Your Desi Helpline was started by the following group of like-minded individuals with a motivation to improve the mental and emotional well-being of our South Asian Community:
- Surinder Bal -Founder
- Shital Gaitonde - until August 2022
- Rita Patel - until June 2021
- Shally Vaid - until June 2021
Launch Date: 5/01/2019
The decision to start Your Desi Helpline came in response to observing a rise in mental health issues within the community coupled with their reluctance to seek help to address the issues. Social stigma, a lack of knowledge about mental health, obstacles to finding appropriate services, undervaluing the importance of mental and emotional well-being, and a lack of trust in the system were observed to be common reasons for not seeking help.
While the South Asian community is largely seen to be resilient and successful, it is not entirely shielded from the stresses of immigration, cultural conflicts, and the increasing societal demands of a modern progressive society. When left unaddressed, the strain of these cumulative stresses can wreak havoc on an individual’s or family’s overall health and functioning. Physical health is directly connected to our mental and emotional well-being, therefore, taking care of mental and emotional health is fundamental to creating a healthy, productive, and satisfying life.
It became apparent that the community would benefit from having an independent, confidential, non-judgmental, and accepting place where they could get information to overcome the barriers holding them back from getting the help they need. At the same time, there appeared to be no collective agency through which the various South Asian mental health care providers could reach out to support their community. There was no communal space within which the community and the mental health care providers could come together to make better connections between services and need for services.
Your Desi Helpline aims to fill that gap by acting as a bridge to connect our various communities to collectively support the well-being of our community. We are delighted that you have joined us.
Be Well, Be Healthy!