Guest: Parul Pandya
Parul goes all in to talk about what it is like to struggle with anxiety, depression, and insomnia and when all three came to heads with each other — there was no amount of coping strategies or tools to equip her for what she was facing on her own. She openly shares how much she internalized and protected herself from the outside world and how this translated as showing up as high functioning despite the inner turmoil she faced. She expressed feeling an empty feeling not known to her, she was unable to experience joy, she had given so much of herself that her depleted energy could not handle anything more. Parul speaks about her path to reconnect with childhood trauma, the courage she needed to pull it up from those suppressed places, and how it just took one person to recognize that she wasn’t coping well to ask her how she was, and for Parul to take that opportunity to face her truth. When Parul describes facing her reality, she felt it was a start to exploring healing from all angles, not just pharmaceutical interventions which was a journey of its own, but also looking into alternative medicine and other resources that she could tap into to help her dig deeper and heal from deep within. One thing Parul was clear about is that she didn’t want a band-aid solution, she was looking for true growth, and genuine healing right to her core. She takes a stand to talk about the importance of mental health, by humanizing, normalizing, and neutralizing conversations and creating safe spaces to explore the discomfort. Her key message to the listeners is that: be patient and kind to yourself; be open to trying new modes of healing that could help and find what truly works for you; give your options a chance, if one therapist is not a good fit, try another but don’t give up on the treatment; give yourself the compassion and kindness that you show to others; take the time and space to seek support, heal and be empowered.
Guest Bio: Founder of Community Impact Consulting, Parul has been skillfully working in non-profit in various roles through the past decade, including as a community builder, consultant, programmer, and producer. After managing community grants for the largest government funder in Canada, she received much interest for continued collective impact by being asked to serve organizations in a variety of capacities. Her attraction to advocacy emerged with her work as a Queer South Asian freelance writer/poet, over two decades ago. She has a deep passion for ethics and social justice, which she teaches at Centennial College. She is also a huge advocate for mental health and wellness, collaborating with a variety of organizations to provide space and support.
Her approach to exchange is a high-engagement approach, encouraging participation through self-reflection, empathy, creativity, and common understanding. Parul has a deep appreciation for plants, playing plant mom to over 100 in her urban jungle. She also loves watching the Toronto Raptors and Toronto Blue Jays, as well as a lot of true crime.
Community Mental Health at Toronto Western Hospital has been a great support: