#RiseFromWithin: A Beautiful Mind | Tech Mahindra

June 2020 was a tumultuous time for India and the world: we were grappling with a public healthcare crisis, and we faced uncertainty at both home and work. There was a sudden spotlight on mental health in the country, exposing the dire lack of education and accessibility of mental health resources among the Indian populace.



That was what led the Tech Mahindra Foundation team to create Mind@Ease. This platform serves as a one-stop shop for mental healthcare services for those needing professional help and intervention. The application was built in collaboration with Makers Lab, Tech Mahindra’s innovation hub.

Being in touch with over 100 NGO partners in 11 cities, the foundation team knew there was an urgent need for mental health counseling for all strata of society. The platform proved to be the right solution to help those dealing with the effects of the pandemic and ensuing lockdowns. After some research, they realized several service providers were equipped to provide psychological and mental wellness counseling; alas, they were small and didn’t have the means to reach a larger audience.

The team got to work right away. First, the team had to educate themselves; they did ample research about mental health, the implications of the pandemic, and the current need for counseling. The team was then aware of the ground-level reality and public perception they were up against. “There is no place where people who experience mental health issues can seek support— talk to someone, get guidance and counseling. It’s also a taboo, especially with men; they would rather keep it under wraps and deal with it alone,” says Mrinal Roka, TMF, who has been working behind the scenes at Mind@Ease for the past year.

The team continued evaluating providers who would be featured on the platform. They had to meet specific criteria, such as counseling being available in various languages at low or zero cost. Their goal was to reach out to every section of society, and the quality of providers was vital in ensuring accessibility. They began with a list of 100 providers, which was shortlisted to 50. Finally, they zeroed in on 20 providers currently partnered with Mind@Ease.

Within 30 days, the website was up and running – a Herculean feat achieved by a team dedicated to creating positive change. The website has various categories catering to a diverse set of needs. One can avail of career counseling, stress management guidance, psychological help, and read up on educational material. There’s even a dedicated section for children where parents and counselors work together to support their growth and development. Two important features that set this initiative apart are its anonymity and ease of accessibility. “One good thing about tech right now is that you don’t have to declare to the world that you’re seeking counseling. Choose to remain anonymous, set up a counseling meeting, and maintain privacy,” says the team.

Earlier in 2021, the World Health Organization recognized this initiative for its focus on mental healthcare. With WHO ramping up mental and social well-being efforts, they partnered with Mind@Ease to bring much-needed resources and care to frontline COVID warriors—one of the most vulnerable communities in recent times. You can view this collaboration here.

Gearing up for the future

One of the most significant obstacles they face is the stigma attached to mental health counseling that, sadly, still exists in India.

“Most of the other work we do, like skill development for youth, education, and teacher training, are all accepted and recognized requirements that we address through our work. When it comes to mental wellness, there is the additional obstacle of the “stigma attached” to seeking counselling for mental wellness. Mental wellness is something that’s not understood very well among the masses. Unfortunately, in the past, many people who have such issues are looked down upon,” says Chetan Kapoor, COO of Tech Mahindra Foundation.

However, the team is optimistic that change is on the horizon. They’re determined to create a positive impact across communities and rewrite thousands of destinies. “I know this is what we’re up against. A sustained campaign – by making a start somewhere – and following it relentlessly – that is how we’re going to get results.”

You can visit Mind@Ease at https://mindatease.techmahindrafoundation.org/