E031 Mental Health for Creatives – Part 2

In this episode, we talk about how we relate to ourselves as creatives, how our attitudes affect our mental well-being, and learn about the mindsets and habits that can help us find balance.

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We discuss the need for finding our identity beyond the work that we do, though the two are often intertwined.

We unpack the phenomenon of imposter syndrome and all its implications for us as creative practitioners. We go into the issue of comparison and share a few personal learnings and mindsets that have helped us be more confident as creative individuals.

Nithya explains the irony of our quest for belonging and certification, while also desiring to be unique. We talk about how social media forums can be toxic and what a good community really looks like.

We talk about how to build great mental health habits, as well as tips for first-responder care for both ourselves and our loved ones.

We discuss the barriers to getting help and how designers can make a difference.

We conclude with some mindset tips on how we can be our own biggest asset.


Nithya J Rao, a mental health expert and theater artist is also the co-founder of Heart it Out , an organization that aims to make mental health accessible.

Jerusha Isaac is an illustrator and art teacher.

Naveen Hariharan is the co-founder at volunteer-led Lonepack. Check out their lighthearted and creative Instagram page.

Nithya shares a quote about belonging from the film Wonder.

Jerusha shares a mindset she heard on the podcast Three Point Perspective about getting out of a rut

Angie shares a Dr.Seuss quote “No one is you-er than you” which she read in a John Ortberg book and another quote from Feck Perfuction, a book by James Victore. Angie also quotes sculptor Elizabeth King. Angie sure loves many a good quote!


Sushi: Hi, this is Design Lota – the podcast about life as Indian designers. I’m Sushi. 

Angie:  And I’m Angie. 

Sushi: We’ve been talking about mental health for creatives and in part one, we discussed the external factors that affect that negatively. If that’s something that interests you do, go check it out as well.

Angie: In this episode, we will go into identity, imposter syndrome and self-worth as creatives and how that factors into our mental health and also how you can support someone who’s going through a difficult time.

Sushi: These topics are based on the thoughts and questions that we got from you on our Instagram.

Angie: Again, thank you all for sending those in and helping us address them with a mental health expert.

Sushi: We were talking about  how we tend to measure our worth as designers and as humans based on how visible and groundbreaking our projects might be.

Nithya:  I must say I would ask people why they would tie all of that work to their work. Are they worthy, even if they are not working or designing all the time and if human beings are inherently worthy, then I bet we’re already adding value to each other by just being loving and kind.

So the solve is in the paradox of questioning oneself and not being hammer and nail and going to add more value, new value, more value, new value, because that is that’ll never finish, you will never be satisfied with ourselves if we don’t put milestones and reach them.

Angie: That’s Nithya. Yeah, who’s the co-founder of Heart it Out, an initiative committed to making mental health care accessible.

Sushi:  One of the biggest internal battles that we face as creatives is the whole imposter syndrome thing.

Angie: Yeah,  it’s that feeling that you’re a fraud you’re not good enough, not qualified enough. And that feeling can really paralyze you with all the insecurity and, it keeps you from trying and experimenting and failing. And all of that is a huge part of what the design and the art practice is all about . Sometimes we don’t feel like we can speak our mind in meetings and basically you can’t show up in work and in life because of imposter syndrome. So I think that’s really why it’s such a big deal.

Here’s what Jerusha,  an illustrator and art teacher who went through a difficult time in her mental health journey said about what the cycle of thought can do to your work 

Jerusha: so,  even if I did create work, I didn’t like it at all- as in, my illustration. I was just like, Oh, this isn’t nice at all.  I feel like that’s how it affects your work.  In the way that like, it makes you nervous to share your work or it makes you feel like, uh, what, what am I really doing? Or like makes you question so many things.  It causes insecurity. I would say . so prior to, going through this mental health period. I was super confident as a person. I could talk to anybody very comfortably, like, communication was not ever an issue.  But as a freelancer I needed to, I needed that communication. Even now I still kind of struggle with it, but I’m overcoming it. I get an email. And I’m like, Oh my gosh, how do I apply to this? What do I say? What do I do? 

Sushi: That insecurity can cause you to question yourself. So you might see an opportunity that you want to apply for, but you might not even apply to that opportunity because you never feel that you’re good enough for it. And on the flip side, when you do gather up the courage to send out the application and get selected for the opportunity, you think you’re not good enough.

And you’re secretly pretending to be an expert at something you’re not. So there are times when I’ve filled out an entire application. And then I’ve not been able to hit submit because I’m like, who am I kidding? I’m not cut out for this kind of thing. And then later I see that someone a lot less qualified than me has applied and they’ve got it.  

Angie: Yeah. I think  it’s such a classic example of how, like, if you’re not putting yourself in the game, there’s no way you can possibly win.

Sushi: Right. So  I think if I had somebody there to tell me, you know, it doesn’t matter, just go ahead and apply or go for it then maybe, it would have made the world of a difference, but you know what actually happens when you do ask people around you, when you say, I don’t know if I’m really good at this. Um, sadly, they don’t know about it that well either, and they just want to be helpful. So they’ll give you unhelpful advice. Like you can improve. Maybe you should learn a little more about it, that kind of thing. And unfortunately, that’s not helpful. You can’t blame them because they want what’s best for you.

And there are very few people who will just say, “Hey, you’re good at this. I think you should apply and you shouldn’t even think about it. There’s nothing to lose.” 

Angie: Right. Maybe that’s something we should practice telling ourselves more also. And I feel this is again, a place where journaling could be really helpful if we can find a way to document how we think and feel, especially when we’re doing various projects and also reflect on our experiences once we’re done with them, we’ll start noticing patterns that can help us figure out what exactly we love doing.

What are our specific strengths. And even that’s something like, maybe that’s just not right for me.

And also “good enough” is usually a standard in our own head, right? Sometimes the skills you have for a certain task is good enough.  We have to keep in mind that. If I can’t, I can ask for help and sometimes we just carry a lot of load, because we think I have to figure the whole thing out and everything has to be really cool and novel. And if I ask for help, that means I’m a bad designer, right?

Sushi: I think that’s a great mindset to have. It’s pretty counter-intuitive for most people- myself included, but it’s so practical. And also, did you know that there was a study that showed that, women typically apply for jobs only if they have nearly a hundred percent of the credentials while men tend to apply, even if they have 60%?

Angie: so some of the things that we got was one of the designers who said like, as a woman, I feel like an imposter in a place where there are a lot more male creatives or designer ,  that kind of imposter syndrome that  like I’m in a boys’ club basically. And how do I navigate that? So,  are there some tools that, women can use  in terms of how we deal with that type of imposter syndrome?

Nithya: It’s a fight. I would say the biggest skillset or something that is a biggest support system would be other women who are breaking the glass ceiling, other trans folk, other persons of color who are trying to do this and to derive from each other’s strengths because yes, we are trying to question years and years of patriarchy that has, set of few things in workplaces. And the perpetrators may not always be aware that they’re perpetrating these patriarchal values. Sometimes we forget that it’s important that we educate the people around us, that this knowledge is not freely available. 

Sushi: Knowing that it’s not your fault can help you come to terms with what you’re facing and see it for what it actually is. 

Angie: And when it comes to this based on my own experience,  I’ll say this right. Pay attention to how,  you’re being treated, right? How that makes you feel and have a plan in place for how you will handle those primary emotions of anger, disappointment, betrayal, whatever they are, instead of letting it fester.

Especially if it’s an ongoing pattern.  For example, you can take a stand or make a decision that I’ll question this and I’ll do it in this way. I’ll bring it up with these people or I’ll take these steps to actually leave this workplace,  because it’s toxic and biased, right? You can make a decision to go one way or another, but,  at least you’ll know that that’s your decision.

And when you don’t address these issues, you let them brew and that can really have adverse effects on our own mental health.

Sushi:  True. And it can also create that feeling that we don’t belong there,  in that organization  or even in the design profession. And when you don’t feel that sense of belonging in any kind of organization or group or club that can cause more second guessing. 

Angie: There are standards – like invisible standards, you could say- of  what a designer is supposed to be like with X years of experience at this age would have accomplished.

The awards that certify that yes. You know, you are this award winning designer. All of this comes back to  the second guessing of do I belong here? Um, also is this even going anywhere? There’s a lot of ambiguity as it is in the creative profession. We are looking for external, validation in terms of yes.

You belong here. Yes. You’re a designer. I certify it.  And which certification matters, which certification is out of date now because that’s of 2009. It’s not, you know, current, yeah, all this to say basically, how do we deal with,  more of the self-talk of like, I don’t belong here. [00:10:00] Or I’m not like the rest of them.

I’m not a designer. Like so-and-so. Yeah, it’s a little bit to do with comparison, but also a lot of the internal conversation, we are  having with ourselves.

Nithya: Congratulations. You’re not alone in it. Every other designer and creative and  artist also considers and feels that may or may not belong there, or they may, may or may not be good enough as my business code says, those are the only two things that we struggle with for the rest of our lives. I’m not good enough.

And I don’t belong only to dogs that circle us. And the more we fight those dogs, the more they get really aggressive. I watched wonder for the first time very recently. I don’t know if you’ve seen the movie and the sister whispers in the ear of the kid. Why belong when you were born to stand out on his first day of school?

I know that these are  beautiful things that we just say on Instagram, beautifully typographed, but it’s important to believe it as well. If we’re all unique, then we’re all not going to belong in one place. And we’re all not going to get that stamp saying you belong. We don’t want uniformity.

It’s what every single creative,  person fights for all of their lives. If Leonardo DiCaprio thought that he doesn’t belong in films because he’s never won an Oscar for 20 years. People would have missed out on a few really good films.

And you’re right. And you really hit the nail. When you said we’re relying on external sources to tell us that we belong and external sources will never ended up telling us that we belong, unless we already believe that we belong. Are there much better psychologists than me that you could be talking to today?

Yeah, but for some strange reason, you’ve picked to talk to me today and it’s important that I find some value there and be grateful about this. Um, find myself some sort of belonging here and to reassure to myself that, that this is great. So. I don’t know if external resources or external validation can be the only thing that will help us feel belonged.

Sure. It can also be an additional thing to further our belongingness, but our belongingness should ideally should come from ourselves.And the journey is to then find out how do I then belong or find belongingness to the community of creativity within myself.  Like who told us that we don’t belong if we don’t have these particular  awards, you know, who told us that we’re not good enough? And how can we challenge those beliefs? 

Angie: As creatives, we do tend to give a lot of weightage to other people’s approval of our work. And we let that shape our identity sometimes.

Jerusha: if your entire identity is in what you do, then,  your life stops living after you can’t do what you were doing before.  And I, I like have to keep telling myself as well that I’m not my work.   My work, isn’t the only way in which I’m called to my purpose. There are so many other things that make me who I am, and it’s not just this one thing.

Angie: It helps to have this mindset of the practice is the output, because that’s all we can control. What we put in, in terms of the work. There’s a quote by a sculptor Elizabeth King, that goes “Process saves us from the poverty of our intentions.” 

Sushi: So these invisible standards can affect how much we think our work is worth. Even when we are charging a client.

Jerusha:  You may always be confused about whether you’re charging correctly, because should I be doing this at all? Am I charging correctly? How valuable is this work?

If I shouldn’t be an artist, then should I be an artist? You know, it’s like, it’s really confusing because you’re already questioning yourself or you’re trying to prove yourself. So you’re going to clients, you’re charging, let’s say a lower amount by giving them a much better, final piece of work, because you’re trying to say, Hey, I’m good. I am good at what I do, even if I don’t charge this much.  You’re always trying to push that boundary and say,  I can do this. So then what happens is you end up telling your client or you end up telling everybody else “Hey. I’m  actually struggling with this” without actually telling them, you know?

Sushi: Hmm. And another unproductive thought pattern that fuels our feelings of low self worth and not belonging, and even imposter syndrome is that need to compare ourselves with others constantly.

Angie: I just thought it was very interesting that we want to be unique and original, but you also want to, I want to be unique. Like that person

Sushi: But not exactly like that person. Because then I’d be an imposter.

Nithya: See how, that’s such a trap. Like,  if we actually say it out loud, we’re like, that is so illogical. 

Jerusha:  and then also we feed into insecurity and comparison because of our social media. It’s kind of like having,  a building with, different windows in it and you can see everybody’s life only from that window. And then you think, Oh man, I wish I had that. Or, Oh, I wish  my window looked like that. You always think all these things, you don’t actually know the person. You don’t actually know what they’re going through. Now, some people could be like that person who comes to the window and shouts out everything that they’re going through in their life, but you’re still far away.

You’re still not actually living with them just because they’ve announced it on their social media, like, Oh, Hey, I’m going through a mental health issue or whatever it is. It is not walking life with them. And I think that’s hugely lacking in our generation .

Angie: This whole aspect of comparison. Right? Like. Looking at many things like how somebody else does their work or how disciplined they are or how productive they are. There was some questions which made us feel like this is also  something creative people go through a lot because  we want to put out our work also. And that’s part of our profession, we always have to show our work –  our portfolio. And so we always get to see what others are doing.

And that comparison again, it’s gone to another level with social media.  So how do we handle comparison?

Nithya: By not  comparing – what a strange things for me to say! I think it’s important to ask us us know, why do we compare. Are we comparing to learn and to be better? Or are we comparing to push ourselves and do more despair? Are we comparing because we like this person’s work and we would like to emulate them. Or are we comparing because we have been taught to be jealous and envious of each other.

Are we comparing because that’s what schools said that you have to do first rank second rank, third rank, but that doesn’t exist in, in the real world. Like every designer is unique. Every artist is unique. So I think, again, it’s really important, like to either get yourself a therapist or a business coach to sit and put out your thoughts and be like, okay. I find myself comparing myself to this person a lot. Uh, what am I looking for? Maybe sometimes you’re just looking for inspiration, but because you don’t know how to derive it, it’s becoming bitter and resentful.  But maybe it need not be like that. Maybe you’re just looking for answers and looking for mentorship and guidance.

We don’t know what it is that we’re looking for, but we’re just looking in an unlimited scroll, so it’s important that we pause and ask ourselves, what do I want from this comparison? Do I want to be more like Alicia Souza or do I just like the fact that they put out 20 designs a day or do I like the fact that they are doing quirky new things?

What quirky new things do I want to do? So I bet it’s really  to pause and ask ourselves, what about this person’s work or this person do I admire? And what can I take back from it? Because otherwise it’s, a goal-less comparison and that’s definitely going to lead into FOMO and resentment.

Sushi: So I liked that you mentioned that as designers or as creatives, each of us is very original and  we have our own Original unique, style of work.  But I think often it’s a pressure point of having to come up with something original all the time.

And even if we as designers know that, okay, this is what we are doing. And this is my original work. Everything is at some point inspired by something else and not necessarily the same thing, but also it can look like something else, even if you didn’t intend it to. So for an outsider, just because it resembles something even vaguely and  they haven’t taken the time to look at your work,  you get comments all the time about  if you’re doing this kind of work, you should check out that person’s work. You know? So even if you don’t want to compare, you’re often being bombarded in this culture   everyone is on social media all the time and looking at things all the time. 

So do we ignore these. Comments that we deem irrelevant because, you know, I know this is my work or do we work on improving our communication about what we’re really trying to do with our work?

Nithya: I think I’ve been guilty of doing this myself to my friends, but,  I must say , for me,  when I do that, I’m like,  I’m a lay person. I have no idea about design. But I made the connection, you know, between the work that you did with somebody else that I know who did the work. And I’m trying to find some mid ground because I have no idea how to talk to you about vectors and pastel colors, because it’s not my stuff.

But  I made the connection is probably where like, some of us might be coming from, but I can see why that can be so distressful. I said this to a designer friend of mine and she paused me. And she said, do not compare me to that person. And I remember feeling very, like, like sad and upset, like, did I hurt her?

But she did take the time out to explain to me why she didn’t want to be compared though , but I guess it’s also important, like how you said, what do we do at that point? You can open up dialogue, you can say to that person. Hey, what do you find similar between the work that you mentioned and my work, or what about my work reminded you of that person’s work.

Especially if you’re talking to friends, it’s okay to say, stop talking about other people’s work. Talk about mine. It’s okay to expect that and to express that expectation, but I know that where it comes from should come from. I love my work and I’m looking for validation from this person.

And to express that to that person rather than to just be like, Oh, now this person compared, maybe I’m not good enough. Or to even show them, Hey, look, these are, these are the artists you compared me to, this is how my work is different. So you could educate them.

Sushi:  And this often also bleeds into social media where we see unsolicited and uninformed, and sometimes even very toxic comments from people you don’t even know,  tearing down your work.

Angie: And really social media is a poor replacement for good community, unless it’s used very intentionally. A community in its truest sense should provide feedback, affirmation and positive reinforcement while also challenging us to keep going and improving. And when it comes to ourselves,  and our work and why have we chosen them as the community that we want to listen to?

Jerusha: I think as a creative, it’s not a necessity to have people around you. Right? You may think that, Oh, because the ideas are coming from your own mind, you are doing your own work. You don’t have to do it with other people, but engaging with other people is really helpful because it’s stimulates your mind as well. Right? Talking to other creatives or listening to different solutions to a problem. All of that is stuff that like, it’s really good for you. 

So I think it’s really important to go meet other people so that you don’t get into a rut. And also you can be accountable to other people.

Angie:  I actually found that I’m actually more affirmed. If someone I know who knows my work has given me  good informed feedback. Like that part of me is actually fulfilled by that. 

Nithya: you know, how you were talking about how do then communities relate to each other? Are there three Instagram artists that you absolutely love, please leave them a DM and say, I love this about your work.

That’s how you encourage and build a community. And you say, Hey, I’m open to giving you feedback and I’m open to like supporting you. And you’re not my competition. You are my friend that I would love to like lift up.

Sushi:  I also feel it’s very important that, when we look at  communities, we must also sort of do the self work of knowing our own strengths and being aware of our own weaknesses and accepting ourselves before we expect others to.

Angie: For me, especially this year, it’s really helped to have done some assessment tests, and spoke to people about what they think I’m good at. It’s really helped me know what kind of projects and activities energize me and,  make me feel more me.

Sushi: So there are so many resources online, right? There are videos, there are blogs and there are books, but I think that no matter how much you listen to them or read about it, this is something we need to work out for ourselves. Like I am not an impostor. I don’t want to feel like one. 

So this is why I also kind of approached this like a design problem and created a mind map of who I thought I was as a designer. And then I circled the things which I thought I wasn’t consistently good at. And then asked myself, what are the skills I need to bridge that gap? And I made a list of those skills. And while I was making that list, I also realized that there are certain things I didn’t want to be, or I didn’t want to get into.

So I managed to cut out a whole lot of these unreasonable expectations that I was placing on myself. So when we think that in order to be a legit designer, we need to have like 150 credentials, but actually, no. So just decluttering the entire list  because at some point you might have needed to pick up a skill for one segment of an assignment.

But that doesn’t mean that you have to continue to build up that skill and, become an expert at it if you don’t want to. So it’s very important to figure out your niche, even if you’re a generalist type. This is something I learned this year. So I am a multi-disciplinary sort of designer, so my skills are quite transdisciplinary.

But it was very, useful to find out that meeting point of my skills and my strengths. And once I’d figured that out, I was no longer comparing myself to others, but now that I’ve understood my own strengths and my own skills better, I’d created this corner, which belongs to me.

Angie: this just reminds me of a sentence. I read in a book where,  you know, it says no one is “youear” than you. And it’s like we’re the experts at knowing what it’s like to be us. There’s also this quote by James Victore,  this designer, and he says “the things that made you weird as a kid is what makes you great today.” and I think we should just embrace that and say, Hey, this is what makes me special. And I’m going to celebrate that. So I feel that is good advice to give, especially to a creative person, because they’re in touch with that part of them, right? We chose this because we want to go closer to that part of us.

We feel like that’s closer to our identity when we’re pursuing these things versus anything else. And, uh, your own unique voice is a combination of your beliefs, your values, your perspective, all of the experiences you’ve had in your life and your journey as a creative is all about evolving that voice, which is uniquely yours.

Sushi: once you find your unique voice, it’s also important to invest in building up that unique voice. So what does regular mental health care look like?

Jerusha: I was listening to this podcast and [00:27:00] this lady was talking about how we need to build habits. she said, “do the things you need to do to feel the way you want to feel”, which I thought was really cool. 

And so those things could be really simple things like – I could not recommend more- take a walk if there are any, places around you. Step out and just be out of your space because that gets you out of your head.

If there’s nature around you,  I would say like really enjoy, even if it’s just one tree, like go,  look at it or just stand under it or whatever.  Do things like gardening or ,  even like playing with clay. I think do something with your hands do something  that isn’t part of your work. 

Angie: When it comes to the kind of tasks we take up, a lot of times we tend to put off those tasks that are important to us. But they may not be urgent. Right. Some of those projects that are close to our hearts and , that actually give us the energy to keep going.

So,  I think it’s important for our mental health to, to,  have a plan for working on those projects. 

Nithya: I believe that that everybody’s therapy is their own. And for some people talk therapy works for some people art therapy works for some people running marathon books.  A therapist is just a professional who has learned about what can work best for you. And it’s just like a sounding board. But, I bet that a lot of people can do a lot of first responder or like first level care with themselves, a great routine, a great sleep routine.

Um, one of the things my dad tells me is  a 30, 60, 90, like 30 minutes after getting up. 60 minutes after coming back from work and 90 minutes before going to sleep, no devices, it’s hard to follow, but it does really, really support, um, mental health. Because now you’re, you have so much time to read, to discover yourself, to engage with the people you love in so many ways.

So I, I think we can create wonderful, strong habits for ourselves. To be disciplined and take care of our mental health, but it’s important to recognize when it goes beyond my carrying capacity that I need help and it’s okay to take help. 

Sushi: Is there any sort of sign that, okay, it’s time to seek professional help.

First step is to really assess what are you feeling? Where is this feeling coming from? Is this easily solvable in other ways, like if I’m feeling lonely, do I need to just call up my friend and talk to them for 15 minutes? Will I feel a bit better? So I think step one is be aware of the emotions that I’m facing before I try to handle them or control them or change them, or feel them to know what I’m feeling. Easiest way is to journal every day.

Definitely sleep. If your sleeps messed up way too much, if your appetite’s messed up, then please go to a therapist. If whatever it is that you’re struggling with is okay. Is not letting you function well in daily life, or like really live up to your own potential, then go to a therapist. So I sometimes compare therapy to like taking your car to a mechanic and I like drop this everywhere.

Sure. You can take your car to the mechanic when you had an accident and the air thingie is out, but you can also take it when it’s running very smoothly. And he’ll say, sir, put alloys. It will be very nice, you know, and a therapist can help you not just get from like minus X to zero, but also help you get from zero to plus X and help you reach your potential. So I’d say go to a therapist at any point of time

Mental health support has come along. Yeah. And we’re seeing organizations reaching out in different ways to overcome stigma and making help affordable and accessible. Here’s what Nithya  had to say about this

I was asking my designer , can you tell people how many slices of pizza it will be instead of how much cost it could be, you know, to, to take one session. And it’s like one medium sized pizza per session, you know, but yes, that is very expensive -therapy can be very, very expensive. It’s so easy for me to say, Oh, just come to therapy. But when they do come here, people realize it’s going to take me six, eight sessions, and that’s quite a bit of money. It is. But accessibility is hard. We’re trying our best to try and reduce the cost of care, but it’s so high for so many reasons. Like. There are so little number of professionals that are working in the field. The burnout  in my profession is just as high as the burnout in yours. Um, so often we have to listen to our clients, say so many painful, um, experiences that they have gone through and not provide them any closure. But to just say, it’s a systemic problem.

 Sushi: Here’s Naveen co-founder of lone pack on de-stigmatizing mental health. Lone pack has done this by taking a creative route, using memes, pop culture references, and by just being super relatable. 

 Naveen: The main thing is of course the stigma surrounding mental health. So people are not okay with talking about mental health or admitting they might be facing issues and things like that. And people who might actually know they’re going through something, they are not able to get any sort of help and support.

And even people who actually want to get help, the number of professionals is really limited and it’s also really expensive. So being able to, you know, uh, provide this access to affordable mental health care is really something that needs to be done. 

Which is why we came up with a small chat support system called lone pack, buddy, where people can log in and sort of talk to volunteers as basic first aid for mental health and mental health issues. When you have somebody like a friend you can talk to and  they can just come online chat when they want, and just, you know, somebody a non-judgemental safe space per se.

So Lonepack was started by three of us. And my two co-founders were my close friends and classmates from college. All of us are engineers. And when we started out, we had absolutely no. Background into anything related to mental health. But all we had was it was the passion to make a difference and we just took the plunge. Right now we are sort of getting help from a lot of amazing people some of whom are from a psychology background, so they just came and joined us. And our team just grew like that because a lot of people wanted to help and get involved.

So during the time we were in college, we saw a lot of our friends and classmates going through a lot of issues, depression and anxiety, but they did not have any sort of a support system.

And they themselves were mostly unaware of what was happening to them and how they could get better. But it was pretty clear that it was affecting them. So, the three of us, like we were brainstorming on what we could do, you know, help these people. So we wanted to start something which would focus on India specifically, and, target the youth and help and create awareness about mental health and, you know, provide support to people who might be going through issues.

Angie: Speaking of first responder care, when it comes to mental health,  the family and friends of those who are facing issues need to know what support looks like.

Jerusha:  We always think of the person in the issue and not necessarily the caregiver. It’s the same with having somebody who has a  debilitating physical illness and you have to look after them all the time, right? So it’s kind of a very similar situation, except there may or may not be physical implications to what they’re going through.

I always recommend a therapist, but know who the therapist is. Then the other thing is just listen, if you don’t know what to say, but limit that listening time as well, or when you are listening,  go stimulate yourself with something else that’s positive, exciting, happy,  just to take care of yourself as well. And, yeah, I think just do the best that you can.

So much of it comes from  loneliness or insecurity or whatever. So you just need to know that you’re loved that somebody is there for you, that somebody is going to listen or be there no matter what.  Whereas from your therapist,  I guess it’s like going to a doctor versus having your family take care of you.

Let’s say your parent is constantly telling you, Oh, you need to sleep at this time. You need to wake up at this time, you need to do this. You need to do that. It’s kind of just going to be like, [00:36:00] Oh, please stop enough. I don’t want to hear that. But if your doctor tells you that it’s kind of a little bit different.

Nithya: I think we can totally be a shoulder to cry on. We can listen, be there for venting support. so I think the answer also lies in how much we are aware of ourselves, of how much support we can provide and how well we’re able to communicate that to our friends. And to say, this is how much I can do. And listening actively is one of the nicest things we can do to just be like, I don’t know how to help. I don’t know how much struggles you’re going through, but I’ll listen.

Angie: So how can we as designers participate in this whole event of making mental health more accessible? 

Nithya: I have had so much trouble finding good designers to work on mental health. So please come work  with anybody we would love it. We’re concentrating so much on making sure that [00:37:00] our clients don’t go through more domestic abuse or, or support them with suicide, but we would love any kind of help you’ll give us.

So yeah. Please educate us. Come by, explain to us what a graphic designer does, what a typographic designer does, how you can use design to help our clients build better routines, how you can use design to make the space more economic for them to live in more safe for them to live in whatever – we love inputs.

And I think I speak for every mental health organization. When I say we will never turn away a designer who wants to work, we may not be able to afford you because we have shown this social sector. But, we would love your input. We would love to learn from you. So as designers, that’s one way you can contribute would reach out to any mental health organization that you think is doing good work and offer to add value to them. Feel free to make a thousand infographics about mental health and put them up on Instagram. We would love that.

Naveen: So right now we are actually expanding our team and we are sort of looking out for visual designers who might be able to help lone pack because we are trying to come up with a lot of content surrounding mental health and mental health issues to create awareness. And we need the help  of designers on our team who can help us  create great visuals to go with those content and be able to communicate our messages much better and reach a lot more people. So we are looking out for volunteers who can help with visual design on our team.

Sushi: If you would like to work with lone pack or with Heart it Out, we will be sharing the links through which you can get in touch with them,

Angie: To conclude as we did in part one. We’d like to leave you with some tips and mindsets from this discussion, 

Sushi: Force yourself to see your uniqueness and build it.

Angie: Plug into a community that actually builds you up.

Sushi:  Do the daily maintenance of investing in yourself with productive habits and helpful self-talk.  

Angie: Ask for help when you need it. Uh, you’re not the only one who needs it and talking about it gives others permission to open up to 

Hey listeners. What was your biggest personal takeaway from these discussions on mental health?

Sushi: We would love your feedback! Are there any issues that we have not covered? DM us. 

Angie: And we’ll try and point you to resources and people that could help you

Sushi: We’ll be back with the new season of Design Lota.  Have a great 2021!

Angie: Until then. Bye.


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