Sanctuary: Breaking the Mental Health Stigma

“We aim to shatter the stigma that pervades the topic of mental health. instability regarding emotions should be normalized. we strive to combat the negative attitudes and dispel the lingering social stigma around mental health problems. The fear of judgment, discrimination or isolation is a sentiment that discourages individuals from seeking appropriate support. we need to be heard and inaction must transport into innovation.”


  1. If you told my 12-year-old self that someday you will know with absolute certainty that you do belong here, she would never have believed you. Because she wouldn’t know that soon she would learn to still the hands that held razors to pray, that happiness would become like a game to her. And that even though the levels get harder with every lopsided smile, the quest gets darker the longer she looks for every shade of yellow that hurts her vision. Or that she would be able to quiet the mind that painfully pulses behind her eyes. The echoes of her own voice will no longer frighten her and as the realization dawns that she is alone in this; the fear will dissipate. It’s probably why I came out stronger in the end.

My journey with mental health left me exhausted but the strength it gives me to know that I can stand up again despite all the bad is enough hope to last a lifetime (at least). The ups and downs did impact my education. While my A’s were no longer as straight, I refused to let an illness force me into giving up. Acceptance and accountability were new terms to me, and without these, I wouldn’t be where I am now. The fear used to push me deeper into the depths of shame and regret, but the minute I decided to push back and chose to take back the control – I knew I had to do something. Something to help someone, anyone who felt even the slightest bit of what I used to. “Sanctuary” blossomed solely due to the urgent need I felt to put a message out there. The longer the shame resides, the longer you suffer. Our mantra to “shatter the stigma” needs to be felt vividly. Personally, writing about things I used to be afraid of only because it HAS to be said is a refreshing transformation. And that indeed benefitted my academics and (I believe) will continue to do so.

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Riddhi DP 2