Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) graduates are known to have established India’s largest amount of startups worth billions of dollars. What is less well known, however, is that some IIT graduates also lead the way in the room for mental health.
Organizations that are established by IIT alumni, including 1to1help.net, YourDost and Moodcafe, have introduced technology into mental health and are driving distinctive projects to reach thousands of individuals who are extremely susceptible to suicide. And what’s prevalent to these founders is that during their days at the IITs they’ve all seen stress, depression, and even suicide in close proximity–a factor that influenced them to set up enterprises in this room.
1to1help.net, co-foundedby IIT Roorkee alumnus Anil Bisht and wife Archana, has finished 600,000 counseling sessions to date and has served more than 1,8 million staff in 400 Indian and multinational companies. “We are India’s only mental health space EAP organization with a proprietary protocol for suicidal risk prevention. This has helped us tackle more than 4,000 suicidal instances effectively, “claims Anil Bisht.
The leading supplier of employee support program (EAP) plans to grow into more company sections and introduce extra services that will further assist employees ‘ mental well-being. India is the world’s most depressed nation, with at least 6.5 percent of the population suffering from some type of severe mental disorder, according to a 2018 World Health Organization study. It is essential to remember on the World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10) that a student commits suicide in India every hour. IIT Guwahati alumnus Richa Singh, who operates the YourDost mental wellness platform, had a friend who committed suicide and was afraid of a poor job.
IIT Roorkee-IIM Ahmedabad graduate Mikul Patel, who co-founded Moodcafe’s mental health startup with fellow IIT-R grade Rahul Ratan Mirdha, also had a friend who tried suicide.
Moodcafe is a free, anonymous chat platform that allows users on the app to connect and interact with qualified listeners, much like WhatsApp. The startup, Patel says, is also connected with the Vandrevala Foundation, a suicide prevention center that offers assistance when instant intervention is required. Recently, Moodcafe organized a first-of-its-kind ‘ moment donation ‘ camp where people donated time and were given instruction to hear about the issues of other people.