She lights up every room with vibrant positive energy! Anupriya widely known as Doctor Drama is a powerhouse of creativity and empathy.
Anupriya M. Banerjee-Puthran is the Assistant Course Coordinator of the Expressive Arts Therapy Diploma Program at St. Xavier (Autonomous) College, Mumbai. She is also the Founder and Creative Director of Doctor Drama. She completed her M. A. in Drama Therapy from New York University (2016)
How have you seen the mental health climate evolve in Mumbai/ India?
With the onset of the lockdown, an array of mental health professionals have dawned digital personas to hold and support the current state of mind. A plethora of information has become transparent and accessible via videos, webinars, self-care challenges, bingo, live chats that mental health professionals are offering via their independent media platforms.
How do you stay motivated every day?
I stay motivated by acknowledging my need in the moment and mindfully attending to it as much as I can in my own practise of self-care. Being in personal therapy, supervision, and connected to my professional community have offered great support and insight in moments that have been destabilizing or amotivating. Staying connected to friends/family and cat cuddles are great motivators for me too.
How do you engage in self-care?
Self-care is therapeutically or mindfully engaging with whatever you need be it psychologically and/ or physiologically. I recently modelled the many ways self-care can look like on my Drama Therapy portal Doctor Drama by taking on a #21dayselfcarechallenge where I employed shadow puppetry, photography, face painting, card-making & letter writing, movement, and lots of other arts based techniques for Selfcare.
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?
One of the focus areas with my work with women is exploring what brings the autonomy back to you. The diverse nature and complex history of most parts of India offers a variety of variables that disempower or condition a woman away from believing in their potential. The hope here is to bring back safety and autonomy to what comprises your understanding and experience of being a woman.
How can women better support other women?
Start by supporting yourself as a woman. Being compassionate with yourself and allowing yourself to fully empathise with whatever your story is. Transparency and connectivity with self is what will create ripples of connectivity and empathy for women’s mental health in India according to me.
What do you think the future of Mental Health in India looks like?
A spectrum of possibilities; more research related to Indian culture and indigenious practises to support the current research of mental health and expressive arts therapy will surface. More focus on building access based mental health service spaces. An increased focus on Expressive Arts Therapy for mental health support and treatment, thereby an increased demand for training, education and research in the same as well.