” she said.

Minu’s mental health institute, ‘Caring Minds’, has completed a decade of dedication in the field of mental healthcare. As part of this milestone celebration, she introduced a new project: ‘LovvYouZindagi’, a fest on happiness and mental health for the youth of our country. The contest’s last date of submission is August 14, 2023. All participants should register and upload their entries through the registration form at Participants must submit the registration form by providing their name, age, school, section or organisation, designation, email ID and phone number. They must upload their entries on the registration form itself. The contest includes a plethora of events like taglines, photography, radio jingle and ad contests, short essays on mental health and much more.

“The biggest challenge to mental health awareness was and is stigma. To solve this issue, I created ‘LovvYouZindagi’. I fear the next great epidemic will be that of mental health issues in our youth. There are so many young adults hurting and suffering in silence, with many suicides happening every day. They are unable to share even with their friends because they feel they will be ostracised, bullied or left with no friends. It’s sad to see stigma affect even the youngest of our generations,” she said.

She added, “Project ‘LovvYouZindagi’ is my newest initiative to reach out to the youth of our country. We brainstormed a lot about how to connect with young minds and help them. I have envisioned this project as a happiness fest that reaches out to the age group between 15 and 30 years, a time of exuberance, upheaval, challenges and constant change that plays a vital role in overall emotional wellbeing. Mental health awareness is a vital issue that affects people of all ages, especially teens and young adults. We aim to get as many young people talking about mental health as possible, even if it is indirectly.”

“The project will help the youth because, by participating in our contests, youngsters will indirectly gain a lot of psychological and emotional awareness. This project is about creativity first and mental health second. Through showcasing their creativity, they will learn more about mental health issues and disorders, emotional well-being and the stigma that stops people from getting the help they need. It’ll help them gain a new understanding and perspective that will create a light of knowledge to break through the darkness spread by taboos, stigma, stereotypes and fear. Students will not only have a chance to showcase their creativity, but also raise awareness about mental health issues that affect them and their peers every day. Through the magic of art, music and words, the students’ creations have the potential to reach countless individuals and ignite change,” Minu shared further.

Budhia also said, “Additionally, project ‘LovvYouZindagi’ is also a stage for talented creative professionals to give their imagination wings and gain recognition. There are so many highly talented youths who get lost in the crowd because they don’t get a chance to display their skills. For people in the creative field, it can cause a lot of emotional distress when their work isn’t recognised or the value it should get, both in terms of awards and pay. This contest will give young freelancers and working professionals a chance to show off their creativity on a large platform. Also, it’ll be judged by celebrity judges, giving them a chance to get discovered by other creatives in their field.”

When asked about what thoughts push her to keep moving forward with such innovative ideas, she replied, “I’m a woman on a mission. I believe mental health awareness is my calling, ikigai and purpose. I talk openly because I want others to open up. I’m here not to gain name, fame or sympathy, but to create a world where mental and physical health are treated the same way by all. None of us should hesitate even once before sharing that we are facing some emotional or mental health issue.”

Speaking further about the project, Minu shared, “We have created two groups: classes nine to 12 and young professionals between the age of 18-30. It’s a good age group to start with.”

“The first round will be judged in-house and then the final round selections will be done by celebrity judges. The grand finale will be held near World Mental Health Awareness Day, October 15, just before Durga Puja. It will be a gala event to remember, an important recognition for all the talented youth who just need a platform to showcase their creativity,” she said.

Having expectations from this fest, Minu concluded by saying: “I envision it as an annual event of ‘Caring Minds’. Even if I’m not there, it should keep engaging young minds year after year.”

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