Mental Health PriorityONE: Making Mental Health a Priority for a Healthier You

Tina Arora,Founder

Tina Arora


Mental Health PriorityONE is a non-profit organization that encourages people to come forward and seek help for mental health issues. The initiative was started by a veteran professional, Tina Arora in April 2021. She decided to go help people with their mental health issues to fulfill her promise towards her family and society after being moved by the suffering of society during the pandemic and observing the issue closely within her family. Mental Health PriorityOne acts as an aggregator, linking people suffering from disorders such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, OCD, and others with accredited mental health practitioners in order to help them overcome these challenges and lead a renewed life. “There is absolutely no fee that is collected by us for this social cause either from the client or the practitioner. The idea is to help as many people as we can to lead a fulfilling and gratifying life,” says Tina.

While many people believe that mental health disorders are no longer stigmatized around the world, the situation in India is still in its early stages. Many independent organizations are working to spread the word about seeking help openly for these concerns, but people still don't know who to call, where to go, or whom to trust. A plethora of numbers are available online, however, these lines rarely connect, and if they do, it appears that they are dealing with a call
center agent rather than a properly qualified professional. Besides, there are persons who profess to be trainers and counselors, who believe they can help with mental health issues but are not professionally trained to do so. In addition, we are unable to build a strong infrastructure in our country that makes mental health care widely accessible. A single appointment with a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist costs between Rs. 1000 and Rs. 1500. That is something that many people cannot afford.

Our goal is to assist as many people as possible in living a happy and fulfilled life

Mental Health PriorityONE tied up with those mental health practitioners who were willing to provide pro bono services via video or in-person to those coming forward proactively and seeking help. For complicated cases, a transparent discussion entails between the client and the practitioner understanding what they can afford. Those who cannot are never let down. They will still get ample attention and care. Thus, it works as a win-win for both the clients and the practitioners. Practitioners see this as their moral and social responsibility and clients as their personal responsibility.

“An employee engaged with a reputed corporate said, ‘I can't tell my manager what I'm going through. That could have an impact on my performance evaluation. But I'm in need of assistance, and I'd like to keep this private.'This indicates that companies' trust infrastructure is insufficient to assist this critical cause. Organizations must do a lot more to create a secure and conducive environment for employees to seek help for their mental health issues openly and without fear. Corporates must include mental health as part of their comprehensive health coverage. While there is special insurance for conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, and other cardiac disorders, there is none for mental health,” explains Tina.

The initiative, which began in 2021, is now self-sustaining. Although the scale is still modest, it is encouraging that awareness is growing. Clients come from all walks of life, and they were acquired solely through word of mouth. The organization has partnered with 400+ practitioners and linked 900+ people from varied backgrounds with the practitioners in the last seven months. The majority of them are working people. "I am happy that I am able to make my contribution to ensure a mentally fit India. And in the end, it's not the scale but the intent that matters. Let's keep doing our bit," concludes Tina.