Mrinal Gokhale: Author of Saaya Unveiled Reflects on Mental Health in South Asian Diaspora

With the publication of her book Saaya Unveiled, Mrinal Gokhale is trying to help break the stigma surrounding mental health, especially in her community. She joins host Nikhil on The Shelly Story this week to discuss the harmful model minority myth, and how it can lead to intense pressures and lack of focus on mental health issues.
Host Nikhil of The Shelly Story, and today’s guest, Mrinal Gokhale, reflect on shared similar experiences of being from an immigrant family. Mrinal and Nikhil have dealt with the repercussions of mental illness, which are compounded by shame and stigma in South Asian culture. However, Mrinal and Nikhil both ultimately found redemption through diagnosis, finding the right treatment plan, and sharing their stories through podcasts, books, and other creative outlets of self-expression.
Mrinal and Nikhil touch on the irony that South Asians often have closed-minded views on mental health, considering that wellness modalities like yoga and mindfulness originated in India. In this episode, you’ll also learn how self-awareness can help you get through life and career challenges.
Tune in for a personal look into mental health from the South Asian perspective, and the importance of sharing your story!
Topics discussed in this episode:
  • Mrinal shares her mental health background
  • Pressures of the model minority myth
  • Mrinal’s education and career
  • Mental health is taboo in the South Asian culture
  • What neurodivergence and neurodiversity taught Mrinal about herself
  • How the pandemic affected her life and work
  • The positive outcomes of getting a diagnosis
  • Do you need a South Asian therapist to feel understood?
  • Falsehoods surrounding marriage and divorce in South Asian cultures
  • Eastern philosophies and South Asian modalities of wellness
  • Finding community through her book, Saaya Unveiled
Learn more about South Asian mental health in Mrinal’s book, Saaya Unveiled!
Connect with Mrinal:
Resources mentioned:
Connect with Nikhil to learn more about The Shelly Story: