- Vidhi Yadav has shared how she got inspired to start a youth organization after being bullied as a teenager.
- KidsHealth organization suggests, children should inform an adult immediately who can help them deal with such bullying.
Being bullied in childhood has long-lasting adverse effects on an individual’s mental health and well-being in adulthood. According to the Indian Psychiatric Society, one in four adolescents experiences some form of bullying in educational institutions.
Vidhi Yadav talked with Mindhelp about her inspiration to start a youth organization at a young age. Vidhi was born and brought up in Haryana and spent her childhood with her grandparents. She was very close to her grandfather and when he passed away Vidhi experienced extreme loneliness. She shifted to Mumbai with her parents and got admission in a new school.
She mentioned that she was very sensitive as a teenager. “I used to take every mark about myself from my peers or people very seriously,” she said. Due to puberty, she started having severe breakouts on her face and gained a little weight as well. “At that point of time, I heard a lot of mean comments from my peers about how I looked, or how I was going to look in the future,” Vidhi shared with MindHelp.
She faced extreme criticism from her friends and relatives when she decided to study arts stream after passing the 10th standard. “Questions like – ‘Oh did you not score well?’, ‘Vidhi, you won’t have a career, it’s a mistake’, and it all started coming up in most of my conversations with them,” she said.
Some of her friends unfollowed her on social media and even stopped recognizing her. All these situations triggered her mental health issues as she was experiencing peer pressure and societal pressure altogether. But her sufferings created a positive impact on her mind and soon she realized that many people were also struggling with similar incidents on an everyday basis.
“I learned that bullying is very common. As a young person who felt responsible, I identified the need to start destigmatizing conversations around mental health,” Vidhi added further. She started a youth organization named Beyond the Bound aiming at spreading mental health awareness among youth.
She even mentioned the rejection she faced during the early phase of her organization. As mental health is still a taboo in India, people don’t consider its importance even in the 21st century. “But my family supported me, so I kept moving on and didn’t lose hope. We started out with campaigns on social media. Slowly and steadily, people started realizing the importance of these conversations,” Vidhi shared with MindHelp.
Her organization started organizing workshops in schools and colleges addressing various mental health topics. Beyond the Bound reached out to more than 12,000 people and launched 4 projects across the country. In 2019, it succeeded in expanding its initiative to Kenya and was acknowledged by Harvard University during HMUN India.
“ I want to tell my story to the world not because I want to tell the world that I’m a victim, but because I want to let those of you know who have experienced bullying, low self-esteem, stress, anxiety, depression and other mental health issues in their life.” Vidhi added further.
Experts of Kids Health organization suggest that acting bravely and ignoring the bully can prevent one from experiencing more severe conditions. If any children or teenagers are facing extreme bullying in educational institutions, they should approach an adult who can help them to overcome such situations.