By Richa Singh:
Stress, anxiety and depression can affect anyone. These are not diseases, but they surely can affect our mental and physical well-being if not dealt with in the right manner, and at the right time. Studying at one of the most prestigious institutes – IIT-Guwahati – I had aspirations to make it big in my career. The competition was fierce as you can expect. But then something happened, which changed my life forever. In anticipation of a bad placement, one of the girls in our hostel committed suicide.
In my head, it never made any sense: How can a girl take such a drastic step and how come none of us had any clue of her sufferings? In spite of having access to one of the best counsellors and psychologists on campus, hardly anyone sought any support or help. It was such a taboo. Even when I started working, I could see people around me who were extremely stressed. But they would never share their worries or feelings out of the fear of the social implications of being called mentally ill.
These were a few instances that nudged me to do something about it. There was a problem that needed to be fixed. While doing my own research I found that people would go to any lengths to hide their conditions.
I am now obsessed with solving this problem. Given that I personally don’t come from the field, I started talking to every psychologist I could catch hold of! I spoke to 100s of them, in Delhi, Bangalore and Guwahati, about what they do, what kind of cases they handle and why there are not many people reaching out to them. It might be pretty obvious to someone who has been through a lot in life but to someone as young as me at that time, it wasn’t.
We have so many ways to connect, yet, we feel are lonelier than ever before. I want to make sure we are connecting, to connect and share our emotions, and not just to upvote and like. We cannot make people come to us, rather we have to be where they are, and in this generation, there is one thing that all of us have: our mobile phones and our laptops. Hence, we were very sure of using the power of technology to solve this problem.
With this belief, we started YourDOST – an emotional wellness coach. It’s like your personal emotional coach – a trusted online friend you can talk to, who by the way, is a qualified expert who knows exactly how to help you! Professionally trained counsellors help you cope with tough times – work stress, relationships, self-image and many more, and they support you in your quest for self-improvement.
So, what started as a crazy idea now has more than 200 psychologists, psychotherapists, counsellors and career coaches on our platform, and more than 1,00,000 people have already benefitted.
Personally and professionally, the journey of personally making a change has been very fulfilling. I have learnt one thing for sure that: No matter how many hurdles come your way, you cannot afford to lose focus. Believe in yourself and keep moving – things will start falling in place.