According to an earlier study by the World Health Organisation(WHO), Indians are among the worst hit by depression, with nearly 36 percent of the population having a major depressive episode. While one person in India commits suicide every four minutes, younger Indians are among the worst hit.
That’s why Richa Singh, an IIT Guwahati alumnus, started www.yourdost.com, an emotional support system for people to discuss problems with qualified and experienced individuals, in anonymity.
Problems among those who have sought help range from stress due to bad performance in competitive exams like CAT, IAS, etc. and relationship issues, anxiety during exam preparation, and the feeling of rejection due to working in a field they don’t enjoy, reported The Huffington Post.
According to a 2015 report in The Economic Times, stress is part and parcel of college life, but for some students at the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), it can get overwhelming. Everything adds up: daunting academic loads, struggling to keep up after a lifetime of being an overachiever and the burden of expectations from family, friends and peers.
In 2014, the IITs saw an estimated 14 student suicides, probably the highest ever across these elite colleges. The inability to cope – often spiraling into depression – has haunted several students. “The world creates artificial expectations. There’s peer pressure, family pressure, societal pressure.
Unfortunately, for some students, their ambition is centered around pay packages. To their mind, their success will be judged only around their pay packages and placements,” said Indranil Manna, director, IIT Kanpur.
This is where Richa’s contribution plays a crucial role. Anonymity helps, says Richa. “We all face problems, stress and anxiety at some point in our life but mostly we are not willing to talk about these, fearing social implications, being judged and for the fear of being judged. We are confident that technology combined with empathy and right kind of experts will go a long way in helping people going through a various emotional and mental challenges and equipping them to better deal with it,” says Richa in a report in Business Standard.
Available as a free service both through its web portal and mobile app, YourDOST, according to Inc 42, has close to 70,000 users which is growing at about 40% month-on-month basis. Earlier in 2015, Yourstory had published an article on YourDOST.