1. Tell us about your Initiative Unbottle? And the work that it does? What inspired you to start Unbottle?
Unbottle is an initiative with the goal of bringing about mental health awareness and breaking the stigma that comes with it. Very often, we see people going through mental health issues without knowing what it is they are feeling or how to seek help.
We started out as an anonymous page, lending an ear to all those who wanted to vent and open up about their emotions and feelings. Soon we realised that there’s a dire need to bring awareness about mental health, and our baby ” Unbottle ” was born.
Unbottle is an attempt to extend a helping hand to anyone who needs it by facilitating professional help, providing a platform for people to share their stories, and creating a safe space for people to pour their hearts out, that is, to unbottle their feelings. Through this endeavour, we aim to sensitize the masses about the effects mental health can have on daily life by using the digital platform as well as through other events. We also aim to spread the word about more affordable mental health care and make it more accessible to people. At Unbottle, we hope to help you out in ways we can and make your life a little bit, if not a whole lot easier!
2. How your team is planning to help College Students and others with your Initiative? Speacially what are your plans for School Students?
We direct college-going students towards affordable and convenient mental healthcare along with general awareness. We urge them to realise the vitality of being sensitive towards volatile issues that have been ignored and faced by others as much as themselves.
School students are mostly minors and have lesser access to and knowledge about mental health. We treat them as friends, with empathy, because they might be dependent on people who do not realize its importance.
Furthermore, we have planned collaborations with schools in the near future to conduct workshops and sessions with help of therapists on board with us.
3. Does your Initiative address Mental Health across all the Age Groups? Tell us how.
Differences in mental health literacy across the adult lifespan suggest that more specific, age-appropriate messages about mental health are required for younger and older age groups. The tendency for young adults to ‘over-identify’ depression signals the need for awareness campaigns to focus on differentiation between mental disorders. Since the world’s population of older adults over the course of the next 30 years is expected to double, it’s critical that time and resources are dedicated to creating a foundation for a healthier aging population.
4. How do you measure the success of Unbottle Initiative?
Success for us is not something which is directly measurable, but everyone person reading this information, reading the stories, and feeling a little less lost is success for us. If anyone can help comfort a friend better after reading our posts, it is a win for us. When someone finds the courage to open up to friends or seek professional help or acknowledge their feelings, that’s a success for us. Even if we help one single person feel better, we consider ourselves successful.
5. What are the biggest challenges of starting and running a not for Profit Initiative? How do you manages fund for the Events?
There are several challenges to running a not for profit initiative, especially one which is related to mental health. First of all, mental health is a very sensitive issue because of which it is of utmost importance that we are careful about what we write and the topics we choose. Secondly, since Unbottle is a student run initiative, we are often not taken seriously, which can create obstacles when it comes to bridging the gap between people in need of professional help and affordable therapy. As such, reaching out to mental health professionals becomes difficult. Also, mental health is still a taboo for many because of which not everyone is willing to keep an open mind towards our initiative and the things we talk about.
6. What are the 5 things you’d exclusive tell everyone about Mental Health?
Things to exclusively tell about mental health
- Your emotions are valid.
We are all human beings and there’s a reason for every emotion we feel. There is no rigid, “correct” way of perceiving these situations. Experiences differ from person to person.
- Your mental health is as important as your physical health.
Mental illnesses are just as crucial for as physical illnesses are, if not more, and must be treated in the same manner as physical illnesses.
- Experiences are NOT universal.
Experiences, especially those pertaining to your mental state, are embodied, meaning that they differ from one “body” to another. While you may cope with a situation effectively, others may not. This does not make them “incapable” of being in control, it just means that experiences are relative.
- Having mental health-related issues is not your “fault”.
- Seek professional help when required, it is always beneficial. There’s a limit to which friends and family can help.
7. What plans do you have for the future?
Through Unbottle, we understood many people wanted professional help but they didn’t know whom to approach, how to approach, and most importantly, they needed someone affordable – especially students. We have decided to create a website, which is will be launched by September end, so as to have a one stop page, where people can learn about Mental Health issues, engage in healthy discussions, and reach out to trustworthy professionals according to their individual needs and wants.
The highlight of the website will be the forum, ‘unbottle away’, through which we aim to create a safe space for people to vent their feelings, unbottle their emotions, and to engage in discussions in and around Mental Health. It’ll be a no judgment zone mentored by our very own psychology students on board!
8. How could those interested, find out more about your Initiative? How can people Join and contribute towards your Initiative?
As of now, Instagram is our main platform of working. We are always open for dm’s and any kind of contribution to our initiative.
Our website is underway, it will have a form for anyone who wishes to volunteer in any capacity towards the cause!
9. Any message you would want to provide or talk about?
We understand that it is inevitable to not be anxious, it is inevitable to not go through hardships or negative emotions. No matter what we do, the response will always be through it. And the only thing one person can do is be there. Our message is to just be there. If each day, one person starts being sensitive about the space they are creating, soon it will be safe for us to express what is in our hearts. We want to give out the message that this is a long journey. It’s a journey of us caterpillars waiting to break the cocoon and walls around us only to come out as butterflies. This journey takes time and sensitivity but in this journey, we are all fellow musafir that they can surely hitchhike with. We’re all on our own destination and along the way, our message is to make this journey comfortable, safe, and expressive.