Prabhat Sangwan: Brothers and Sisters Foundation
Prabhat takes things into her own hands to end a stigma
Prabhat Sangwan has taken it upon herself to help end the silence and stigma around mental health among members of Melbourne’s Indian community.
Concerned that her friends, family and community at large were experiencing mental illness in silence, Prabhat decided she had to do something to raise awareness and encourage people to seek help.
“That’s why I started volunteering with mental health organisations, including the Brothers and Sisters Foundation,” says Prabhat.
“We are a registered foundation and always looking for opportunities to provide assistance and services to disadvantaged people living in Melbourne to achieve their potential for a better life.”
Already balancing a full-time job and raising a young family, Prabhat regularly volunteers her time to promote mental health awareness around the Plenty Valley region.
She has also started a mental health support group dedicated to the Indian community with help from Mind Australia and the Whittlesea Council. Through the group, Prabhat actively assists people to find timely and culturally supportive medical and social support.
She says she is blessed to have been voted by her community as a Westfield Local Hero.
“By voting for me, they have actually voted for mental health, which is a very positive sign,” she says.
The foundation will use its $10,000 Westfield grant to fund a stigma-breaking community event to coincide with World Mental Health Day in October.
People attending the event will be treated to a fun family atmosphere with entertainment. There will also be mindfulness sessions and stories about mental illness from community members who have been through it.
“It will be the first event of its kind for Indian community mental health in Victoria,” Prabhat says.