Kanika Agarwal, founder of MindPeers, a mental health platform, talks to G20 in an exclusive chat about her endeavour. Excerpts:

Q. Would you share with our readers how MindPeers came into being?

As you know, I am a serial entrepreneur. My first company is HQ’d in Singapore and was launched in 2016. Despite its success and scaling, just like a lot of founders, I went through the dark side of mental health. In the quest to grow my business, I overworked myself to the extent that I started getting panic attacks and anxiety regularly in 2017. Being an Indian based out of Singapore, I wanted to seek therapy from someone in India, who would understand my loneliness and emotions better, but the whole process of finding someone good who could specifically cater to my requirements was just so difficult. To top it all, I was asked by so many to keep quiet because of the stigma. I chose to do the opposite and resolved that the day my first company reaches the milestones I have set for it, I›ll launch my 2ndcompany in this area. I would never wish for anyone in this world to go through what I experienced because rewiring our mind to feel better is a daunting process as compared to taking care of your body. This led to the launch of MindPeers in Jan 2020

Q. What are the thoughts and philosophies that fuelled the idea of MindPeers.

MindPeers has a simple vision of making mental wellness especially therapy affordable, accessible, and most importantly qualitative for consumers and organizations.

We focus on affordability. I don’t want mental health to be free because then we will never realize its importance. But I want it to be affordable so that we can overcome our stigma to understand its returns
2. Quality and Standardization. Our country to this date lacks awareness of what a clinical psychologist with RCI recognition means. We lack a supply of mental health professionals and on top of that, we lack quality too. We are changing that because if users and organizations get therapy and services that are not good enough, mental health will never become mainstream
3. We are the only ones who are focusing on the workforce of all kinds by providing holistic business to business solutions that are measurable and can significantly cut down healthcare costs

We want to arrive at a day when an individual will openly leave home to get a regular mental health check-up done without any second thoughts just like how one does a regular physical check-up. And MindPeers wants to be the catalyst to that.

Q. How do the consumers tap into this omni-important resource? And how do they directly benefit from it?

Our platform and services are open to all and cater to every individual with personalised solutions. One might be going through anxiety because of a breakup and another because of work burnout, we even go to this level of granularity in giving you an anxiety specialist.

Because the stigma is so deep, people who even accept that they need therapy don’t want to do it in-person because they feel confused about how to open up or express. We need to address this notion because however much technology advances, we are far away from the era where face to face therapy can be replaced.