UNDP India and Lady Sri Ram College champion mental health for young people

October 18, 2023

L-R: Divya, RJ, Radio City; Dr. Satendra Singh, University College of Medical Sciences; Parul Khanna Parashar, Director, Sanjivni Society for Mental Health; Sanjana Sanghi, Actor and UNDP Youth Champion; Shoko Noda, UNDP India Resident Representative; and, Akash Saxena, President, You’re Wonderful Project


October 17, New Delhi: To raise awareness, promote dialogue, and advocate for improved and unbiased mental health support for the youth, UNDP India and the Lady Shri Ram College for Women organized a discussion on mental health and wellbeing among young people.  

Mental health is essential to lead fulfilling lives and contribute actively to society. Yet one in eight people around the world lives with a mental health condition, with women and young people being disproportionately impacted.

The panel discussion, titled “Mind Matters: A Mental Health Conversation” featured UNDP India’s Youth Champion and Actor, Sanjana Sanghi, UNDP Resident Representative in India, Shoko Noda and other experts from the field of mental health.  

Speaking at her alma mater, Sanjana Sanghi said, “When we encounter pressures of life, be it your college or your working life, it is important to realise that workaholism is not the answer. Being inspired and driven is key, but knowing where to draw the line is equally important.  We take pride in putting ourselves through the rigours of life at the cost of our mental health. I think it is important to understand that balance is key.

Over 300 students from the Lady Sri Ram College joined the discussion and engaged actively with the panelists on issues of identity, stigma, mental health resources and psycho-social support.

A recent survey by the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) revealed that nearly 150 million Indians require mental healthcare services, yet fewer than 30 million are seeking help. The National Mental Health Survey (2015-16) reported an average prevalence of 7.3 percent of mental disorders among Indians aged 13-17 years. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated this issue.

UNDP Resident Representative in India, Shoko Noda, reminded young people that mental health is a basic human right for all people. “People – especially the youth - should not be scared to speak openly about mental health. It is your right to be protected from mental health risks, your right to good quality care, and to inclusion in the community.”

The dialogue was moderated by RJ Divya from Radio City and featured Parul Khanna Parashar, Sanjivni Society for Mental Health; Akash Saxena, You’re Wonderful Project; and Dr. Satendra Singh, University College of Medical Sciences.

About UNDP India

UNDP has been working in India since 1951 in almost all areas of human development. Together with the Government of India and development partners, it works towards eradicating poverty, reducing inequalities, strengthening local governance, enhancing community resilience, protecting the environment, supporting policy initiatives and institutional reforms, and accelerating sustainable development for all.

For more information, please contact:

James Jose | Communication Officer | james.jose@undp.org
Amrah Ashraf | Head, Communications and Partnerships | amrah.ashraf@undp.org