‘Yes We Can’ youth organisation initiates online public survey to develop a mental health charter in Telugu States

‘Yes We Can’ youth organisation initiates online public survey to develop a mental health charter in Telugu States

Mental health illness is not a disorder or a disability, it is a common condition that every human being would undergo during their lifetime under...

Mental health illness is not a disorder or a disability, it is a common condition that every human being would undergo during their lifetime under certain circumstances, says Stephen Anurag. Asserting this, members and volunteers of ‘Yes We Can’ youth organisation celebrate its 9th Foundation Day on 5 May 2024 by launching a community project ‘Mental Health Charter’ aiming towards advancing the United Nations SDG 3 “Good Health and Well-being” by engaging a public survey in Vizag and Hyderabad, capital cities of the Telugu States Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, respectively.

The Global Burden of Disease Study 1990–2017 reveals that India had about 197 million people suffering from mental illness. In 2020, the Lancet Public Health Journal stressed that South India is more prone to mental health disorders compared to North India where, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are among the top States posing threats of low work-life balance, stress, and depression of the individuals. Studies also say that 1 out of 7 individuals in the country experience mental illness. Although States like AP & TS have adopted laws for Mental Healthcare, there are rising alarms about these issues across all sections of society irrespective of socio-economic and cultural disparity. Critics opine that the governments and international institutions would also have to majorly focus on the negative externalities of mental illness which may adversely affect not only the health of individuals but also the economy and global development.

As a not-for-profit organisation, this young team had taken the mantle to perform their part towards promoting mental health for all by entailing an online survey. Based on the research methodology of random stratified sampling, nine questions have been asked which include both open-ended and descriptive. This survey is open to all residents in the urban settlements of Hyderabad and Vizag. The key focus of this survey aims to understand the mindsets and realities faced by the residents of both the major Telugu cities of Hyderabad and Vizag. Therefore, enabling the team to analyze the results of the responses in developing policy interventions pivoting a ‘Mental Health Charter’ driven by public feedback over the major challenges of depression, stress, urban pollution, and work-life balance..

This survey is designed in a manner, where respondents would enjoy providing inputs from their day-to-day experiences. This survey would run online for a month and the end results would be developed into a policy recommendation and the team plans to submit outcomes to the respective Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana on the UN International Youth Day later this year. Committed to resolving the mission to advocate SDGs through youth civic engagement by Stephen Anurag Prathipati, a French tutor at the Myriad Academy for Foreign Languages startup in Vizag in 2015 along with his friends Boya Teja, Sai Vineel, Praveen, Sandeep Reddy, Arudra, Avinash, Pavitra, Jason Abishek, Ragh Sai, Zerub Roberts, Vineeth Doki, Sandeep Yadav and others had led the way impacting more than 3000 individuals mainly the students, unemployed youth and the women from marginalized communities in the Visakhapatnam, Godavari and Guntur regions of Andhra Pradesh.

Today, this mission has extended not only to the neighboring States of Telangana and Karnataka but also up north in Punjab where regional chapters are being encouraged to initiate youth civic engagement activities addressing the realities of advocating the SDGs through community education. The organization expresses its commitment to action being led by young entrepreneurs and professionals namely Sahik A Khader, Sagar Yadav, Zakir Hussain, Siraj, Achuthan Sreekumar, Ashok Chowdary, Dr. N.G. Nihal and Shourya Mehra.

“Currently, our founding members have been spread across the world working in vivid sectors of society. Despite the variations in time zone and work commitments, on two particular days of 5th May i.e. Foundation Day and 31st March i.e. my birthday, we celebrate by engaging our resources in community service which we believe would encourage the society to take up social work activism as a norm to shape the future we want” says Stephen Anurag AKC, founder of Yes We Can and NSWS ngos, Alumnus, King’s College London and NiSG Project Officer with Meghalaya Government.

This survey project has been launched in association with King’s College London Alumni Community Hyderabad and supported by its members Har Sahay Meena IAS, Sumit Dubey, Gopi Krishna, Akash Poddar and Akhil Reddy.

It is also mentioned that the survey adheres to the general data protection policy and no personal information causing identity issues have been sought. All the questions are discretionary and would not be used for any commercial gain and the data is stored for the use of research purposes only.

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