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  • Writer's pictureAatman Foundation

From Reluctant Engineer to Mental Health Advocate: My Journey with Aatman Foundation

Hello everyone! Today, I'm excited to share my first LinkedIn post. First and foremost, allow me to introduce myself. I'm Opal and currently hold the position of Assistant Programmer in the Department of IT and Communications for the Government of Rajasthan and Secretary at the Aatman Foundation

But today, I'd like to use this platform to talk about my journey with the Aatman Foundation, a project that started as a side hustle but has been gaining momentum over time.

To be honest, I always felt like I became an engineer out of necessity rather than choice. Coding, algorithms, and working on systems were never my passion. I've always been more inclined towards the humanities and working with communities. Fortunately, my job allowed me to explore various communities and villages, which helped develop my leadership and organizational skills.

My dream has always been to start a nonprofit organization and make a positive impact on society. Mental health is a cause very close to my heart, partly because of my battles and also due to the increasing number of suicides and people suffering from mental health issues that I observed around me.

My friends Sharad and Vishnu, who are also co-founders of the Aatman Foundation, and I often discussed the factors contributing to poor mental health and the challenges of affordability and accessibility of mental health services. On April 12, 2022, we sat down at Kaleidoscope Cafe in Jaipur and decided to take some initiative. Initially, we thought of starting a club with regular meetings where people could freely express themselves, essentially a support group. However, as we delved deeper into discussions and sought feedback from civil society, we realized that the most significant issues were affordability, accessibility, and the stigma surrounding mental health. So, we crafted an action plan and began taking baby steps toward addressing these problems, eventually registering the Aatman Foundation on June 8, 2022.

Back then, during our initial discussions, we had no idea that our simple initiative would evolve into an NGO that could institutionally help people.

This is the story of how the Aatman Foundation came to life. In my subsequent posts, I'll share how this project has helped me evolve and develop leadership and organizational skills. I'll also delve into the major challenges we face in the mental health sector, what I've learned in one year about this sector, and how my own anxiety and anxious attachment style have influenced relationships within our organization. I'll discuss how my fear of abandonment can sometimes be triggered and create problems. For me, the Aatman Foundation is not just an organization working to make mental health services more affordable and accessible; it's also a form of therapy for me. It has helped me find meaning in life, conquer my fears, step out of my comfort zone, and become more humble. It's guiding me one step at a time towards my true self.



Aatman Foundation

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Nov 21, 2023

Great Initiative. Kudos to the whole team wish you the best :)

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