Shreya Patel

In Shreya’s South-Asian community, mental health issues can be somewhat taboo. Consequently, far too many people hesitate to talk about it. They fear being judged, misunderstood or stigmatized. It is this situation that Shreya wants to change. She believes that the people of her community would better understand the importance of mental health if they were more informed on the subject through education. From experience, Shreya also believes that talking about and sharing what you’re going through is a powerful healing tool.

Shreya was a witness to the 2019 Raptors Parade shooting and has suffered from PTSD as a result. In the past, Shreya was in an emotionally draining relationship followed by working in a workplace with a negative environment. She maintained her mental stability by dedicating herself to activities outside of her relationship and her work that she found personally stimulating. However, the daily tension finally got the better of her, to the point that she no longer took pleasure in any of her pastimes. Shreya was unable to identify her debilitating symptoms as anxiety. Ready to do anything to feel better, she decided to shed her community’s taboo and talk about it. She would make her mental health a priority. Thanks to the support of her parents, Shreya became herself again. She called on her inner strength by asking, “what would a warrior goddess do?” and started to show more compassion toward herself. Today, she continues to share her story of self worth in an effort to show others both in and outside her community that they are not alone and that they should always maintain hope.