Published: 27th December 2020
HappyInc is enabling teenagers to help their peers deal with mental health issues. Here's how
Kian Godhwani, Founder of HappyInc speaks about their free online counselling they provide teenagers to share their problems anytime they want to. They have helped over 60 students so far
When Kian Godhwani wanted to share his problems and seek counselling, he could not find anyone. There were several reasons but the most hurtful one was that these counselling services were at a higher cost. This pushed him to start a platform called HappyInc in Bengaluru along with this friend Nandini Bhattacharya. The 18-year-old launched the website this September and they have helped over 60 teenagers find solutions to their problems in the past few months.
Kian, who is currently studying Humanities at The Lawrence School in Ooty, says, "While it was my idea to create this website and provide psychological support to teenagers, Nandini joined me as a co-founder. She has been living in Pune and studies Commerce there. We co-ordinated through various online platforms and designed this website for teenagers."
Talking about how HappyInc helps kids, Kian explains, "We know that life can be a bit too much to face alone sometimes and that's why we are here to help them. Our tagline is Ridiculously Happy and we mean it. Any teenager can come on the website and get in touch with a helper online. These helpers are a group of fellow teenagers who have been through the three-week counselling course and can understand other teenagers' problems easily. Our helpers are selected and trained to help the caller feel better and happier. There is complete confidentiality when a person calls us. And we ensure that we provide the same helper to speak to the teenager over the phone. The teenager can also ask for other helpers, as per their comfort."
In order to see to it that these helpers learn a systematic process of listening and counselling others, Kian's father, who is a teacher and counsellor himself, designed the counselling course. Kian says, "My father designed the course keeping in mind the necessities of teenagers. We don't make it boring by providing only written materials. There are activities conducted and the future helpers get to interact with professional counsellors. This course goes on for three weeks and at the end of the third week, we interact with them. Once we understand and feel that they can lend a ear to others' problems, we appoint them as a helper. Currently, there are 16 helpers at HappyInc and they were picked after several rounds of interview in September."
Furthermore, Kian and Nandini have got great responses from mental health experts, doctors and parents for helping teenagers overcome stress, anxiety and depression. "We get calls from students around the world including Sri Lanka and the United States. Aside from this, we feel happy helping teenagers overcome the feeling of dying by suicide. A lot of them have expressed this to us," he concludes.
For more information on them, visit thehappyinc.com