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Business ExcellenceEntrepreneur/Professional Expert of the Week

Creating Safe Space for Mental Wellness Conversations – Geeta Dayal, MD- Healthy Mind Online

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The importance of creating a safe space for mental wellness conversation between therapists and individuals has increased tremendously amidst the chaos caused during the COVID-19 pandemic! Healthy Mind Online, a portal to support the mental well being of people has come up with such a safe space virtually. Womenlines is delighted to share about this safe space in words of the Managing Director of Healthy Mind Online Geeta Dayal in the interview at ‘Entrepreneur/Professional of the Month’ Show above-

Geeta Dayal is the Managing Director of Healthy Mind Online (HMO), a Singapore company and an online portal to support the mental well being of people. HMO has worked with the Institute of Mental Health, Agency of Integrated Care (MOH), and MHC Asia Group in Singapore to fine-tune their online program. Their MyResilience Program has a holistic approach towards mental wellness. HMO recently opened its office in India and is working with a couple of clients, with more in the pipeline. Geeta grew up in a small town in India and loved school and university. Her first job was as a lecturer at Delhi University. She relocated to Singapore 20 years back and became a full-time mom to her daughter.

A desire to venture into the tech startup world and the firm belief that mental health has not been given enough attention by the medical world lead to the creation of HealthyMindOnline – an ANONYMOUS digital portal all about mental well being. 

HealthyMindOnline (HMO) wanted to talk about mental well being, fight the stigma attached to it, start conversations about this. Mental well being cannot happen in isolation from physical well being. And being physically fit alone will not allow you to reach your full potential if you’re not mentally and emotionally resilient.  This has surfaced recently in the Olympic Games and the unfortunate incident in a school right here in our country. 

Most importantly, HMO wanted to have in place a system where anybody feeling the need for understanding and assistance felt they had a safe space to be heard, or understood without judgement.

HMO’s approach is holistic:  they look at awareness, assessment, and intervention

Awareness:

You can go to the resources page on the website to increase general awareness by reading articles and blog entries about health – both physical and mental.

Assessment :

You can take the Resilience Quiz to get an idea about how resilient you are – that is how well you can bounce back from setbacks.  The questions pertain to both physical and mental wellness.

  • You can be anonymous to take this quiz
  • Its very easy to understand
  • You can complete it in under 5 minutes 
  • You get results immediately on completion
  • You get a healthy range for each score and tips and suggestions too 

Intervention:

You can take the 4-week program

  • The 4 week program is an anonymous program. It is asynchronous text based support, which means you communicate with a Specialist via text. 
  • The specialists in the program are experts in their area with masters or PhDs; more importantly they have a minimum of 10 years of experience. Their profile is on the portal – you can read about them and select someone who aligns best with your needs.
  • For 4 weeks the specialist guides you through any issues you have, equips you with tools, and hand holds you to support you.
  • It is text based so fits well into your schedule, you can message from any place at any time
  • Also the specialist keeps on supporting you throughout for 4 weeks, checking in everyday, – successfully ensuring that any new ways of thinking and behaviour become habits.

HMO also offers a regular video consult session, but they find higher uptake for the anonymous 4-week program.

So if you are feeling stressed, lonely, overworked, or relationships are causing heartache, or there is anxiety or sadness, talking to a qualified person helps to overcome such issues, and become more resilient and learn how to cope in the future. Nobody should feel that they have no place to be heard, no place they feel safe sharing. Nobody should feel that they are alone, or there is no way out. Everybody deserves to live their lives to their full potential. Everybody deserves to be their best self.

COVID 19 has made people more acutely aware of the importance of mental wellness and also made them more open to getting support online, but HMO was working on this before that.

  • In 2017, HMO received a grant from Singapore Center for Social Enterprise.
  • HMO worked with the institute of mental health (IMH) Singapore on a project. They were nominated for the National Healthcare Innovation Awards in 2020 for the project. 
  • HMO worked with Agency for Integrated Care (Ministry of Health) to run a program to support their employees. The program ran successfully and helped them fine tune their approach.
  • HMO has also expanded to India recently and has already signed up clients. Due to COVID-19 employers have been sensitised to the importance of mental wellness in employees, and they see good potential moving forward. Owners of organisations, and senior leadership are more willing to look into this seriously – it’s not just a tick box anymore. 
  • HMO believes that their program can also be very relevant to children and youth too. They are looking for opportunities to work in this area too.

The App for HMO will be available on the App Stores soon.

The links for the website:

www.healthymindonline.com/singapore

www.healthymindonline.com/india

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