BOLD IDEAS – BEING BOLD AND BRAVE: NAVIGATING MENTAL ILLNESS IN THE SOUTH ASIAN COMMUNITY AND HEALTHCARE SYSTEM
Presenter’s Bio:Safwath is currently completing his BA in Psychology at York University and hopes to pursue a Master’s in Social Work with a focus on mental health. He has been involved with Student Community and Leadership Development (SCLD) as a Peer Health Educator, engaging with students and faculty in incorporating wellness as a daily practice. He has also served as the Academic Representative for Calumet College Council, highlighting the intersection between academic success and mental health. Safwath is passionate about mental health advocacy and aspires to bring changes to inequitable access to mental health services in Canada.
Session Summary:Witnessing my mother battle with anxiety and depression over the years has often left me feeling helpless and alone. I had to watch the person I love wait over 5 months to see a psychiatrist and be unable to seek ongoing therapy. The misconceptions of mental illness within the South Asian community made the journey of healing for my mother difficult and added to my feelings of powerlessness. Through sharing my story, talking to other students and organizations, I realized I wasn’t powerless, that I had the power to inspire change in the way we view mental ‘illness’ and support people’s continued fight to seek care. This, is my story.