ITC Fiama in its endeavor to encourage proactive conversations and awareness on mental well-being in collaboration with The Minds Foundation launched its first Virtual Clinic.
Mental health is a deeply personal health issue and is aggravated further with anxiety of a dynamic lifestyle. While the conversations have begun, mental health continues to be stigmatized. ITC Fiama’s Mental Health Survey 2020, revealed 70% of Indians under the age of 25 have had issues with mental well-being but only 26% have consulted a therapist or a counselor. More than 70% rely on internet help through search before consulting a therapist.
The Virtual Clinic supported by Fiama is an additional option to enable affordable access to mental health therapy delivered by licensed professionals. It is a suitable platform that encourages individuals to seek help in an intimate virtual space without the fear of embarrassment or the prevailing stigma. The MINDS Foundation has specially put together a team of highly qualified therapists for the Virtual Clinic, thereby, offering expert advice, therapy and counselling at the convenience of one’s own privacy.
The team of professionals include Pragya Lodha (Programme Director & Clinical Psychologist), Radha Kedia (M. A. Applied Psychology from Tata Institute of Applied Sciences), Dr.Snehal Thamke (MD in Psychiatry) and Vahishta Kapadia (M. A. in Lifespan Counselling from St Xavier’s College). The MINDS Foundation was founded in 2010 with a vision to create a world that fosters a shared approach to mental wellness — in which anyone, anywhere can access the resources they deserve.
Founder & CEO, The Minds Foundation, Dr. Raghu Kiran Appasani states, “As the prevalence of mental health conditions continues to grow, we must work to meet individuals where they are, and this partnership with ITC Fiama allows us to bring this care into ones’ own home. MINDS brings to this virtual clinic platform over eleven years of evidence-backed research and grassroots experience, along with decades of clinical expertise spread across our team, with the goal of providing high-quality psychotherapy to anyone, regardless of where they are based in India.”
Sameer Satpathy, Divisional Chief Executive, Personal Care Products Business, ITC Limited added, “Mental wellbeing is a critical health indicator. The pandemic has underlined this further and there are a lot of people who need help. Fiama takes the first step in making expert therapy and counselling more accessible and affordable through the Virtual Clinic. This is an endeavour to simplify the help-seeking process and provide for an effective and trustworthy online intervention in mental wellbeing.”
With 85 sessions available per week as a beginning, to access a session, one can sign up on The Minds Foundation page (https://www.mindsfoundation.org/counseling). A representative from the foundation will be in touch to book a slot basis the applicant’s convenience and initial assessment. Each session costs INR 300 making it one of the most cost-effective therapy outreaches in India.