Meet the Pakistani women aiming to integrate wellness into academia. Sonal Dhanani, through her organization Parindey Training and Counseling, is working for suicide prevention in the country through several programs.
One of her major initiatives is the “Classroom Wellbeing Kit” for schools, colleges, and universities with the aim for academia to promote wellness. Sonal believes that schools, in conjunction with other more specialist services, are well placed to provide effective support that enables young people to thrive. The school environment is not only a place of learning but also an important source of friends, social networks and adult role models, all of which can have a significant influence on young people’s mental health and wellbeing. Schools can best nurture young people’s mental health by implementing a holistic approach to mental health and wellbeing.
She recently launched “Guftugu- Wellbeing Clubs” in partnership with three universities of Karachi. Guftugu is a social internship program on campus for participants to become organizers and advocates for the mental health. Through this initiative, we seek to address the social, economic, and other drivers impacting the mental wellbeing of young people to create positive, lasting change on university campuses and beyond. We want young people to have the means and agency to promote their mental wellbeing according to their diverse needs and connect to peers, caretakers, service providers and communities without stigma so they can feel well.