Nobody expects that a program joined to expand knowledge on mental health support, would actually benefit one’s own mental health. But this is what happened to me when I joined the internship program at ‘Healing Dove Foundation’ , along with ICHARS.

When I joined this program, I was on edge. I felt that I would have to learn so many things, out of which most are not my forte. But as is said ‘Don’t conclude without being associated and started’. Though I joined with a lot of questions, this program not only trained me but also helped me feel at peace and productive.

While attending this program, I could use my previous knowledge while learning new things. The idea that every step I take will eventually lead to a contribution in spreading awareness regarding mental health, served as a catalyst for my continuous motivation to work and learn more. The training period was the most enlightening one. There was an activity which gave me the confidence that I could actually do things and I should believe in myself. During the training, we all were asked to put a rough draft of a ‘Talk it out’ session. I was not confident. But since we were explained about what it is and how it works, I was ready to give it a try. That activity uncovered my ‘designing’ skill. I, along with my co-worker, was eventually able to bring out some innovative activities for the ‘Talk it out session’. At that moment, I realized that my nervousness sometimes makes me underestimate my own abilities. Thus, not only could I believe in myself a little more, but I could also learn with more peace and calmness. It added a positive point to my mental health.

In this program, everyday I put forward a question in my mind, and in search of the answer to it, I was actually able to find answers to my previous unresolved queries which I had for a long time. And as I learnt more, I was filling myself with new learnings. Also the idea that these learnings would not only contribute to me or my co-workers, but to a large number of people, was something which added up to the number of reasons for being in the field of mental health. This made me feel how much it is needed and how much I can give back, which eventually improved my self-esteem to a significant level and gave me benefit in terms of my mental health improvement.

The program did not focus on only one aspect of the field, but also integrated the related areas. It is not one of the programs where you are trained only in one area and are asked to stick to it. Instead, it is one where you are trained to work in all the areas related to the field, whether it is about putting your thoughts on a paper or creating a safe place for others to put forward their feelings and thoughts freely. It is not a program where you are trained only with words, but one where you are trained with actions and practice along with words.

Each day, I would learn a new concept along with the way of applying it. And each idea would bring out a positive outlook of the different things which are related to it. This built up my confidence and belief in myself to try to keep on learning.

I could use all the knowledge and learn not to underestimate myself. Therefore, it was just like filling myself each day to be able to pour out into others’ cups. This program helped me get acquainted with my hidden abilities, made me more skilled, and engraved new ways of seeing things. It all added to me being more comfortable and more competent, and cleared my doubts; which all contributed positively to my mental peace.

I could now see a new and competent me in the mirror. I look forward to growing more and more as I continue to work with the organization. To become someone who can understand more, help more, and give more……

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