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Exploring Better Mental Health

“Nothing is more important than good mental health,” says Dr Niraj Singh, a Consultant Psychiatrist based in Leicester. “I’m fascinated with the mind because I see that as the seat of everything else…”

As well as treating patients, Dr Singh has devoted his 20 year+ career to spreading awareness about the importance of strong mental health and ways to make sure we are optimising our mental health.

Dr Niraj Singh

“Mental health is so important as the foundation for health as a whole,” he says. “Without it being in an optimal place, you can’t explore other strategies for overall Well-being Strategies like exercise, taking up a new hobby or getting out into nature, which help to stave away mental illness.

Nobody’s immune to mental health difficulties – conditions like anxiety, insomnia and trauma, so it’s up to us to keep accountability and keep the checks goingto make sure we’re on top of that.

“Lifestyle’s really important; exercise, good nutrition, making sure that sleep is optimised and avoiding excessive social media,” he adds. “Keeping conditions in balance is really, really crucial…”

Originally from South Yorkshire, Dr Singh came to Leicester to study medicine at the University of Leicester after finishing school. Upon graduating, he went on to complete his core training in Leicestershire as well as his higher training in Nottinghamshire.

He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and runs a private clinic in Harley Street, London as well as virtual sessions online.

Although he admits that it can be challenging, Dr Singh finds his role as a Psychiatrist incredibly rewarding.

He decided upon the profession as a good fit for his resilient, compassionate and curious mind.

“I’ve always been interested in the human mind and spirit and what drives us as human beings – our behaviour and emotions, and actually how does that interface with our physical health as well. So I thought what better career path to do that then through psychiatry,” he told Pukaar.

“It is challenging because you have to really dig deep in order to really understand what’s happening with the person you’re treating.

“There’s quite a bit of ‘detective work’ involved but you also have to have the emotional intelligence to really be able to gain rapport and trust, so that person feels confident to open up and tell you their story…

“At times it can be hard, but I wouldn’t want it any other way,” he adds. “I love the impact that I’m able to make on people’s lives. It’s just great to hear people say ‘you’ve changed my life’ or ‘I was this close to ending it all had you not come along…’

“That for me is the best reward – not qualifications or the letters after my name, it’s what people tell me about how they feel – how they’ve overcome their battles and are now able to get on with their lives and prosper.

“We’re not magicians. As Psychiatrists, we’re just guides really. I’m blessed to be able to serve humanity in this way, but it’s the patient that really heals themselves. I’m just there to help navigate a route to get to a better place.”

He is interested in all aspects of psychology, for example, the way that Autistic women present differently to men and can often fly under the radar through masking their social difficulties.

Dr Singh is interested in exploring options such as Medical Cannabis and Psychedelics when it comes to treating mental illness.

Dr Singh will be exploring different aspects of mental health in future editions, so keep your eyes peeled…

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