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Shrinks of the world unite

Updated on: 11 May,2021 08:18 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Dalreen Ramos |

A new podcast by a Mumbai therapist brings 28 experts from across the world to discuss mental health awareness

Shrinks of the world unite

The pandemic has adversely affected mental health. Representation pic

The mental health fallout from the pandemic cannot be understated. As a strength-based counselor and solutions therapist, who facilitates the resolution of mental health issues in a lesser number of sessions, Hina Beg observed that during these troubled times, people were battling both — misinformation and helplessness. “Social media has led most people into a negativity loop,” she says. So, the city-based professional decided to tackle it by creating a platform where expert opinions about simple ways of coping could be shared. And thus, last month, her podcast Our Thoughts Exactly, was launched.

Hina Beg
Hina Beg

The first guest on the podcast was Dr Jyoti Sangle, head of the department of psychiatry at Andheri’s Holy Spirit Hospital, who addressed the mental health challenges that people are facing right now and the role of social media. The Internet makes it easy for people to jump on the bandwagon of self-diagnosis, so Sangle’s word of caution, “You cannot base a diagnosis on what you find on the Internet because that would not have a subjective clinical touch to it, which is most required for a psychiatric diagnosis. It is not mathematical; you cannot add two and two and make it four,” is helpful.

Beg shares that she reached out to 28 mental health professionals and industry stalwarts across the globe — from Australia to the United States — to bring out diverse experiences. Other guests include Dr Abhimanyu Chandak, Mysuru-based neuropsychiatrist, Dr Walid Sarhan, Jordan-based consultant psychiatrist, and Pix Jonasson, who is a ‘couragepreneur’ from Sydney. On her process of approaching them, Beg says, “As I reached out to them on LinkedIn, or through mutual networks, it was encouraging to find supportive responses. I connected with each guest to discuss ideas for their episode and mutually decide a schedule for recording. It was truly a team effort, and each speaker added great value to the series which was posted one episode at a time at 3 pm daily, via my channel Just Talk Therapy, available on multiple streaming platforms.”

In the future, Beg will be sharing stories of patients and families who have fought the virus, on the podcast. The idea is to help others, who may be going through a similar experience, remain calm, receive constructive advice, and cope better. But this series isn’t the end of Beg’s podcasting journey. “I also have plans to launch a new podcast focusing on the mental health of final year students who are looking to start their career,” she reveals. That’s something to look forward to. 

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