Published: 16th December 2017
Tired of depression? Is the mind weighing you down? Suffer no more with Talk Happy Therapy
Simran Luthra is a21-year-old suicide counsellor who is attempting to create awareness about the rising dangers of mental illness
Do you remember that How I Met Your Mother episode where Ted Mosby tells us how everyone's got some 'baggage' in their life and how things get easier when someone gives you a hand with it? Didn't you find it relatable? Well, so did a group of 60 people who assembled at 91springboard, a coworking space in Bengaluru on December 10. All they wanted was to ease the load of their baggage.
A Delhi-based start-up, Talk Happy Therapy that works towards mental health awareness and the wellbeing of people, had organised a happiness open forum in the city, where everyone was welcome with their own 'baggage.' They were then blindfolded and partnered with a random person whom they didn't know at all. They had to share their problems and happy memories alike with complete strangers, while their partners listened without a curtain of judgement.
Ain't she awesome: At 21, Simran is a suicide counsellor
This is exactly what Talk Happy Therapy aims at, says its founder, Simran Luthra. At 21, this Ambedkar University student is a suicide counsellor, who wants to make the world a happier place. "Not everyone wants to go to a therapist all the time. But that doesn't mean that they don't need help. So, through Talk Happy Therapy, we aim to help people fight their inner demons through art, poetry and of course, positive conversation," she says.
Now, let's go back to the blindfolded conversation part. Right after that, the pairs were separated from their partners and for sometime, they watched performances by Mayandi K R and Virender Singh, two city-based comedians who used comedy to explain the serious issue to the crowd gathered in a simpler way. Later, there were spoken word performances by a few poets, which also added to the excitement. "People were so involved in it that some of them even started crying," says Simran.
Simran also launched Talk Happy Therapy's Android app during that event. The app allows one to use it anonymously and get help from counsellors and therapists. They can also join a group chat where they get to talk to other users and support each other. And the best part? If you're interested in helping people, you can join the team too.
But is that all Simran has done? Of course not! The group has also tied up with Jain University and Mount Carmel College, where students get to become exclusive happiness ambassadors, who can in turn help their friends find solutions to their problems. Simran also delivered a series of talks on mental health and the importance of happiness at both the colleges last week.
Here's a letter of happiness for you:
It has been a while since you received a letter, hasn't it? Well, it’s been a long time I had written one and finally, I have found an amazing person to write to. I want to talk to you about something really important. I want to talk about our lives. Life, these days, is being hard on us. Ever since we grew up, it has showered us with numerous challenges and atrocities. While we've dealt with most of those hardships, some still managed to carve a hole in our heart. And it really does bother me as I am sure it bothers you too; thinking of the struggle it puts us under — each and every day. But to be honest, we are being hard on life as well. Not every day, but at times, I feel that we are just going through the same ordeal of following a routine. Getting ‘things done’.
Getting there. Getting on it. Getting the hang of it. Getting used to it. Getting a piece of it. Getting more of it. But in all this ‘getting’, there’s a lot of losing involved. Losing time. Losing family. Losing friends. Losing love. Losing patience. Losing your mind. Losing the chance to even stop and realise if all the hardships we are putting ourselves through are even worth it?
We are just a bunch of stupid, hopelessly aspirational folks going out there and building cages — cages firm and unbreachable. I want you to take a deep breath and pause for a second. Life is indeed about making it big and reaching that goal. Although nothing should come at the cost of your wellbeing, your peace of mind. I assume that there are several things bothering you while you read this and I'll tell you what, I am not in the best state of mind either. But I think we both can help each other. I smiled when I reached this part of the letter and I want you to do the same because I believe that you deserve to smile. I want you to remember those times that made you realise that life was worth living, when you were the happiest person in the world. If you are dealing with problems, I want you to share it with someone. I understand that sharing doesn’t seem to be the best idea and that everyone seems to care less, but there definitely will be someone who will look you in the eye and tell you ‘It’s going to be all right’. Until you don’t find someone like that, keep this letter as a reminder for the same. For you are amazing, and you deserve all the happiness in the world.
Someone who cares about you, really.