My name is Raashi Thakran and I am currently based in Pune.
I was born in Dehradun into a military home. So, we were moving a lot due to my father’s profession. I’ve always loved meeting new people and experiencing new places. I’ve always had a very close relationship with my family and especially my little brother. We’ve had our fights and differences but they’ve made me who I am.
This year, on 6th January I lost my little brother to suicide.
He was only 18 years old.
It was very sudden, shocking and happened when we least expected it. It was the darkest phase of my life. I was lost and scared. Confused, angry and lonely. I spent months trying to get an answer to this one question – Why? I was suffering from crippling anxiety and insomnia.
One day, I stumbled upon an email from Change.org regarding a one-year long fellowship. I decided to apply and got selected. This was the beginning of my journey as a mental health advocate. I finally found a purpose and at the same time, I decided to get professional help for myself because there is no shame in it.
I have started a petition on Change.org asking the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to launch a national helpline number for suicide prevention in India. It has received more than 1.8 lac signatures till date and there has been an out pour of support.
We had a meeting with the Health Advisor of Niti Aayog regarding my campaign and they are very interested in taking this forward.
I have collaborated with various organisations i.e NNDC-IF, SPIF, Teach For India and I am also using social media to talk openly about these issues and to let people know that it’s okay to not be okay sometimes.
You can sign Raashi’s petition on change.org here
Delegate, YIC IIT Delhi 2019