Championing the importance of mental healthcare
REVIVAL, a youth organisation that aims to promote the importance of mental healthcare, was established in 2019.
The organisation's founder, Tazreen Mehrab Khan, a student of North South University, was selected as one of the Sir Fazle Hasan Abed Ashoka Young Changemakers for 2020.
Tazreen was inspired to start REVIVAL because of her own struggles with depression.
"It takes courage for someone to talk about their mental health. When they are not supported, they lose the urge to talk about it," she asserted. "Instead of providing relief, this neglect can often result in triggers for many," she asserted.
When Tazreen opened up about her struggles to a friend, she realised that she was not alone in her battles. Initially, she raised her voice through a Facebook post, where people welcomed the idea of talking about mental health issues.
REVIVAL collects and shares stories from people who are struggling with mental health issues, with proper consent. "People relate to the stories we post, and know that they are not alone in their struggles. That is how we aim to navigate conversations about mental health," explained Tazreen.
According to a survey conducted by Tazreen in Dhanmondi, very few people seek out professional help for their mental health conditions. Upon researching the causes, she found out that financial constraints play a central role in this matter.
"Through our platform, I wanted to provide affordable mental healthcare. Initially, our psychologists conducted free therapy sessions over Facebook Messenger," said Tazreen. As they had to stop this service due to the pandemic, the organisation now redirects people to places where they can avail free or affordable therapy.
By gaining education and awareness, people can understand some of the issues surrounding the topic of mental health and illness. The organisation strives to break down the barriers of mental health and create a discrimination-free and stigma-free society that also aims for a healthy mind for all the people.
REVIVAL hosted several awareness webinars and workshops, closely working with Dr Mahjabeen Haque, Chairperson, Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology, Dhaka University, and Umme Kawser Lata, Assistant Professor, Educational and Counselling Psychology, Dhaka University.
The organisation also conducted live sessions on mental health-related topics with renowned personalities like Dear Alyne, Rafiath Rashid Mithila, Rafsan Sabab, and Orchita Sporshia, where they touched upon topics such as relationships, communication, and causes of traumas.
In January 2019, REVIVAL hosted 'Anupranan - Enliven', an art exhibition, where they held an interactive session with psychologists Rahnuma-E-Jannat and Tahneena Mehreinn. The event, attended by around 400 visitors, also offered brief counselling sessions.
Moving forward, members of REVIVAL plan to publish a book on self-care, set up a helpline, and work closely with educational institutions to raise awareness about mental healthcare.