NYU Club Spotlight: MannMukti

MannMukti is a national nonprofit working to normalize mental health and erase misconceptions in the South Asian community. They also use their platform to amplify personal stories and share helpful resources. The NYU chapter of MannMukti was created this year, and since then, they have held several meetings and events for the NYU community.

I wanted to join MannMukti at NYU as soon as I found out about the club. As a South Asian, I’ve witnessed the stigma surrounding mental health first hand. I never really realized how bad it was growing up, but then after watching one of Hasan Minhaj’s Patriot Act episodes on mental health, it opened my eyes. Minhaj mentioned his dad telling him to “drink water and pray” and “take a nap” when he said he felt sad, and I could immediately relate.

I never really had any mental health issues growing up, but then came the spring semester of my freshman year. I had a tough time then and was spending hours crying in my dorm room every day. I remember calling home and hearing some of the same things Minhaj’s dad said to him- “pray” and “take a nap.”

I don’t blame my family because I know that many of these responses come from a lack of education and awareness surrounding mental health. My family has been very supportive, but I know there are so many misconceptions of mental health in the South Asian community that are incredibly harmful. This issue was the main reason I wanted to join MannMukti; I wanted a space to learn more about mental health to start conversations with people who weren’t introduced to the topic or didn’t know about it. 

So far, MannMukti has been an excellent space for discussion around mental health. They have hosted informational sessions, group bonding events, and guest events. They recently hosted Gaya Kodiyalam, a New York City-based psychotherapist, public health professional, and licensed social worker, to discuss different forms of therapy and the South Asian experience with mental health. The club has been a great place to learn more about mental health, especially from professionals. 

If you’re looking for more resources, please take a look at MannMukti’s website (linked below). They have sections for reading and learning about mental health, as well as resources to seek help. One of our staff writers, Priyal, wrote an article on mental health stigma in Indian society. She offers some tips on being open to conversations and creating a safe environment for people to share their stories, so please check it out.

I know talking about mental health can be difficult, so I encourage you all to find a safe space to have conversations, whether it's with a friend, family member, therapist, or someone else. I know sometimes it can be easier talking to someone you don’t know that well, so I’d like to offer myself as a listening ear if you ever need someone to talk to. Take care of yourselves!

You can connect with MannMukti on Facebook, Instagram or through their website.