“There are two reasons why I got into the field of psychology. One is the influence of my general surroundings and the other is a deeply personal experience”
This is Priyanka Jha. As a YourDOST Expert, her journey in the mental health profession has been extraordinary.
When I was in the 9th standard, I don’t know why, or I don’t know how, but I attempted suicide.
As a suicide attempt survivor, Priyanka says that when she first made the attempt to end her life, she had no idea of the reason behind it. But to her, it felt like the only way out at the time. This experience, however, changed her life.
“Later when I went to therapy myself, that’s when I realized that I was going through a lot of things at that time. Life was very hectic, there were a lot of mood swings, there were a lot of changes in my environment as well, which drove me to take that step.”
Fortunately for Priyanka, however, she had an extremely supportive family. Her parents had always been mental health advocates, and having discussions with them around mental health helped her greatly. She also reflects that this life-changing experience has taught her to empathize with the people around her like nothing else.
But mental health was still considered a taboo subject amongst her friends. This was the second driving force in her life, which made her take up the profession.
“When I was studying psychology, everyone around me still had several misconceptions about it. They would ask me to read their minds, or even think that I’m just studying it for the sake of it, that there is no need to apply it in real life.”
The opinions of her friends around her, and the fact that mental health was a topic that people, in general, did not pay much attention to, reinforced her belief that this is a path that she must take up.
You know in places like USA, there are a lot of policies that are put in place for mental health, and there are a lot of provisions for mental health care as well. But India is far behind in these matters, and we have a long way to go.
For Priyanka, creating a change and helping people as much as possible is her constant motivation, day in and day out.
“Suicide rates are increasing by the day, and I feel like so many lives are lost to suicide. And it’s such a preventable death. I know I am only one person in this world, but I want to try and help as many people as I can”
Her own experience with an attempted suicide helps her connect with her clients as well.
I know what it feels like because I have been there myself. This is why it’s a great motivation for me whenever I begin the therapy process for someone with suicidal thoughts and see them gradually make a positive shift.
As a psychologist, Priyanka’s first-ever job has been at YourDOST. Pursuing her career at YourDOST, she feels, has been an amazing experience, mainly because of the support she receives from her team on a daily basis.
“Sometimes, this profession can be very taxing on your own emotions. But what helps me is my team, who is a pillar of support for me. While I do practice my self-care at times, this support that I receive at YourDOST has been incredibly helpful.”
“Everyone is extremely approachable, and I know I can reach out to them whenever I need to. They always help to reassure me with things because they themselves have been in the same boat.”
But the mainstay for Priyanka is how much she has been able to grow in her first-ever professional experience. This has only been possible because of the amazing opportunity for growth that she has witnessed at YourDOST.
“I have got an opportunity to learn a lot of new things here. I’ve learnt how to overcome my own biases and how to go about my profession in the best way possible. For that, and for many other reasons, I will remain grateful to YourDOST forever.”