One of the most rewarding aspects of The Shelly Story journey has been collaborating with organizations such as the South Asian American Policy and Research Institute (SAAPRI). SAAPRI is a non-profit nonpartisan organization established in 2001 with the mission to serve South Asian Americans in the Chicago area by using research to formulate equitable and socially responsible policy.
Nikhil appeared as a panelist on the SAAPRI Health Equity Project “Movember” panel held on IG Live. The topic of the discussion was men's health (in observance of the famous “Movember” movement), as well as mental health in the South Asian diaspora. We've taken excerpts of this discussion and presented them here for your review. To learn more about SAAPRI, please visit saapri.org.
Some of the topics covered include:
- How gratitude can devolve into gaslighting when South Asian immigrant parents unintentionally invalidate their children’s concerns
- A brief overview of SAAPRI organization, and the panelists Karan Gowda and Emmanuel Ravichandar
- Nikhil background of The Shelly Story, and its mission of helping people own their own health, and untether their lives from “templates” of what success looks like, specifically through the lens of the South Asian diaspora
- Nikhil’s experience with bipolar disorder, and the analogy to the movie Limitlesswith Bradley Cooper
- How the concept of bipolar disorder has evolved since 20 years ago
- Social media - its benefits (driving community and engagement) and disadvantages (portraying unattainable false images of others) vis-à-vis mental health for South Asians
- The limitations of mental health resources at universities, which was only exacerbated by the pandemic
- Why South Asians are typically unwilling to seek help until mental illness reaches crisis proportions
- One reason bipolar disorder is so difficult to diagnose: people may misinterpret mania as their loved one “coming out of a funk,” and welcome it
- How gender, race, and other demographic factors may impact choice of a therapist
To learn more about SAAPRI, please visit their Website at saapri.org. You can also connect with them on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
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