Mental health issues within the South Asian community are too important to keep quiet
It was a raw March day when the patrol cars and ambulances were surrounding Dimple’s driveway. An officer carried the devastating news that Dimple’s mom had taken her own life.
It took me a long time to process that my mother’s death was a suicide. There is such a stigma about mental health in my culture. At first, I just did not know how to explain it or even approach it.
I felt like I had to hide from the truth, as if I shouldn’t talk about it. It made me so angry.
Dimple says there were signs. Her mother rarely went out in public and stopped doing the things she once enjoyed. She had difficulty concentrating and making decisions. Moreover, she was worried about what other people would think of her.
Eleven years after her mom’s death, Dimple has made mental health awareness and suicide prevention—particularly in the South Asian community—her life’s mission.
My mom died by suicide. She lived with shame and fear because of her depression and that was too great for her to cope with while she was also feeling hopeless and unbearable pain.
I honor my mom’s memory and her legacy by working every day to advocate for and support people living with mental illness so that they know there is hope and there are people who will not judge them.
I want to do everything I can to make sure other people don’t go through the pain my mom went through.
As someone who has lived with her own mental health issues, Dimple, who has her doctorate in clinical psychology and is a practicing therapist in Chicago, approaches mental health with a very personal perspective.
When she was 21, she fractured her pelvis in a serious car crash.
The panic attacks began once she went back to college, and despite the people around her telling her everything would be fine, Dimple recognized that she needed help.
I walked into my university’s counseling center and never looked back.
Dimple is proud to be the first in her family to obtain a four-year college degree and then go on to graduate school.
She leads by example in her family and within the Indian American community by speaking regularly about her personal story in schools, to the media, and at conferences.
Dimple serves as a team captain for Team Patel for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Chicagoland Out of the Darkness fundraising walk to benefit suicide prevention.
Dimple hopes to continue to knock down the stigma so prevalent around South Asian mental health issues.
My parents had taught me so much growing up, but now I’m educating my family on mental health issues.
I want others to join me and speak up about mental health issues within the South Asian community. This issue is too important to keep quiet.
I have found my voice, and I want to share it with as many people as I can.