Published: 09th December 2020
After mistaking a panic attack for a heart attack, this 29-year-old launched a revolutionary mental health start-up
MindPeers, started by Kanika Agarwal, is going to offer some self-care tools early next year which will make you feel empowered and safe. Science backed by solid technology will make it happen
Mental health almost goes hand-in-hand with stigma in India. Though online resources are a boon, the shame around seeking therapy is still abundant. In this light, the solutions that mental health start-up MindPeers offers is like a blessing. What they are offering are diagnostic tools and self-care models, along with conventional and much-needed services like telephonic therapy, mind coaches and a blog. Though their tools will launch, all-guns-blazing, only in January next year, Kanika Agarwal lets us in on what the app has in store for us.
The bare necessities
Kanika is a 29-year-old serial entrepreneur and has to her credit ventures like Passion Peers, a digital transformation consultancy, a HealthTech start-up Fem Peers, Rapid Rabbits, which is in the space of e-commerce logistics plus a sizable experience in working with corporate bigwigs like Google and Microsoft. Leading a stressful life, one day in 2019, she mistook a panic attack for a heart attack and many questions about mental health hit her. "There is clearly an accessibility problem, especially when it comes to niche issues. For example, how can I seek assistance for a panic attack induced by burnout? Then there is the obvious stigma and also the fact that the whole infrastructure feels inadequate," mulls the innovator who was born in Delhi. That was the seed that led to what became MindPeers last year. They work with over 25 organisations including schools, academies and companies like Asian Paints.
Kanika Agarwal | (Pic: MindPeers)
And then they arrived at MindPeers' upcoming addition, self-care tools. "These tools are self-reliant and independent. You can take charge of your own mental health and in many ways, it makes one feel empowered by serving as a guide," says Kanika, who flew to Singapore 11 years ago for the pursuit of education. The first step is a psychological analysis, a detailed questionnaire with both open and close-ended questions, which will help diagnose the ailment, whether it's sleeplessness or depression. Your psychological profile is thus generated and so is MindPeers' Mental Health Index. Intrigued?
Index it right
Several physiological parameters like sleep, social connections and so on are measured by algorithms and that’s what makes the MindPeers' Mental Health Index. "The better the score, the healthier your mind," says Kanika, who started her first company at the age of 24. Accordingly, borrowing from cognitive behavior therapy modules, automated insights are provided along with a mix of modules that will work best for you. It could include lifestyle tasks like affirmative video-watching or asking you to shut out everything one hour before hitting the bed and indulging in some colouring activities. It could be dance movement therapy, maintaining a sleep journal, listening to stories or even access to a therapist, matched to your personality and issue. They have 250 therapists in their database, by the way. The scope is endless, and yet, it is customised to your exact needs.
From their portal | (Pic: MindPeers)
This deep technology-enabled platform is backed by solid science. Apart from a Chief Psychology Officer, a team of four clinical psychologists and researchers do all that needs to be done at the back end to make MindPeers what it is. "Imagine what these tools could do for Tier II and Tier III cities," exclaims the alumna of Nanyang Technological University where she pursued her Bachelor's in Computer Engineering.
For more on them, check out mindpeers.co