Published: 04th August 2021
Teenagers from Hyderabad launch GoodMind, a start-up that helps keep mental health in check
Saniya S and Siddiqua Begum have been working on GoodMind for eight months and the core objective is to offer counselling services to students that are accessible and affordable for them
What a relief it was for Saniya S (19) and Siddiqua Begum (18) that in between the doom and gloom of the ongoing pandemic, they had each other and their conversations. They were just a phone call away from each other, picking up the phone whenever the day was rough. But the duo was aware that not everyone was this fortunate. This is why, about eight months ago, they began GoodMind, a portal that helps all those restless minds access counselling and therapy that will be just a phone call and an assessment away. This means that mental health help is now accessible, affordable and much within their reach.
In partnership with Youngistan Foundation, Marpu and Artlexic, they conduct art therapy sessions as well
Parallelly, the duo is also working on setting up a centre of GoodMind in every campus so that they can spread awareness and offer help on campus as well, starting with their own college — Badruka College Of Commerce and Arts — which was launched by none other than Secretary, IT E&C, Jayesh Ranjan, in June this year. "Via this centre, we conduct group and one-on-one therapy and other activities in an attempt to help the students," explains Saniya. We are told that Secretary Ranjan has also enlisted their counselling services for the Government of Telangana's COVID Centre for the third wave. Just months into this and already working with the government, Saniya and Siddiqua are working double time to make all of this possible.
Saniya, Jayesh Ranjan, Syed Fawaz Ali (team member) and Siddiqua
The first encouragement towards the field of entrepreneurship came from EdVentures Park, a non-academic student-centric incubator (where GoodMind is currently incubated) and its founder Meraj Faheem. "We are from a Commerce background so Psychology and technical aspects like a website aren't our strong suits. So, we needed particular help with that," says Saniya who is a second-year student and so is her Co-founder and classmate Siddiqua. They found a Good Samaritan on Twitter who was volunteering his website design services and was able to help them halfway with the portal until he contracted COVID. But then the good folk at EdVentures stepped in. As far as getting counsellors, psychologists and therapists on board goes, the teenagers made several cold calls via Practo. All of this came together beautifully and now, their website is helping out people from six countries.
They have about 35 psychologists, counsellors and therapists on board
An AI-powered assessment test, that's where it all begins for those who seek help via the GoodMind portal. Not so much a test, but a conversation helped along by simple questions and AI. "This test helps us understand exactly how we can help and what ails them — anxiety, depression, stress or anything else — and assign the right counsellor. A physiologist Dr Afra Sameen, helped us create this test," explains Saniya. The first session is free of cost while the second costs a nominal Rs 300.
Recently, the duo also spoke about mental health at Shadan College of Engineering and Technology, the very first of their talks. Needless to say that it was a hit and they are now being recommended to other colleges a well. "We are introverts so we did our homework, practised several times, but it was a great experience for us," says Saniya. This entrepreneurship journey has been full of such nervous and triumphant experiences. "Many sleepless nights and difficult days, but all part of the journey," says Saniya with a smile.
For on them check out goodmind.co