One of COVID-19’s most powerful effects has been its ability to hold up a mirror to our society – both, at a global level, and also a deeply personal one -- showing us things in ourselves that we have long avoided or prefer not to see.
While this pandemic will pass, we cannot expect life to simply return to the way it was. It is more important than ever before for us to imagine futures in which the scars may remain, but we are changed by this experience to be more resilient instead of vulnerable - so that we are able to see not only the post-Covid era but also the future with hope.
Breakdown or breakthrough?
We know that COVID-19 is not creating a new mental health crisis but expanding an existing crisis and highlighting that we simply do not have the resources and breadth of effective treatments to deal with it. We talk with global expert Prof Vikram Patel from Harvard Medical School about how we can prioritize and put mental health front and center in India’s response to and recovery from COVID-19.
We also meet three young people, Divya, Kehkasha, and Suraj, about that one day in the pandemic they will never forget.
Prof. Vikram Patel Divya Hariharan Kehkasha Sheikh and Suraj
Coping with loss
Through the pandemic, and in the second wave, we have seen or experienced grief everywhere, but most people have had few places to mourn, and the traditions of mourning that help bring comfort have been interrupted. In this episode, we meet three young people, Divya, Vinay and Mona, and hear their stories of loss, grief and how they coped through the pandemic. We're in conversation with Dr Eleanor Hodgson, a clinical psychologist from the UK with ten years of experience working in mental health services in the UK and India, with a particular interest in trauma and severe and enduring mental health difficulties.
Due to the lockdown imposed in Delhi on 17th April 2021, we recorded all the interviews and audio included in this episode via Zoom.
Through our podcast, we consider from a personal, research, and policy perspective, how the COVID-19 pandemic offers us a historic opportunity to examine a range of challenges related to how young people live, learn and work, and transform our approach to addressing their mental health concerns for the long-term.
The research for this podcast included consultations with 40 young people from across India, captured through a series of online focused-group discussions and individual interviews conducted by our team between December 2020 and March 2021.
Music & audio production
Podcast research team
Faith Gonsalves Pattie Gonsalves Sweta Pal Arunima Gururani
40 youth participants Prof. Vikram Patel Ritika Gupta Anupma Dhar
Get Help Now
We all experience low points at different times in our lives and it’s not unusual to feel sad, anxious or stressed especially amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Sangath’s tele-counselling services offer free phone-based counselling for frontline workers and young people in need of psychological support.
Everyday | 10 AM - 4 pm
An initiative by
It’s Ok To Talk is a public engagement program set up in 2016 that works through new media and the arts, community-based events, training and leadership building and social media campaigns to highlight young people’s lived experiences of mental health needs, and build their capacities to address mental health challenges.
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For more options to seek support and for a range of mental health services, visit, Find Help.
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This website includes stories and descriptions of mental health challenges including depression, anxiety and suicide. Therefore, some contents may be upsetting or trigger an adverse reaction. Reader discretion is advised..