Izhaar: Mental Health Initiative Of Gargi


‘IZHAAR’, Gargi's Mental Health Initiative, was initiated in 2015 by the Department of Psychology. This idea came about when the Psychology Association collaborated with the NGO Expressions for their annual seminar in 2015. Izhaar is an on-campus peer to peer support group that aims to create awareness around mental health and provide help and care to the Gargi community. In 2016, the first Mental Health Awareness Week was organized by the team. On 17th April 2016, NDTV covered the Youth Parliament on Mental Health, an event by Izhaar. Izhaar was also recognised in the Hindustan Times on 23 November 2016.

Since then, it has been conducting events that surround the theme of mental health. 'Autism Awareness Day' , 'World Mental Health Day', 'Suicide Prevention Awareness Week’ ‘International Self-care Day’, 'Eating disorders day' are some important events of Izhaar. “Daan Utsav” is another initiative by the Izhaar team to provide help to underprivileged people. During the pandemic in the year 2020-2021, Izhaar members were continuously working towards helping people to deal with challenges and to take care of their mental health through online platforms. 

In 2020, Izhaar got recognised under the Centre for Diversity and Inclusion of Gargi. Izhaar's efforts align with the value of inclusivity & diversity by including members from diverse backgrounds, spreading mental health awareness to wide sections such as mental health of the LGBTQ+ community, helping underprivileged and those in need. The members of Izhaar also are encouraged to be inclusive and tolerant with each other and celebrate individual differences. 

Not only this but, It's wonderful to hear that Izhaar has had a positive and wide-ranging impact, not only in terms of its societal contributions but also on the career paths of its members and alumni. The fact that alumni have positive experiences to share speaks volumes about the value Izhaar has brought to its community. This is what our alumna have to share. 


Office Bearers ( 2023-2024)

  • Convenor : Prof. Neera Pant
  • Teacher Mentor : Dr. Shweta Chaudhary
  • Teacher Mentor : Dr. Indrani Regon
  • Teacher Mentor : Ms. Soni Jaiswal
  • Teacher Mentor : Ms. Vibhuti Mehta


What are Izhaar ‘s hopes and dreams?

Izhaar hopes that by creating awareness it is able to encourage people to talk openly about their mental health without the fear of being judged.

What problem is Izhaar solving for the greater good?

By training members how to listen empathetically without judgment. Izhaar is creating safe spaces for others to feel encouraged to share their experiences.

Who and what is Izhaar inspiring to change?

Izhaar hopes to create a community that is open to sharing and listening about mental health issues free from the associated stigma.
It has the following poem as its ethos and we hope to create a Gargi that can be supportive of all its members by being kind, empathetic and non- judgemental.

- Author Unknown

When I ask you to listen to me and you start giving me advice, you have not done what I asked.

When I ask you to listen to me and you begin to tell me why I shouldn't feel that way, you are trampling on my feelings.

When I ask you to listen to me and you feel you have to do something to solve my problem, you have failed me, strange as that may seem.

Listen! All I asked was that you listen, not to talk or do -- just hear me.

Advice is cheap and I can do for myself. I am not helpless. Maybe discouraged and faltering, but not helpless.

When you do something for me that I can and need to do for myself, you contribute to my fear and inadequacy.

But when you accept as a simple fact, that I do feel what I feel, no matter how irrational, then I can quit trying to convince you and can get about the business of understanding what's behind this irrational feeling. 

And when that's clear, the answers are obvious and I don't need advice.

Irrational feelings make sense when we understand what's behind them.

Perhaps that's why prayer works, sometimes, for some people -- because God is mute, and They don’t give advice, or try to fix things. They' just listen, and let you work it out for yourself.

So please listen and just hear me. 

And if you want to talk, wait a minute for your turn ,  and I'll listen to you.


What does Izhaar  do?

Izhaar creates awareness about mental health. It believes that by creating awareness the stigma associated with mental illness can be removed.

Whom does Izhaar serve?

Izhaar serves the entire Gargi Community ranging from students, staff, faculty and other associated members.

How does Izhaar serve them?

Izhaar carries out awareness campaigns around the college campus to bring about awareness on Mental Health. 

Training programmes are conducted for the Gargi members students, staff etc. Recently QPR training on Suicide Prevention was conducted for Gargi Staff and Teachers. Earlier it was done for students as well.

Face to face interactions in the college campus as well as online engagement help the Izhaar members to share their mission of creating awareness.

Surveys on Mental Health Literacy are also carried out to better understand the Gargi community. The data helps in using specific interventions to create awareness. 

Helpline numbers as well as details of professional mental health resources are also shared with the Gargi community. 

Students are provided with safe spaces to share their mental health journeys . 

Izhaar members provide peer to peer support to other students by sharing their lived experiences of mental health.

Society Activities

Izhaar organizes various activities from time to time to create awareness about mental health

1. On the occasion of Independence Day, 17 august 2023 marked the day of Freedom from Stigma in the vicinity of Gargi college. It aimed to create awareness and urge people to fight against the mental health stigma. The members conducted a silent march within the college while holding posters as well as putting up a stall for body painting. Social media posts on myths vs reality were uploaded to raise awareness. 

2. On 18 august 2023, A Training session by Ms. Devika Khanna was organized for faculty and staff in order to equip them with the how know for suicide prevention. It is meant to ensure that the faculty and staff are well-equipped to help individuals who are going through difficult situations.

3.  On the occasion of World Suicide Prevention Day, Izhaar(Centre for Diversity and Inclusion) hosted a Movie Screening event along with other activities. ‘Down’, a short film that depicts how depression and emotional baggage, that often cannot be seen by others, affect an individual. A discussion around the movie with a focus on how vulnerable individuals can be identified and how one should deal with the situation was also held. Post the discussion, people wrote short motivational notes and engaged in Clay Art activity. A standee with relevant information about suicide, its symptoms, preventive steps and reliable mental health resources was also available for people to refer to. The event aimed at creating a safe space where people can share their stories and remove the stigma around suicide.

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