Founder, Aachol Foundation
The foundation of Aachol was laid by Mr. Tansen Rose on April 25, 2019. The situation of mental health in Bangladesh had always been a cause of worry for him but when people around him- people whom he knew and who were very close to him- started committing suicides, it was as if something snapped inside him. He was propelled into action; he wanted to provide a safe space for all those young people suffering from depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and other mental health problems. He understood the fact that the youth of today would be leaders of tomorrow; that for Bangladesh to progress, it must be ensured that these pillars of future be mentally strong. And so, he started researching and found that according to World Health Organization (2014; Mashreky et al., 2013; Shahnaz et al., 2017; Begum et al., 2017a), approximately one million people commit suicide every year and 60% of all cases of suicide in the world occur in Asia while 39.6 per 100,000 in Bangladesh.
However, there was another issue that needed to be tackled: the taboo concerning mental health in Bangladesh. Mr. Tansen Rose realized how most families mask mental health issues and disabilities of their family members due to their fear being stigmatized by society. So, one of the aims of Aachol Foundation was to break people out of their shells and make them aware that mental health issues do not go away by simply ignoring them and that they can treated. This is the reason why he named his organization “Aachol Foundation“, because just like a mother’s protective “Aanchal” (The part of her sari that hangs over her shoulder), Aachol Foundation aims to cover, protect and prepare the youth as mentally strong individuals who can face any adversity head-on.
Aachol Foundation envisions a society where mental health is recognized as an essential part of overall well-being.
Mental health is not solely an individual responsibility but is a product of community conditions. We aim to thrive with determination, dedication, and passion to build up a community that is aware of mental health and promotes it. We are determined to overcome the stigma surrounding mental health in Bangladesh and help our youth in reaching their full potential.
We dream of and strive for a better and healthier social environment for our current and future generations.
First and foremost, our mission is to bring down the suicide rate of to zero in the next few years. In order to achieve that, we are struggling to create a tightly-knit community where people come forward and own their individuality, feel comfortable in reaching out for help, accept that they can overcome their mental health issues and become the best versions of themselves. In short, we want to offer all those wandering and lonely souls a family. A family they can rely on in their darkest moments.
Besides offering counselling to those who suffer from mental health problems, we intend to improve the overall well-being of our youth, because we believe that prevention is better than cure. And for this purpose, we are involved in organizing programmes on skill development to motivate our youth towards healthy and productive activities. To help them find their inner peace, programmes on mindfulness are also arranged by us.
Owing to the increasing internet and social media addiction of our generation, we are aware that our youth is vulnerable to cyber bullying and the depression that follows. For this reason, Aachol Foundation offers cyber support and promotes cyber safety awareness.
In short, our mission is to make our youth feel good and confident in their skins; to make them celebrate their individuality. We believe that the more we talk about and work for mental health issues, the closer we can get to eradicating the taboo surrounding them. Once the taboo is out of the equation, there’s nothing much that cannot be overcome.