Mental Health Awareness Month: Overcoming anxiety with GoodLives


May 21, 2021

/ By / New Delhi

Months of lockdowns following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic have rapidly soured from being prolonged paid holidays to especially stressful and challenging period for millions around the world, including here in India. To lend a helping hand to people suffering from stress, anxiety or depression, two IIT alumni create a start up with objective of making therapy accessible and affordable to all. In an interview with Media India Group, Lawrance Bamania and Sakshi Shah, founder of GoodLives, talk of the status of mental health awareness in India and how GoodLives is lending a key support on an issue that remains a taboo in the Indian society.

India has the highest suicide rate in the South-East Asian region, according to the World Health Organisation. Every hour, at least one student dies by suicide in India, which also figures on the 7th spot in global list of women dying by suicide. Most suicides in India occur in 15-29-year age bracket. Another study shows that over 50 pc of people in India have felt the psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, in the budget for the current year, the Indian government has made a provision for less than INR 5 per person per year for mental well-being.

To help millions of Indians facing mental health issues, two alumni of IIT Kharagpur, Lawrence Bamania and Sakshi Shah have set up GoodLives to make affordable mental healthcare available to everyone. As India marks May 2021 as Mental Health Awareness Month, GoodLives is providing free online therapy sessions to those dealing with fear and anxiety of the pandemic. Hundreds have already benefitted from these, say founders.

Launched last year, during lockdown, GoodLives has already benefitted over 500,000 people in just one year. The average sessions at GoodLives start from INR 550, about 20 pc of the prevailing market rate.

In just 10 months, the organisation managed to establish a global footprint, with clients in six countries.

Lawrance describes how GoodLives is also helping corporates as well, where they help employees in de-stressing on a regular basis. “A lot of employers are conscious of the wellness of their employees. And they often want quick solutions that are personalized.” Fighting the stigma against therapy and creating awareness has been the prime objective of the team so far. A dedicated team helps in initiating the conversation around emotional wellness, and provide therapeutic assistance from qualified experts with years of experience.

Sakshi shah, the co-founder, says, “We all know someone going through a tough time. We ourselves have been there, yet we hesitate to talk about it. We envision a future when seeking help for mental health concerns is as simple as visiting a general physician.”