Creating a silent mental health revolution in Africa
December 24, 2019

IAT Bureau/New Delhi

Africa and India continue to connect on a diverse range of issues, be it trade, agriculture, health, education or diplomacy. While the government of India and Industry bodies like FICCI and CII have been engaging with various African countries, what still lacks is people-to-people connect between a diverse continent like Africa and equally diverse nation like India. However, a New Delhi based young psychologist, Nabhit Kapur has been able to establish an altogether different relationship with Africa and its people. Through his work on mental health issues, aimed towards removing social stigmas and promoting positive mental health in society, Kapur has been able to develop a strong Africa connection in a short span of time.

Recalling the beginning of this adventurous relationship he said, “The move for Africa was a very sudden one. There wasn’t a thought before entering there but once I was invited to Kenya and Malawi for a workshop, the African journey began.”  

A young psychologist and mental health advocate, Kapur has been recognised as the Ambassador of Mental Health and Psychology in Malawi. This nomination came as a recognition of his commendable work across Africa towards the advocacy and promotion of better mental health through psychology. However, he feels that mental health is still largely an ignored issue and more work needs to be done to create awareness on it. “Mental health problem has become a global phenomenon. The sole reason is we lack awareness and have a negative perception about it. Secondly, we don’t want to see it as an important issue. Thirdly we don’t even know if it exists,” he shared. 

Being a social sector entrepreneur, Kapur was named as the most influential friend of Africa by Business in Africa magazine in September 2019 issue and was appointed as the Social Impact advisor to the Vice President of Liberia. Recently, in November 2019 he was also nominated as the first non-African Ambassador designate to the state of African diaspora with a mandate from African Union (AU). “These recognitions are a result of my work which I have initiated in different parts of the world. ‘Son of Africa’ is something I cherish as most of my work has been in Africa. It’s so humbling to see that people of Africa like me and my activities. Also, these awards motivate me more to move forward.” 

These recognitions are a result of my work which I have initiated in different parts of the world. ‘Son of Africa’ is something I cherish as most of my work has been in Africa. It’s so humbling to see that people of Africa like me and my activities. Also, these awards motivate me more to move forward.

Nabhit Kapur, Psychologist and mental health advocate

Sharing about his organization PeacfulMind Foundation (PMF), Kapur said,” Based in New Delhi, PeacfulMind Foundation is a global organization registered with the United Nations (U.N.) Global Compact and United Nations DESA. The foundation is present in more than 36 countries across the world. We have various initiatives like global youth mental health forum, PMF fellowships and ambassadors, global academy of psychological science, the SPARK kit etc.”

Further elaborating on the work done by PMF, he shared, “PeacfulMind Foundation Fellowship program and Global Chamber of Business Leaders has also been recognized for establishing one of the most successful Mental Health forums in the world called the Global Youth Mental Health Forum, a platform for youths to train in psychological first aid. Through our network and business collaborations we have established several subsidiaries of PMF including PeacfulMind health innovations in Zimbabwe, PeacfulMind center of happiness, tolerance and leadership in UAE, PeacfulMind center of leadership excellence in Ghana etc.”

Kapur is also on the board of organisations like PALEDC in Nigeria, which works on various activities in entrepreneurship development in Africa, Alex pay, which is a mobile payment system in Africa, and Pan African foundation, in which he is the chairman. “I am really happy to share that all these organizations and many more have trusted a non-African to have an impact in their organizations and countries.” 

He believes that media and people in India have a different view of Africa in comparison to what he experienced during his stay. “My experience has been quite overwhelming actually. People are friendly and very approachable.” He feels that though India-Africa relationship has seen some momentum in the last few years but it needs to be further pushed aggressively. “Things are moving but as I say Africa is huge and very diverse with over 50 countries in it. Each country is different in culture trade etc. we need to adopt a different and more evolving perspective for every country,” he said  

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