These Startups Are Setting a Precedent in Catering to Mental Health Issues

On the World Mental Health Day, we present you a list of startups that have taken mental health into consideration and are working vigorously on it

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By Komal Nathani


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The Asia Pacific is the third largest market for mental health medicines, as per the report of Lancet. Apart from medicinal expertise, how people of Asia dealing with the battle of mental illness are is the right question.

The discussion on mental health has been on and off the table in the last decade. It is only now that people have become more vocal about it as it doesn't just directly affect the person but it makes an impact on social cohesion and economic development.

As per the Lancet study, across Asia-Pacific, anything from 4 per cent (Singapore) to 20 per cent (Vietnam, Thailand, New Zealand, Australia) of the adult population experiences a diagnosable mental illness in any given year. The study also indicates that in some countries – such as China, India, Japan, Korea, Thailand and Malaysia – prevalence rates have increased. It found that mental, neurological and disorders, which accounted for 7 per cent of disability-adjusted life years across China in 1990, had risen to 11 per cent by 2013. In India, the burden of disease increased from 3 per cent in 1990 to 6 per cent in 2013.

The astonishing numbers of mental health patients are one of the core reasons for startups working towards this cause to create more awareness. With the advanced use of technologies like Artificial Intelligence, machine learning etc., mental health issues are now being addressed by startups in their hi-tech mode. On the World Mental Health Day, we present you a list of startups that have taken mental health into consideration and working vigorously on it.

Inculcating Corporate Wellness

Mumbai-based Health and Spa Resort, Atmantan has started a program called Corporate Wellness to maintain the work-life balance of employees in the organization. The company's idea is to strike a perfect balance in the lives of individuals. From stress management to healthy nutrition diets, they provide unique fitness experiences to employees where they can relive their stress and get more productive. London-based global real estate consultants, Knight Frank decided a wellness resort for the company's leadership meet venue.

The three days off-site conducted by Knight Frank brought a change in the company's management and employee satisfaction. The bouquet of Ayurveda, Naturopathy, Yoga, oriental and western treatments, nutritional culinary spreads and other lifestyle improvement activities help employees focus better on work, said Shishir Baijal, Chairman & Managing Director, Knight Frank India.

Round the Clock Mental Health Service

Australia-based Virtual Psychologist is a startup that provides 24-hour counselling services to its patients. Founded by a Gold Coast psychologist turned entrepreneur Dervla Loughnane, Virtual Psychologist is the application that connects mental health professionals with users, allowing them to receive on-demand counselling via text message in a service Loughnane refers to as "the Uber of psychology"

The company secured $72,000 funding last year from the panel of Optus Future Makers Program, after raising $10,000 as the seed amount to complete the final product. The company is now seeing a 27% month-on-month increase in user utilisation and hours spent on the platform, according to Smart Company.

Unlocking Mental Health Issues through VR

Based in the U.S. and China, Cognitive Leap is a technology company focused on improving brain health worldwide. The company is solving difficult problems in psychology, psychiatry and behavioural health by using virtual reality technology. The company is creating awareness about mental health in a country where there is a massive stigma around mental illness and a dearth of practitioners going into neuropsychiatry.

Komal Nathani

Former Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia Pacific

A firm believer of hard work and patience. Love to cover stories that hold a potential to change the momentum of business world. Currently, a part of all-women web team of Entrepreneur’s Asia Pacific edition to jig the wheel of business journalism!

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