Philantropreneur Anusha Chowdhury holds a torch on the importance of mental healthcare

Published: Mon 14 Feb 2022, 10:50 AM

With her organisation, Let's Talk Mental Health (LTMH), Anusha Chowdhury has been compelling people to talk about mental health and how they can overcome these issues.

As an entrepreneur and philanthropist, Chowdhury has carved a successful journey of her by providing value to people in the form of her ventures, for which she was also lauded by Bangladesh's honourable health minister Zahid Maleque last year. Chowdhury, who is the founder and CEO of Bazar Nao, a unique e-commerce start-up with a USP of providing online credit facilities, has helped over 52,800 families and all her ventures have thrust her forward in both philanthropy and entrepreneurship.

In a developing nation like Bangladesh, where individuals struggle to keep up with their fundamental rights, prioritising mental health is the least of their concerns.

But, with the changing times, these challenges are being addressed by a few splendid countenances, and Chowdhury is one of them. This youthful fellow is taking the initiative to change the scenario. LTMH was founded in 2018 as a non-profit organisation for promoting and spotting light on mental healthcare in the world. She came up with this wonderful idea because she wanted to fight the stigma that is attached to the mental struggles of individuals. With that in mind, she has pushed forward as a mentor to said individuals.

Chowdhury obtained her Bachelor's in business administration, majoring in marketing from the North South University, Dhaka and completed entrepreneur essentials from Harvard Business School online. She is one of the most growing names in the world of entrepreneurship and a mental health advocate, as a youngster still in her mid-twenties, who has already earned much recognition and accolades for her organisations.

It was Chowdhury's own struggles and experiences of depression that took her towards this particular path and motivated her to start her own NGO in the form of LTMH. When she realised mental health related issues on the rise, she decided to form an NGO where people would welcome the idea of talking about mental health. With LTMH, Chowdhury has tried to support individuals who suffer in the darkness due to issues like depression, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and so much more. LTMH has helped a large number of individuals manage different mental health issues. Talking about the same, she said: "I have grown up watching people suffer from different struggles like poverty, unemployment, hunger, fight for basic rights and so much more. I saw gloomy faces and confused desolate people around. Be it rich or poor, everyone's going through something, and only a few are able to talk about it. Also, it takes a lot for people to come out and talk about mental health."

Upon researching, she found that financial constraints played a huge role. "With LTMH, I am determined to help people fight the stigma attached to mental challenges. This consists of a passionate team which we call legion of mental health superheroes. With our campaigns around the world and social media we have managed to reach 1.2 million people," she highlights. Further, she added that LTMH has hosted several campaigns like’ Say no to suicide’, ‘Workplace wellness’, ‘Bringing Smiles’, and ‘Let’s talk about mental health’. LTMH also did a campaign on ‘Protect Minorities To Protect Humanity’, providing help and rehabilitation to people attacked in Bangladesh's minority communities. The group has also hosted several awareness webinars and workshops, closely working with several renowned psychologists and conducted sessions on mental health-related topics with renowned personalities like Dr Natasha Bijlani, Dr Hynd Bouhia, Daphne Soares, and Mireille Toulekima. They touched upon topics such as relationships, communication, and causes of traumas.

LTMH’s umbrella campaign ‘Spreading Joy’ includes many small projects like, ‘Bringing Smiles’ which talks about helping orphans suffering from mental health issues and spreading happiness among children. Chowdhury, with her superhero team, worked hard to make them feel confident by acknowledging their efforts, and helping them get all kind of mental health support they needed. LTMH believes in changing the world. Every great dream begins with a dreamer, and Chowdhury believes that she and her team can attain a generation that is full of compassion, empathy, productivity and full of mental wellness.

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