A counselling platform where no one needs to know your name
Richa Singh, the co-founder and CEO of YourDost, went through a harrowing experience as a student at IIT Guwahati. “My hostel-mate committed suicide over anxiety due to placements. None of us had any clue that she was suffering before she took the drastic step,” she reveals, adding, “I strongly felt that it could have been avoided had she sought some help.”
This is what prompted Richa to start a company, with co-founder Puneet Manuja, dedicated to offering much needed counselling and mental health fostering. YourDost is an online platform which has over 800 experts — psychologists, counsellors, career coaches, relationship advisors and more on its website and app. “Even when I started working, I noticed people around me were stressed due to job pressures or relationship issues. But, again, most of them were not willing to talk about their problems fearing social implications and for the fear of being called mentally ill,” she continues.
If you think you need help, but are not ready to go to a therapist, then this platform is for you. You can connect with experts through various modes. They offer one-on-one sessions over messages, live chats, voice and video calls and columns by experts on forums and blogs. These services are available on a freemium model.
They have helped several users already and the feedback has been very heartening. Richa tells us about one success story, “One of our users was a young girl of just 23 whose husband passed away after three months of marriage. Neither her in-laws nor her parents were keen on taking responsibility of her.” With counselling from YourDost, she got back on her feet and has set up a small sewing shop.
What makes the platform stand out is the fact that users can choose to stay completely anonymous. Their aim is to reduce the stigma in our country attached to seeking help for mental wellness.
— Anagha M