The Shrinking Couch (TSC) is a website, working towards building a network of individuals sharing personal experiences, resources and ideas pertaining to mental health.
TSC aims to promote mental health, awareness of mental illness and advance proactive behavior towards seeking information about and availing mental health services.
Through sharing personal stories, highlighting professional work in the area and disseminating relevant information, TSC aims to reduce the stigma and treatment gap, and by doing so, build an active, informed and non-hierarchical mental health community in India.
Our Idea: Why TSC?
Psychological difficulties are a lot closer than we believe. You, or someone you know, might be experiencing stress, mood extremities and emotional complications which are beyond our control. The path to mental health, or psychological well-being, is ridden with societal stigma and tends to be blocked by individual, familial, and community factors. Deepening the issue at hand is the glaring treatment gap, where those needing help, support or even basic information, have no access, or shy away from reaching out. In such a scenario, we give birth to the elephant in our rooms, homes and communities – a large but silent reminder of unaddressed issues of mental illness.
TSC addresses this proverbial elephant, despite its mammoth size. We want to introduce everyone to the idea of mental health and illness as a normal part of life, by talking about it openly, meaningfully and constructively. Our aim is to build a community which accepts, understands and provides support for anyone mental health concerns. TSC is a space for comfortable and open sharing which encourages mutual support, akin to the space provided by the stereotypical therapists’ couch, but with easier availability and a larger outreach.
We want everyone to see mental illness as an experience causing discomfort, but not as a case of weak will. We want to share the many ways of approaching mental illness as something that can be helped, overcome, fought, treated or cured, but most importantly, it must be something that is supported. TSC will bring together stories to connect the personal yet collective nature of mental illnesses, to make difficulties of this nature relate-able and less intimidating, both individually and societally.
The Shrinking Couch (TSC) has been brought alive by two young professionals who view effective change in mental health to begin outside of rooms in big buildings. Brought together through similar views and ideas, we aim to create meaningful change in India by making mental health a cause for all.
Nivida Chandra, Co-founder & Editor
Nivida has been a student of psychology for over 10 years. She has worked in the private and public sectors both, exposing her to everything she understands of mental health today. She is currently pursuing her PhD at IIT Delhi, developing the construct of Parentification – a form of emotional neglect where children grow up feeling like they had to parent their parents and themselves. She is increasingly finding this concept applicable ubiquitously, and is eager to see how she can help formulate and solve for it. TSC is the answer to all her frustrations about everything that flies under the name of mental health professionalism in India today. Outside of that, she is favored by all cats as a willing scratch post.
Krutika Bopanna, Co-founder
Krutika is an alumna of TISS, Mumbai. She has worked as a mental health professional conceptualizing and providing psychological services in multiple forms to individuals, groups and communities. At present, Krutika is a researcher in the field of psychology, associated with reputed institutes in India. Through her experience in mental health settings and systems, she constantly found herself asking- “What more?” Krutika combines her training, expertise and passion for psychological well-being to all to answer this question through IML India, specifically TSC. And when she’s not being a mental health ninja, she’s trying to be a bestie to every four-legged creature she comes across!