World Mental Health Day: Several web platforms and mental health expert organizations launch special services

Covid Pandemic makes online counseling & advice imperative. Among a number of initiatives launched on World Mental Health Day in India, we bring to you briefs on resource toolkit release from YourDost, Mann Talks from Shantilal Shanghvi Foundation and BHIS-Fortis Hospital program on mental health.

Online mental health platform, YourDost releases Resources Toolkit on emotional wellness

 YourDOST, an online counseling and emotional wellness and mental health platform, on the eve of World Mental Health Day on October 10, has released a mental health toolkit for Working professionals to help HR leaders and organisations build awareness around the topic and manage employee emotional wellness more effectively. The resources in the toolkit will be available without any charge for the entire month of October as it is observed as Mental Health Awareness Month.

The toolkit consists of:

  •  Powerful posters for self-help and to end the stigma around mental health
  • Self-assessment tests to measure various aspects of one’s life which impact their mental health
  •  A handbook on mental health best practices to follow at work

Training modules (suicide prevention, psychological first aid)

   This toolkit is available at

The past months have been unprecedented and challenging in many ways including the fear of spread of COVID, health issues, job stress, disruptions, social isolation amongst others. The lockdown also caused visible layoffs, unbalanced work-life patterns, staying away from friends, family and living life in a different way. According to a recent global health survey done by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), 1 in 2 youngsters are prone to experiencing symptoms of anxiety and depression, with over 17% suffering due to the consequences of COVID-19.

Commenting on the initiative, Richa Singh, Co-Founder, and CEO, YourDOST said, “This initiative is a message to the masses, primarily the urban working Millennials to open up about any signs of emotional and mental hurdles they feel stopping them from being free and happy.”

‘Mann Talks’ launched to provide free counselling

Common mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety go undiagnosed or untreated due to lack of public understanding, stigma, and the dearth of trained mental health professionals. It is estimated that 1 in 7 Indians suffer from poor mental health. Amidst the Covid pandemic, the situation has only worsened due to various intersectional factors, including forced isolation, unemployment and inability to access previously available services.

Shantilal Shanghvi Foundation, the family foundation of Mr. Dilip Shanghvi has started Mann Talks initiative in collaboration with Dasra, iCALL and White Swan Foundation for mental health to help by offering free and holistic tech-enabled mental health solutions. Mann Talks has a three-pronged approach, a helpline, a digital portal and on-ground activations. The helpline (8686 139 139) will assist in free and confidential, emotional and psychological consultation through a team of trained mental health professionals. The helpline has standardized protocols in adherence to the best practices in the sector. The digital portal will impart simplified, medically vetted knowledge on mental health in regional languages. It will also include information for care-givers to enable them to help their loved ones. Lastly, for on-ground activations, Mann Talks will be exploring high-impact pilots to integrate mental health services into existing government and community systems.

Individuals looking for support can access ‘Mann Talks’ and speak to a counsellor by simply calling 8686139139 between 9 am to 6 pm on all days of the week. For further information, individuals can log on to

Students of BHIS get virtual internship programme from Fortis

To facilitate the holistic development through experiential and firsthand learning; Billabong High International Schools (BHIS) collaborate with Fortis Hospital to provide virtual internship programme to their students on mental health. 

This programme is structured for students of grade 11/AS and level 12/A with psychology specialization. This is a 1 week internship – where children will dedicate 1 hour everyday on a virtual platform for Fortis Hospitals. Students will receive a certificate upon successful completion of the internship.

Key learnings that the programme intends to offer to participating Billabongers are: Psychological Interviewing, Orientation to Clinical Disorders, Exposure to Applied Fields of Psychology, Health Psychology, Experiential Understanding of the Self and a hands on Mental Health Project within the hospital set up under the guidance of the Fortis Hospitals team of mental health professionals.

Rahul Despande, BHIS, CEO, said, “At BHIS, it has been our constant endeavour to help each student find their North Star by providing the right opportunities and environment that facilitates their holistic development. Our collaboration with Fortis Hospital is a step in the direction of ‘Future-ready schooling’ whereby we will offer our students a real-world work-experience. We have always offered internship opportunities to our students and the lockdown did not hold us back. This will be a virtual internship with Fortis Hospital in a field that is increasingly gaining significance – Mental Health. The goal is to provide simulation & hands on learning under expert guidance and something that will add value to our students resume as they move ahead and graduate from school.”