With the advancement of civilisation, science and technology reaches heights especially in the health care sector. But in spite of this amelioration, mental health, however, remains on the most underrated side. People suffering from mental health are stigmatized in India and hence they rather choose to suffer in silence. Similarly, the condition of Barak Valley remains no different as the stigmas thus associated get enhanced in the valley with lack of awareness on the concerned.
This burning issue however, didn’t remain unattended by a young counsellor, Paulami Chakraborty, who inaugurated an online counselling platform, Well Heard in August, 2019. Paulami was the first counsellor in the entire Barak Valley and started practicing immediately after the completion of her masters’ in the year 2016, perpetuating to a period of 3yrs when she joined and worked with Air Force. Proceeding forth, she was offered to work with Delhi Government in policy research which established itself to be a great opportunity in further improvising her career. She contemplated and concluded that if she could carry out health research then she could enrich her counselling and put more input into it which would evidently ameliorate her counselling. With this thought, she decided to move to Delhi which also implied that she would have to pause her career in Silchar. But Paulami didn’t want to stop helping the sufferers with mental health issues and thus she decided to shift the counselling sessions to an online platform and named the same, Well Heard.
As she proceeded with her determination to enforce Well Heard, a friend of hers’ Farhana Yasmin joined hands with her in the vision. The major objective of the newly found organisation was to reach out to as many people as possible with its foremost priority being the frontline workers, Army and Airforce, not excluding the students who suffer from mental turmoil. Within the period of a few months Well Heard took significant steps in conducting several surveys and projects. In the crucial period of pendemic with lockdown prevailing over the entire world, Well Heard launched an initiative under the name “Covid Listens” where they provided free mental health counselling to the ones in need. Their initiative was supported by the voluntary involvement of 10 counsellors who together with them counselled around 50 patients. During that period, the organisation also conducted a survey using Google Forms on two segments, namely ‘domestic violence’ and ‘mental health issues’. The result of the survey showed that the rates for both the segments have predominantly increased to which people with healthy family backing fall less vulnerable to. Paulami from Well Heard had also conducted various live sessions on Facebook through platforms provided by organisations like Verse-pe-Verse, Aawaz and Umeed on the spreading of mental health awareness and addressed to questions in order to destigmatize the subject. Well Heard has been conducting workshops with corporates and colleges and also introduced itself in the entertainment industry by providing counselling to them. The organisation has also been recruiting interns from various fields and the hiring process is still in continuation.
In matter of months, Well Heard took great steps in the betterment of the much neglected sector of mental health by providing counselling and spreading awareness on the subject. With the tagline of “you deserve to be well heard”, the organisation in the truest sense provides you with a pair of deserving ears. Team Cachar Chronicles provides our heartiest support to Paulami and Well Heard and wish them a bright future ahead.