How Suicide of a Friend led to Birth of Organization That Fights Stigma around Mental Health?
Richa Singh, an alumni of IIT – Guwahati, during her college, encountered a life changing moment. Due to excessive stress and in anticipation of a bad placement, her friend committed suicide. To witness, something like this raised many questions in her young mind. Having access to a well-qualified counselor within the campus and yet someone resorting to killing herself was something that Richa could not understand. This curiosity did not stop there.
After completing graduation, during her corporate career, she continued to research on this further and probe into the reason. The answer to this was the taboo associated with mental health in India. She could see people stressed everywhere around her. The statistics around depression and mental health in India was even more alarming. Talking to a few of them told her, that people wanted to share their worries but did not want anyone around to know this. They worried that if discovered they would be called a lunatic or mad. This ignorance made people keep their stress to themselves.
Amidst all the challenges, Richa did not want to give up. Her perseverance and belief in the need of a system that could help everyday people improve their mental health gave rise to YourDOST (www.yourdost.com) – an online emotional wellness coach. Through YourDOST, anyone in need of emotional support, mental wellness, self Improvement, personality development, and other such needs can now easily talk to experts by signing up anonymously and express their concerns to practicing psychologists, counselors or even career experts and mentors. By effectively utilizing technology YourDOST is able to address two very critical aspects of seeking mental and emotional wellness – accessibility and anonymity. In short, YourDOST is an Online Friend for people, who are in need.
Now YourDOST has around 300 experts, 20 full-time employees and has already touched more than 2, 50, 000 lives. Richa in every sense lives the motto – Where there is a will, there is a way.