This World Mental Health Day, we happened to converse with the co-founders of SAL foundation, Niraj Doshi and Akshay Gandhi.
Our personal tantrums have forced a number of us to commit suicide. But, is suicide the solution? Have you ever assessed your mental health? 39-year old Niraj talks to us how his suicide attempts, due to a personal problem, ended up in multiple suicide attempts.
Why multiple suicide attempts?
Having a charming life with good health, good people and a good job, Niraj had entered into major depressive episodes after committing relationship mistakes that ended up in divorce. Over a period of 4 years, he began isolating himself and avoiding medical advice. The society withdrawal has forced him to attempt suicide by jumping off from his 23rd floor in Singapore condominium several times. Multiple failures involved 33 people who helped him overcome this phase and get back to normalcy.
It is unfortunate to hear that a person who had 17 years of corporate experience with Citibank, Visa and Royal Bank of Scotland and also a Fintech certification from Harvard had to take this move in his life.
His mother was a catalyst to Niraj as both experimented with the causes and epidemic of suicide and ideal prevention strategies that can eradicate the stigma associated with it and drive the mental health of the people. Bansi Doshi, Niraj’s mother, researched more along with her son to ideate a solution. The result is the creation of the SAL (Save A Life) foundation.
The transition from the depressed phase to rebirth
About 33 people saved Niraj from committing suicide further and preventing such thoughts that can pull him down. People believed that he is created to live. During the recovery phase, the mother and son counted the people who helped them and it was 33.
The transition was subtle, according to Niraj. He also says,
It’s surreal and I have to pinch myself to believe I’m laughing, dancing, meeting friends, starting this foundation and most importantly still breathing!
The reality is that so many people face mental problems but silently. It is hard for them to voice out and this thought pushed him to form the SAL foundation.
Special moments at SAL foundation
When we asked Niraj about his first milestone, he recollects –
A Father in Gujarat called me and spoke to me for an hour on how he feels his 28-year old son might be under depression as he’s been holed into his room for nearly a couple of years… we’re on the path to help him through one of our partner Counsellors.
He also recollects how this foundation brought his life and smile back as he saw others getting transformed.
What does the SAL foundation offer?
The founders aim to call SALUBRIUM as a 360-degree platform that brings a balance between mind and heart thereby ensuring peace between you and your loved ones. Over the years, the SAL Foundation has offered prevention and treatment services to cater to patients with mental illnesses.
It is amazing to note how this foundation breaks the social stigma on mental illness by producing content in the form of performing arts, writing blogs and conducting awareness campaigns.
To maximize the effectiveness and success rates of this organization, Akshay Gandhi highlights that it has tied up with art-based therapists and wellness gurus who can simplify mental health maintenance.
Zentangles, mandalas, meditation, and drums – try one or all of these and see the magic in your mental health. That’s what the firm believes today.
What is even interesting is the SAL Foundation has a dedicated toll free number where people can vent out their concerns and the clinical advisory panel offers solutions with NO COMPROMISE ON CONFIDENTIALITY.
There is more that these co-founders wanted to achieve –
- Eradicating farmer suicides with SAL finance
- Enabling access to those who have tried to commit suicide with SAL AmbuCross
- Chatbot technologies with SAL AI & Data to guide during emergencies
- Mental health education through SAL Education
The co-founders end the conversation by stressing their vision of eradicating suicides in Asia by 2030.
Feeling low or anxious or depressed? Rush to one of these support groups and never overload your mind with it.