As mental health has become a stigma amongst students, how can new-age mental wellness platforms help deal with it?
Adolescence is a unique and evolving time. Physical, emotional and social changes, including exposure to poverty, abuse or violence, can make young people vulnerable to mental health problems. Protecting students from adversity, promoting social-emotional learning and psychological well-being, and ensuring access to mental health care are central to the health and well-being of youth in adolescence and adulthood.
WHO has estimated that 1 in 7 (14%) 10-19 year-olds experience mental health conditions, yet these remain largely unrecognized and untreated.
Adolescents with mental health conditions are particularly vulnerable to social exclusion, discrimination, stigma (affecting readiness to seek help), educational difficulties, risk-taking behaviors, physical ill-health and human rights violations. It is evident that the rate of mental health problems, including anxiety and depression, has steadily increased over the past years. The number surged even further after the pandemic. By nearly every metric, student mental health is worsening. During the 2020–2021 school year, more than 60% of college students met the criteria for at least one mental health problem, according to the Healthy Minds Study.
Even before the pandemic, schools were facing a surge in demand for care that far outpaced capacity. It has become increasingly clear that the traditional counseling center model is ill-equipped to solve the problem. The dynamics around individual well-being in India have always strayed away from focusing on mental health. The fear and uncertainty caused by COVID-19 have taken a dramatic toll on people, including students and workers from all walks of life. It is clear there needs to be some action to be taken to empower our country’s youth.
Nowadays, there are many mental health resources for college students including smartphone apps geared to health and wellness. Mental health apps for college students address issues such as anxiety, panic, and depression. There are mental health apps that can identify triggers for negative thoughts and offer strategies to work through the situation. There are also Mindfulness apps that are targeted to alleviate symptoms of psychological stress, anxiety and depression as a proactive measure.
Idanim, a mental wellness and meditation app, serves as a proactive solution for individuals who would benefit from a resource that builds resilience to support mental and emotional health. We understand that mental illness can be difficult to express or even acknowledge. At the same time, I am glad that there is a wave of increased awareness about mental wellness and people are now talking about it. Even if I set aside the acute cases of mental disorders, I believe all of us do experience some subtle difficulties, tension and stress because of the times we are living in.
We are doing our bit to increase awareness about knowing when one is going through a rough patch and building mindfulness around it. We have been publishing blogs and articles around mental wellness, educating people about the benefits of mindfulness. We also conduct live classes on topics like boosting confidence with mindfulness and managing stress and failures, where we invite one of the experts in the mindfulness space. We also have a unique feature called “ask a query” where users can ask questions from our teachers right from the app.
Idanim has over 500 on-demand guided meditations spread across 40 categories, including stress, sleep, productivity etc. from a world renowned team of teachers. The app is available on both Play Store & AppStore.
(This article is written by Mr. Raman Mittal, Co-Founder, Idanim, and the views expressed in this article are his own)