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Home > Brand Media Stories > Health And Fitness Stories > Article > IS INDIAN YOUTH MENTALLY AND EMOTIONALLY OK And what one Indian mental wellness startup is doing to help them

IS INDIAN YOUTH MENTALLY AND EMOTIONALLY, OK? And what one Indian mental wellness startup is doing to help them.

Updated on: 17 April,2024 03:09 PM IST  |  Mumbai
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Rohini and Rajeev Vijayan, a Bengaluru-based couple, stuck at home during the lockdown could practically see this unfolding in front of their eyes.

IS INDIAN YOUTH MENTALLY AND EMOTIONALLY, OK? And what one Indian mental wellness startup is doing to help them.

Rohini and Rajeev

A 2023 mental health study done across 29 markets among the youth of India threw up some worrisome statistics. Over 64% have experienced some form of emotional distress or mental health concerns. More than 20% have experienced thoughts of self-harm. [India is the suicide capital of the world as per W.H.O.] But, less than 13% have sought professional help.

The numbers are shocking but not surprising. The pandemic, the uncertain economy, lay-offs and the pressure the youth face through constant comparisons on social media add to it. They’re constantly virtually connected but actually disconnected from the world. And the ratio of mental health professionals to people seeking support in India is among the lowest in the world. 0.7 for every 1 lakh persons vs. 6.6 globally!

Some of the biggest issues youth face are depression, anxiety, relationship issues, body image/ self-esteem, loneliness. But resist reaching out for help for fear of being judged, because of the stigma still associated. Being unsure if their problem is significant enough and/ or out of concerns of availability, expense and impact.

Making Mental Health Accessible
Rohini and Rajeev Vijayan, a Bengaluru-based couple, stuck at home during the lockdown could practically see this unfolding in front of their eyes. Rohini, a trained counsellor-therapist with special expertise in suicide prevention and Rajeev, the former MD of Accenture in the Country, saw this massive need and the potential to make a tangible difference in delivering Mental Health support at scale. To make professional support accessible and affordable to all, not just the elite few, and to help people bypass the stigma by bringing in an option of anonymity. While, of course, opening up a larger conversation to change mindsets in society. Expert help delivered through a tech-based solution to democratize mental wellness for all.

They realised that unlike physical fitness where people are familiar with or open to routines of a good diet, workouts; people don’t approach mental wellness like that until a problem happens. So, the goal was also to build a practice where mental healthcare becomes proactive and preventive. Brush your teeth to avoid the painful root canal later!

Enter The Able Mind
After studying consumers, offerings globally and the limited ones in India, they designed a service through an app that delivers support anytime, on the go. After all, if you can have groceries or movie tickets delivered on tap, why should you not have access to critical support you need always? But the nature of this service had to be human… you don’t want to talk to a bot about your problems after all.

Rohini and Rajeev’s ‘The Able Mind’ app recruited a team of trained, and very experienced counsellors and therapists as full-time resources. Additionally, they ensured that the app is accessible in 9 regional languages besides English. So, support is not subject to your English-speaking skills! You could chat with a therapist in Kannada, Tamil, Marathi, or more. The kicker – more languages can be added on the fly, as required.

Mental health experts typically charge by the hour and unlike a headache which can potentially be sorted with the pop of one pill/ prescription from a doctor… this is an area that requires multiple sessions making it unaffordable for most. The Able Mind opened up a subscription model like a streaming service! With monthly, quarterly, annual plans for unlimited therapy sessions and a ton of resources, guides, chat features, group support, face to face options, virtual sessions, journaling features, stories and much more. At a price point less than a fancy coffee… INR 499 only. With counsellors available 24x7 on demand, no one would ever need to hear, “Visiting hours are over!”

The Able Mind also hacked one of the biggest barriers for people… the stigma. By bringing in the option of anonymity. Protecting your privacy. You could log in with a nickname and disclose only what you feel is important, are comfortable with about your personal details. They’ve introduced special packages for educational institutes [Student Success] given the sheer pressure kids in our country face around exams, results. And for corporates [CARES Programs] that promote strong employee well-being and engagement.

The Able Mind App
Embarking on their journey, they confronted the crucial aspects of Accessibility, Anonymity, and Affordability head-on. These pillars were seamlessly woven into their mobile offerings, showcasing their steadfast dedication to providing widespread access to mental health support. Acknowledging the financial constraints linked with conventional therapy, they ardently advocated for a proactive approach in addressing everyday challenges.

'The Able Mind' app doesn't merely complement our in-centre and online counseling services; it stands as a distinctive platform for early identification, intervention, and preventive care. We seamlessly integrate all essential services tailored to enhance mental health and emotional well-being into our app while fostering real-time conversations and helping to empower individuals navigate daily emotional challenges before they escalate into more severe issues requiring extended interventions.

While their primary focus is on Prevention, The Able Mind stands ready to meet individuals wherever they find themselves in their well-being journey—be it in the realms of Awareness, Prevention, or Intervention support.

An Able Mind Builds A Stable Life
There are some amazing success stories ranging from a lady bus conductor from Mangalore to a student from Gurgaon. Where timely intervention not only prevented a problem but helped them thrive. Accessibility, Affordability and Anonymity at the tap of a button for mental health. No matter what the challenge – work, home, relationship or other – express, address, progress so you can win!

But we have a feeling that Rohini and Rajeev are just getting started!

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