#4 Major Reasons that Cause Mental Health Woes in India's Millennial Generation
India has seen a positive acceleration in the awareness of mental health and wellness. From celebrities like Karan Johar and Deepika Padukone openly discussing this issue on global platforms, today mental health diagnosis is no longer considered a stigma in the Indian society. Documentaries and films like Dear Zindagi are conceptualized around this topic and artists today don’t shy away from potraying such characters on stage or screen.
The central government also came forward by amending the age-old 1987 Act and passed the Mental Health Care Bill in Lok Saba last month. The bill is a progressive step towards this alarming health hazard as it provides necessary health benefits, treatment under confidentiality agreement and free treatment to those below poverty line in India.
The new-age millennial generation, who are digital savvy and comparatively more self-sufficient than their previous counterparts, are said to plagued by issues of mental health and well-being. Speaking to Entrepreneur, Puneet Manuja, who runs a marketplace for counseling experts and psychologists, spoke about the day-to-day problems that bother millennials the most these days.
Bangalore-based YourDOST anonymously connects people with the right expert consisting of psychologists, psychotherapists, counsellors, life coaches, career guides and people with rich and deep life experience, who understand and guide users through completely confidential individual sessions.
Some of the key categories of concern include –
Relationship issues is the topmost category that bothers this generation and close to 40 percent of queries the YourDOST platform gets on a day-to-day basis is on this issue.
There are two parts to this – pre-marital and post marital. Under pre-marital, young individuals are unable to find the right partner while the clock is ticking over them. Breakups and social anxieties prevent them from approaching the right person to talk to. Post-marital includes issues around adjusting with the nuances of new lifestyle, which includes adjusting with a new family, work-life balance, adjusting in a new family.
Career and work
Around 25 percent fall into this category, which includes work-life balance and issues around career progression. For instance, when a person is due for an appraisal or a performance review, and is unable to communicate his efforts to his manager despite working very hard. Office related dynamics, personality woes and IQ challenges bring millennials to this platform where they seek to improvement their personality to suit corporate needs.
For example, Puneet cites examples where corporate goers are often confused on whether they should start to smoke and drink only to join a particular clan at his office. This, the counselees believe could help them climb the ladder sooner than the rest.
Secondly, the current generation is also muddled when it comes to how to take their career forward around a time when IT jobs are fading and education costs are on fire.
College students who are facing the wrath of severely competitive exams are also an important and largely reported category facing anxiety issues. People who quit jobs to prepare for exams like CAT, GRE and IAS are pushed to make hard choices which create a feeling of emptiness in them.
The startup gang
When India woke up to the startup explosion, several young folks opted to work at start-ups or turn entrepreneurs themselves post graduation. But their bubble exploded when the funding slowed down and start-ups were either shutting shop or firing employees.
Puneet has witnessed several youngsters dealing with this wave and are trying to bring their career on track.
With more than 650+ experts, YourDOST's platform services about1000 one to one interactions on a daily basis. Since its inception in December 2014, more than 1 million users have sought guidance so far.
She used to write for Entrepreneur India from Bangalore and other cities in South India.