Fourth in our series of women who advocate for mental health is Neuropsychologist Jasdeep Mago. Based in Mumbai, Jasdeep earned her degree in the United Kingdom and now is a co-founder of the organisation ‘Invisible Illness’ along with Jay Punjabi. The organization is dedicated to raising the right kind of awareness for all things Mental Health and includes conducting various training workshops, therapy, seminars, and online awareness on social media platforms. She takes enormous steps and is proactive in promoting awareness and facts on suicide prevention and mental health.
Jasdeep Mago is one of the few Neuropsychologists in Mumbai. In 2015, she set up her own practice – The Silver Lining - to better the healthcare for patients suffering from Dementia and Stroke. However, her experience showed her that the need for awareness surpassed her personal practice. Unfortunately, the realization struck after her dear friend had committed suicide. This led to the formation of, Invisible Illness, an organisation founded by Jasdeep Mago and Jay Punjabi to raise awareness about the leading causes of suicide in India. With this they aim to not only destigmatize mental health issues but also provide reliable and affordable solutions for the same to corporates, schools and colleges. In the past year they have delivered over 30 workshops, seminars and events in schools, colleges, workplaces and even cafes. They has also successfully set up a subsidized mental wellness clinic with the Rotary Club of Bombay West wherein they offer psychiatric treatment and counselling.
Why did you start Invisible Illness?
We started Invisible Illness in 2017 after a close friend of ours committed suicide. The ripple effect of that catastrophic loss was what woke us up from our slumber. We realised that everyone around us was not very sensitive towards mental illnesses and didn’t understand them. At that point my mission was clear to me.
How do you stay motivated everyday?
Motivation is something I have struggled with a lot. For me, my personal struggle with clinical depression and anxiety has been my biggest driving force. No one should suffer the same pain I did. That’s the thought I wake up with every day.
We understand that you have a partner that works with you towards mental health awareness. Do you have disagreements, and if so how do you manage them?
Jay and I have been good friends for years. We have a lot of disagreements however our mission is the same so they don’t last long. At the end of the day it’s about how to make mental health a priority for all.
How do you engage in self-care?
I have a very indulgent skin care routine which I love doing and spend alot of time on it as well. I also chant daily which is my way of giving back to my inner self. Workouts have always been important to me.
What concerns do you feel are unique to women’s mental health in India? And How do you think they can go ahead and take care of it?
I think two issues that are hugely ignored are post partum depression which takes place in mothers post delivery. It is a very pressing issue and needs more attention. Secondly, mental health issues related to hormonal imbalances that are caused by PCOS, thyroid, menstrual cycles etc.
The first thing we all can do is be more aware and educated about this. Read more regarding these female centric concerns so that when it does take place we are informed and aware.
How can women better support other women?
Compassion is key. Who can understand the struggles of a woman better than another woman?
Just show some compassion to each other.
What do you think the future of Mental Health in India looks like?
In my opinion mental health India has a bright future even though it may have a long way to go. Also, professionals in our field will make sure we go to all lengths to make mental health a basic necessity and priority in India.