Eight Invigorating Digital Startups Helping Improve Users' Mental Wellbeing
Statistics released by WHO in 2020 estimated that about 7.5 percent of Indians suffered from mental disorders and predicted a 20 percent increase by the end of 2020. According to the numbers, 56 million Indians suffer from depression and another 38 million Indians suffer from anxiety disorders.
The fact is that India accounts for 36.6 percent of suicides globally. Suicide has also surpassed maternal mortality as the leading cause of death among women and teenage girls aged 15-19 years.
As per the National Mental Health Survey 2015-16, conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health & Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru, under the purview of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, it was revealed that 9.8 million teenagers in the age group 13-17 years suffer from depression and other mental health disorders and are “in need of active intervention.”
In India, per 100,000 population there are only 0.3 psychiatrists, nurses, 0.12 psychologists, and 0.07 social workers. The desirable number is anything above three psychiatrists and psychologists per 100,000 population.
With the global pandemic setting in, the mental health of the common man has been in shambles. As the proverb says "Health is Wealth", good health can never be compromised. Good health is not just physical health but overall wellness including mental health. There are a lot of mental health startups that are working hard to change the focus from just physical health to overall wellness. Shifting the action from on the ground to the digital landscape, these startups have been handholding clients through one of the toughest phases of their lives. We have curated a list of interesting startups, both Indian and global that are creating solutions to improve the mental wellbeing of the world as a whole.
Cure.Fit (Mind. Fit)
CureFit is a health and wellness organization that offers digital and offline fitness, nutrition, and mental well-being experiences. Founded in 2016 by Mukesh Bansal and Ankit Nagori, CureFit offers a variety of trainer-led, community workout classes to make exercise enjoyable and easy. Cure.Fit focusing on physical fitness whereas Mind.Fit focusing on mental wellness that includes activities like yoga and meditation to bring balance and peace to the state of mind of an individual.
YourDOST is a Bangalore-based company that was founded in 2014. It is a platform that allows one to connect with experts to discuss issues related to your personal, professional, and academic life. The professionally trained counselors will help to cope with work stress, relationship issues, enhance self-image, and support you in your quest for self-improvement.
It uses cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT, telephonic calls, and chat-based counseling for a pan-India consumer and has already handled over 15 lakh cases since it started.
Founded by Dr. Navya Singh, WayForward is a platform for digital behavioral/mental health solutions based on the science of CBT, mindfulness, and more, created by psychologists and leading researchers. The platform optimizes mental health care for employers and institutions. The WayForward app has three broad categories for counseling services: work, relationships, or performance. Depending upon the category selected, the user will be offered practical advice on how to tackle the situation.
Founded by Michael Acton Smith and Alex Tew in 2012, Calm is a tech firm headquartered in San Francisco, California. It makes guided meditations, a book, narrated sleep stories, and health and meditation-videos, among other things. The meditation app, which is available for iPhone and Android, is their main product. The meditation area offers breathing exercises, a daily meditation, several multi-day programs, and unguided and guided meditation sessions.
Fitternity is a wellness app that allows users to book physical workouts in addition to providing diet plans and fitness regimes on its website and app. The platform was founded by Jayam Vora and Neha Motwani in 2013. The app offers informative articles on the subject, as well as diet tips and yoga sessions, to help users improve their mental health holistically. The overarching goal is to enhance a person's overall health, both mental and physical, while also acknowledging that the two are often intertwined. Fitternity became immensely successful as a result of its consistent interaction with customers and a deeper understanding of their needs.
Headspace is an English-American online company, specializing in meditation, headquartered in Santa Monica, California. The company mainly operates through its online platform, which provides sessions of guided meditation to its registered users with the goal of mindfulness. The course content is acknowledged as one of the most comprehensive secular programs for meditation and mindfulness. Its health application provides mindfulness and mental training through health videos and chat options, enabling users and companies to access free meditation sessions and mindfulness training.
Talkspace is an online and mobile therapy company based in New York City. It was founded by Oren and Roni Frank in 2012. Talkspace is an app whose main objective is to make therapy more accessible to those who either cannot afford it or who do not wish to seek face-to-face sessions with a therapist. It connects the users to over 3000 licensed therapists and helps them find their perfect match. The treatment approaches include cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, mindfulness, and psychodynamic therapy. Talkspace also offers specific services for teens and couples.
TalkLife founded in 2012 is all about support. The platform is a peer-to-peer support network built to help millions of young people who daily struggle with mental illnesses. The TalkLife app functions as an online community for people who are dealing with mental health issues and just need a sympathetic ear to vent to without judgment. By adopting mobile technology and building a pathway that allows youth to become open about their struggles in an inclusive and supportive atmosphere, TalkLife is quickly becoming an industry innovator, shedding light on controversial issues like depression, self-harm, and suicide.
World Mental Health Day is observed on 10 October every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health. The theme for 2020 was "mental health for all" as it comes at a time when the entire world was struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic, which affected the mental health of millions of people.