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World Mental Health Day 2022

Understanding India’s sunrise mental health landscapeThe 2022 World Mental Health Day theme is . It provides us with an opportunity to re-kindle our efforts to make the world a better place. World Mental Health Day was observed for the first time on 10 October 1992. The day, officially commemorated every year on October 10th, aims to raise awareness in the global community about the critical mental health agendas – with a unifying voice through collaboration with various partners – to take action and to create lasting change. This year, the World Federation For Mental Health has launched the as a part of their global campaign.The year gone-by posed numerous global challenges – the COVID 19 pandemic, the Russia-Ukraine war and extended geo-political implications, the Afghanistan crisis, refugee crisis, economic challenges particularly in countries like Sri Lanka and Pakistan, inflation, funding winter for startups, and climate related challenges. All of this has in one way or other have negatively impacted the mental wellbeing at a global level. In such a grim global scenario, the theme for WMHD 2022 aptly calls for making mental health a global priority and urges for united international efforts. It also highlights that unless mental health is not prioritised and significant investments are made by countries, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) adopted at the 70th Session of the UN General Assembly in 2015 cannot be achieved.What does the data say about Mental Health?I believe most of us are either unaware or are living in denial of the grim reality about the extent of mental illnesses. The numbers are staggering. Let us look at the numbers of the world first.If that doesn’t shake you, let us look at the numbers for India. As one of the most populous country of the world, which still falls in the “developing” category; the burden of mental health, unevenly, falls on India.Leaves me wondering, WHERE ARE WE HEADED AS A SOCIETY?But are people looking for mental health support?Clearly the burden of mental illnesses is gargantuan and the mental health support infrastructure is slim. But why this paradoxical situation? Anyone with a basic knowledge of economics would argue that if there is a demand of mental health services, the invisible hand of economics must ensure adequate mental healthcare supply. The problem is that it’s a latent demand. Due to stigma and taboo associated with the notion of mental health, and the lack of awareness, many of us are suffering silently.When was the last time you considered seeking help from a friend, family member or a therapist? Rather suffer than appearing weak? Mard ko dard nahin hota? 🙄Such attitudes are clearly unsustainable. And fortunately, they are changing. Let’s have a look at this interesting 10 year graph from Google Trends.Well, if you look closely, the breakout for the term “psychologist near me” happened in 2013-14 worldwide and about 4 years later for India. This means – we are acknowledging the problem and we are searching for help. If nothing else, think about how often the word stress and depression is used in our day-to-day conversations at workplace and at within family.I am convinced that there is an increasing public discourse around mental health, especially in the post-COVID world, which is creating the much needed awareness and ending the stigma. We are becoming more sensitive to our mental health needs.So what’s happening on mental healthcare supply side?This a tricky question. My quick answer would be – A lot is happening. But a lot more is needed.Government of India (भारत सरकार)Let us look at few of the important initiatives by Government of India,These are amazing initiatives. Many are perhaps a first globally. But a lot more is desired. We need to put our money where our mouth is. India’s mental health budget is a measly Rs. 670 crores. Furthermore, nearly 93 per cent of Rs 630 crore is for funding two institutions run by the Central government, namely NIMHANS (Rs 560 crore) in Bangalore and LGBRI (Rs 70 crore) in Tezpur. The government funds the District Mental Health Programme (DMHP) in 704 districts. However, there is no increase in the allocation for each district, which has remained a meagre Rs 83 lakh (the maximum amount for an entire district) for the past many years.We must increase the budgetary allocations to these amazing initiatives for the sake of impact, reach and speed.The Wild World of Startups and VCsNext, let us look at how mental health startups and VCs are playing their part.The Silicon Valley has already minted unicorns like Headspace, Calm, Talkspace and many more. The space has also seen some high profile acquisitions like Ginger, Refresh and AbleTo. And as expected, the usual move-fast-break-things approach has been detrimental to mental health of thousands. The recent free fall of the unicorn Cerebral highlights this loudly.But what’s happening closer home in India? VCs are wait-and-watch while many brave founders are marching ahead.Let me start by setting some context. The tech startups in mental health space can be categorised largely into two types, one is the and the other is . CCBT based startups are the ones which rely on self-help content and machine learning algorithms to mimic therapy. Think of mindfulness based apps, journaling based apps or chatbots like Wysa and Woebot. The tele-psychology based startup are the ones which operate like tele-medicine platforms like Practo and are focussed on 1-to-1 therapy sessions with a real human psychologist or therapist. TickTalkTo falls in the tele-psychology category.My take is that despite the challenging macroeconomic environment for startups in general, fundamentals of mental health startups are strong. Some of us will persist and survive. And it will be these startups which will be the ones who will make significant positive impact on India’s happiness and mental well-being.Non-Profits, NGOs, Activists and moreStartups usually steal the limelight. But the foundations of mental health support structure in India has been laid by some amazing non profit organisations and individuals who are making real difference on-ground. They are the thought leaders and change-makers.Let us dive in;Insurance and Pharmaceutical companiesWell, this is a very early trend and I am not sure if it will stick. To increase their “touch-points” with the end-user, insurance and pharmaceutical companies have started collaborating with new age mental health startups.ConclusionThe more you read, analyse and research about it, the more you realise that mental health challenges are multi-headed and need a multi-pronged approach.My predictions for the mental health ecosystemMy did not have any predictions. But of course, I could have predicted all of the things that happened this year. 😝 I strongly believe when it comes to mental health in India. It’s not a question of IF but WHEN. My guess is as good as yours. But it’s FUN. So let’s start the guessing game. Here are my broad predictions for the next year,While it’s impossible to predict the future, it is possible to write one. So I will get back to building . Let us make mental health a reality for India.More food for thoughtIf you want to explore this space further, here’s are few of my favourite editorials;I will love to connect with you. And share what we are building at TickTalkTo. Also, if you have any editorial suggestions for the post or want to get your perspective/work added to this post, please ping me on . 🤙
Abhay Singhal
Abhay Singhal
Tue Sep 13 2022

World Suicide Prevention Day 2022

We have seen breaking news, celebrity news of successful socialites, and numerous famous people who committed suicide. We also see whenever the exam results are announced, there is news about students who took their own lives due to underperforming in the examination and the rejection by their parents. The reason may be whatever but the ugly truth is that suicide runs across all social and economic strata of the society. It doesn’t matter if you’re a student, popular, or even a regular man, or a person is in a depressed mental state; suicidal thoughts are not uncommon.In the wake of the suicide stories of famous celebrities like Jia Khan, Sushant Rajput, Guru Dutt, Silk Smitha, Nafisa Joseph, and many others, business tycoons including VG Siddhartha, founder of Cafe Coffee Day; Vineet Whig, CEO of Encyclopedia Britannica; Lalith Seth of Raj Travel World; and more, makes us consider why accomplished people must make such a drastic step in their life?One thought that pops into the mind are why someone is forced to commit suicide. Is the person cowardly, and incapable of handling the pressures of life? the response is …no! It’s not about being cowardly or incompetent. It’s about when internal pain is greater than external pain and a person chooses to end their life.Extremely high levels of fear of being rejected and the pain that comes with rejection are two of the main motives behind a person’s decision to commit suicide. Many other factors contribute to suicide however, mental health issues, as well as the anxiety of failing, are the primary factors that drive people to take such drastic step.According to the American Psychiatrist Association, suicide is a grave mental health issue that affects the general public that is a result of an untreated mental health problem. There is a good chance of co-morbidity that leads to more suicides per year.World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD), celebrated annually on 10 September, is organized by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO), which considers, suicide, a serious social and mental health condition.Suicide PreventionAs the second-highest cause of death (after creations) for those aged between 10 and 34, suicide is a major public health issue.According to statistics from WHO as per the statistics of WHO, in the year 2020 in the United States, over 45,000 individuals committed suicide. A total of 1.4 million people try suicide every year as per WHO Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) over one-in-five individuals who committed suicide had declared their intention to commit suicide. Men are 3 times as likely to commit suicide.However, suicide is not unavoidable. Understanding the risk factors and being aware of the warning signs of suicide can aid in preventing suicide.Risk Factors and Warning SignsSuicide is associated with mental disorders, specifically alcohol and depression The most significant risk to commit suicide is attempted suicide.The Suicide Prevention Resource Center defines the risk factors, protective factors, and warning indicators. The risk factors comprise the characteristics which increase the chances of someone thinking about suicide, attempting to commit suicide or even committing suicide. The factors that protect us are the characteristics that reduce the likelihood for individuals to contemplate or attempt to commit suicide or commit suicide.Who Is At Higher Risk of SuicideCertain circumstances and events can increase the danger (not in a specific sequence, except for the first);In certain instances, an event of stress or an abruptly devastating event, or failure, may leave people feeling depressed, and not able to figure an escape route and can end up being a “tipping point” toward suicide.The recent CDC report reveals the complex nature of suicide. While mental illness could be a factor for many, however, the report states it is true that “many factors contribute to suicide among those with and without known mental health conditions.” A relationship issue was the most significant factor that contributed to suicide and was followed by a crisis in the last or in the next two weeks, and the use of a substance that is problematic. CDC states that fifty percent, or 54 percent of those who committed suicide, didn’t suffer from a mental health issue. However, a large portion might have had mental health issues that were not recognized or acknowledged by those who were around them.Warning Signs of SuicideHere are a few warning signs, that can help you identify someone with suicidal ideation;Why do people feel suicidal?Suicidal feelings can be triggered by numerous motives. While it may seem like a silly thing to some may become quite difficult for someone else. A person may then take their own life.However serious the situation could be, a suicide attempt is not the solution. It will only make the situation even more difficult. An ongoing attempt at suicide is a serious mental illness that requires treatment and medical care from specially trained psychologists.Preventing suicideThe CDC report suggests a complete public health approach to suicide prevention, and it suggests a variety of strategies communities and states can implement and implement, such as teaching skills for coping and problem-solving to help people face difficulties, expanding the options for help for people in need, and bringing individuals at risk with efficient and coordinated physical and mental health services.If someone mentions they’re contemplating suicide, pay attention and consider their concerns seriously. Do not be afraid to ask questions regarding the plans they have for themselves. Make them aware that you are concerned and that they’re not on their own. Inspire them to seek assistance immediately from a knowledgeable professional not leave them on their own. Continue to talk to them frequently, and convince the individual to talk to you.Taboo and stigma around suicideA stigmatization of mental illness and suicide is a reason why many who are thinking about taking their own lives or have attempted suicide do not seek help and, consequently, aren’t receiving the assistance they require. As of now, there are only a few countries that had suicide prevention counsels as their top health concern only 38 countries have an overall suicide prevention strategy.Instilling a sense of community and breaking down the stigma is essential for countries to move forward in the fight against suicide. Keep in touch. Keep in contact in the aftermath of the event of a crisis.WHO’s efforts to bring awareness on suicideWHO acknowledges that suicide is a priority for public health. Its first WHO World Suicide Report “Preventing suicide: a global imperative” was released in 2014, and designed to increase awareness of the health implications of suicide attempts and suicide and make suicide prevention a top priority on the agenda of global public health. The report also aims to motivate and assist countries in developing or enhancing effective suicide prevention strategies that are integrated into an integrated public health approach.Suicide is among the top priorities in the WHO Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP) which was established in 2008 and provides evidence-based, technical guidance to improve the quality of service and treatment across countries that suffer from mental or neurological disorders as well as substance abuse issues. In The Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2030, Member States have committed themselves to work towards the global objective of reducing the number of suicides of their countries by one-third by 2030.Closing thoughtsWhen in distress, many people overlook the most simple method i.e. to reach out for help. You could speak to your trusted friends and family members and seek support.These days, it has become very easy to connect with a psychologist, counsellor, or mental health specialist online. You can seek help anonymously in a stigma-free environment. You can book a session with our mental health specialists on the .If you are feeling suicidal, you can reach out to a .Life is full of challenges. However, resolving them or letting things go can be one elements of survival instincts for any human. Therefore, instead of trying to put a complete stop, which isn’t the best option you must face the problem and come up with solutions. Don’t hesitate to seek help and don’t shy away from offering help.
Lavanya Vallabh
Lavanya Vallabh
Thu Sep 08 2022

Quiet quitting – The Trending New Mantra For Work-Life Balance

After the Great Resignation, Quiet Quitting is the latest trend in the workforce and human resource circles.Up until three years ago, the population was busy working, not paying attention to their families or personal lives. In a competitive world, everyone is trying to reach the top spot. It’s a constant battle to the finish line, attracting the attention of the manager was their main motivation. However, the pandemic appears to have changed the way people work. People are now looking beyond the numbers. They’ve taken short breaks and have an insight into their lives. The population has begun to move slowly, keeping the rat race away. Quiet Quitting is the latest trend that is sweeping workplaces across the globe. Quiet Quitting is about getting rid of at work. The entire concept behind Quiet Quitting is learning to say “no” to an additional amount of work, at the cost of time which is essential.Some might also argue based on the Pareto rule of 80/20. 80 percent of work is achieved in 20 percent of time, so one could perhaps take rest of the time off.A shift in a work scenarioBefore the outbreak, people were prepared to work long hours. The numbers and targets were the only thoughts that were making loops in their minds which left the people tired. After the pandemic, when people began working from home, a chat during tough times made them slow down and appreciate the little things that bring happiness. So, people are gradually abstaining from taking on an additional burden of work, particularly when they feel they don’t meet the requirements and should do more. Following the time limit for closing and not entertaining stay-backs after the stipulated working hours for discussions or meetings are some of the guidelines that people have begun to adhere to. This art & practice of “saying no” to certain tasks and obligations, and sticking to working hours is known as Quiet Quitting. This is the latest trend for finding the perfect balance between work and life.Quiet QuittingQuiet Quitting sounds quite like a misnomer. “The phrase Quiet Quitting was coined in the mid-2022 period following a TikTok video that was a hit on the web. It’s not a way of abandoning a job in a hurry, however, it means saying no to the additional workload and completing the minimum amount of work, and keeping the current job. The principal reason for Quiet Quitting is to avoid the exhaustion caused by the intense stress levels that come in the business sector. It’s done to ensure the health of one’s mind and overall wellbeing.Quiet Quitting is an antonym for “Hustle Culture” which is also described as “Grind Culture” where growth, career, and earning more money are prioritised. The people who are part of Hustle Culture tend to run behind in terms of numbers, goals as well as higher positions, and larger pay packages. They’ll do anything to reach their highest goals.In a nutshell, Quiet Quitting is all about absconding from projects, obligations, and a bit of extra burden of work in a quiet manner. Doing not answer work calls during working hours, and shrugging shoulders away from taking on more responsibility at work.The balance between work and lifeThe incorrect interpretation of the concept of Quiets Quitting feels like, making the job an increased risk to increase pleasure. However, that’s not the case. It’s about making the best decision at work and finding the perfect balance between family and profession. The culture of work-from-home has forced professionals to consider what is most important in the world.The need for Quiet QuittingWorking long hours, a negative workplace, an absence of motivation at work, unpaid jobs, job insecurity, , stress, and resulting from stressful work have triggered the necessity for Quiet Quitting. The awareness of psychological health, as well as the necessity for a more satisfying professional and personal life, has been reflected in the classes. Quiet Quitting has pitched Quiet Quitting across the globe. Particularly Gen-Z the latest generation is influenced by Quiet Quitting, where they seek to have the best of both worlds, whether in their professional or their personal.“Quiet quitting means you’re performing your work at the minimum necessary to ensure work-life harmony,” says LinkedIn career expert Blair Heitmann. “For many people, it’s an opportunity to better balance work and life and is the most recent move away from the hustle culture. It could be about establishing better boundaries at work for example, such as making sure you leave your work at a certain time each day or not accepting projects that don’t fit into the scope of your work, or even refusing to reply to emails and messages from your team outside of work hours.”Impact of Quiet Quitting workQuiet Quitting can be beneficial or negatively impact one’s professional life. However one can still be extremely productive and contribute to the company.• Reduce the damage caused by burnout• Lower levels of stress• Lower levels of anxiety related to work and depression• Improved productivity• A greater focus• Work that is completed efficiently• Professional development and advancement of life• Reduced during working hours• Calculated hours of work with maximum efficiency• Impacts of quitting for a quiet time on your personal lifeIt’s common to put our personal lives in the background while we chase our goals and dreams. However, it’s never too late to make the right priorities. Impact of quiet quitting on personal life;• Quiet Quitting helps one maintain a healthy balance between work and life.• Personal life is a priority and improves .• Being able to enjoy time with your family.• Family disputes are less frequent.• Be free from the troubles of depression and burnout.• Lower levels of stress and anxiety.• Feeling less overwhelmed.• Reduced burnout effects.Do you need to quiet quit completely?• If you’re considering going to quiet quit because you require more time for yourself and are not meeting the requirements in your workplace, it might be a good idea.• Any adjustments you could implement to help you focus more on your main goals.• This allows you to focus more time on the areas that can have the greatest impact.• This will allow you to feel fulfilled and satisfied with your work.If you’re contemplating quitting because you’re not inspired by your work or don’t feel satisfied at work, or you’re not fulfilling the requirements of your job in the process, then it’s probably time to look for a new job. Before you decide to consider quitting, consider these questions to help you determine the things you require:• Are you able to maintain a healthy balance between work and life?• Are you setting healthy boundaries?• Do you see growth?• Do you have the ability to learn and add to your skills?• Are you proud of your work environment? Are you influential?If the answer is “yes” then you’re good to go and there is no reason to quit. If the answer is no, then it’s the perfect time to decide on another option.How can you establish better boundaries at work?If your reason for wanting to go is due to your inability to set limits on your own, Heitmann advises you to evaluate if focusing on the most important and impactful aspects of your work, or being dragged into work isn’t yours to let go. “Then engage in an honest and candid dialogue with your supervisor to make sure you’re focusing on the correct areas and consider ways you can adjust your approach to improve your position.”If you’re stressed and need to get your work hours under control Use blocking your calendar before or after hours of work to make sure you aren’t involved in meetings during your time-off.The most important thing is “Turn off the time you’re done! A lot of professionals had an hour-long commute to help make the transition between work and personal time. However, since so many are working remotely the transition is missed. To help you make the transition from work to personal life, you should set up a new schedule;It’s very difficult to work only to earn a pay-check. An occupation where there isn’t enough passion to push yourself to go beyond the call of duty is devastation to your soul. Furthermore, nobody with the right amount of conscientiousness and compassion would like to feel they’re letting their coworkers down.Maybe, in the end, quitting quietly isn’t the best option for long-term success but a temporary solution to help you get through a rough patch until you can find the right job.If you are finding it hard to manage work related stress, please reach out to a professional psychologist. You can easily connect with one by downloading the . Remember, seeking help is a sign of strength not weakness.
Lavanya Vallabh
Lavanya Vallabh
Wed Sep 07 2022
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Therapy sessions in India can be availed for as low as ₹500 per session. This makes availing therapy in India very affordable. TickTalkTo app offers you multiple budget friendly plans for online counselling. There are affordable plans starting at ₹500 per session.
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The best way to get online therapy in India is by using the app TickTalkTo. You can download the app from Play Store or App Store. You can begin chatting with a happiness coach and buy a therapy package that suits you the best.
Yes, there are multiple studies which indicate that online therapy is as effective as in-person therapy. In addition, the convenience offered by online counselling makes it the preferred way to seek therapy. Various counselling apps like TickTalkTo are highly rated and prove that online therapy is very effective.
If your goal is to just get a basic understanding of your illness, you can talk to a happiness coach on the TickTalkTo app. But if you are looking for totally free support, you can consider using government and NGO run helplines like AASRA (9820466726), iCall (9152987821), NIMHANS Helpline (080 – 4611 0007) and SNEHA (9999 666 555).
On TickTalkTo, you can chat with a happiness coach for free. The happiness coach understands your mental health challenges and your preferences, and matches you to the best therapist for you. Therapy sessions are NOT free. There are affordable plans starting at ₹500 per session.
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