Suniel Shetty launches World’s first Mental Health App

Suniel Shetty (left), Vishwas Nangare-Patil and Manun Thakur launch the world’s first Mental Health App digitally. Photo: Allan Thomas

The launch of the world’s first Mental Health App with 24×7 access to therapy from psychologists, “Letsgethappi” by Veda Rehabilitation & Wellness, coincides with the increasing discussions surrounding mental health issues in India and across the world.

With a keen interest in Indian start-ups that redefine the digital heath landscape to deliver accessible, inclusive mental health support to people and provide a solution to help end the stigma of mental health, founder and CEO of Veda Rehabilitation & Wellness, Manun Thakur, has researched the subject deeply and designed the unique App.

Venture capitalist and actor-producer with a diverse portfolio of investments in the healthcare industry, Suniel Shetty, formally launched the App with Thakur and Vishwas Nangare-Patil, Director-General, Anti-Corruption Bureau, Maharashtra.

India’s first and only chain of Luxury Mental Health Treatment Centers in Mumbai, Bengaluru and New Delhi, Veda Rehabilitation & Wellness is known for its all-encompassing mental healthcare. To make mental health care affordable and accessible to everyone while being absolutely anonymous, Veda has created the App, especially for those between 16 and 35 years of age in India’s metro cities.

The brand is unique because it offers both in-person and online therapy that caters to different needs and budgets, setting it apart from anything else in the field. The App provides access to therapy from a psychologist 24 hours of the day along with a lot of other features such as meditations (some are even based on House and Electronic Dance Music), journaling, assessments tests and even diets.

Commenting on partnering with Thakur and Veda, Shetty said, “This is a significant step in supporting people with mental health tools and online therapy so they can thrive in all aspects of their lives. There is a huge gap in the existing landscape of mental health support and Letsgethappi has a unique blend of inclusivity and provides a safe haven for users to seek anonymous support without the fear of any stigma or judgment. The App is our single-minded commitment to address the blind spot existing in the understanding and acceptance of the social aspects of mental health in India.”

He adds, “Its technology uses a combination of digital tools and 24/7 human support that aims to give users independence. Just like physical health, support for our mental health is equally important. Letsgethappi emphasizes on promoting a healthy approach to well-being and adheres to the industry best practices.”

Passionate about making a positive difference to the lives of people suffering from mental health problems, especially those who cannot access services due to a lack of resources or privacy, Thakur stated, “We are working hard to make mental health care more accessible in India. We have offline centers for in-patient treatment and an online platform so that we can offer end-to-end care. I truly hope that we become the first super successful company that is built on kindness and empathy.”

He went on, “I personally bootstrapped the company from scratch and am the largest investor in Veda. My own journey battling mental health issues motivated me to find a more credible and updated solution and hence, I created Veda. There will be an additional investment of Rs. 55 crore in the next 3 years to scale-up and offer more solutions.”

Shetty praised their efforts and also addressed the audience about the 24/7 working lives full of stress of the army, the police and other security officials. He  highlighted the need for such care when discussing the fresh news of the RPF (Railway Protection Force) constable who went on a murdering spree and the death of eminent production designer, Nitin Chandrakant Desai, by suicide on that very day.

When I asked the actor whether he recommended any diets for mental fitness, as he obviously eats healthy because of his fit lifestyle, the actor answered, “I know only one thing: that the better your gut, the finer and healthier will be your mind, which is the base for 90 percent of diseases.” Suniel also narrated the crux of his journey that included failures for long and stated that he began journaling (writing down his feelings) during that phase.

He narrated the story of a prisoner just out of Nazi concentration camp who spoke all night to a woman who was contemplating suicide, who then abandoned the idea. “Sometimes, just listening helps. The personal touch must be there. Today, we are veering too much towards the West, where such mental health issues are more. Social media and the Internet are blessings that we must use wisely. Our traditional family culture and everything else can be harnessed to help us.”

When I asked Thakur about the importance of journaling, he replied that he makes it a point to make everyone who approaches them for help to vent out their feelings in writing. “That makes those negative aspects lose 50 percent of their power on you and you can fight the rest better. It is like a cage and the force that is tying you down to negativity is now half removed.”

The App currently has features that includes therapy through audio, video and chat,  content on various wellness topics by industry experts, meditations from chants of OM to Meditations based on EDM and House Music, Daily Mood Check-In and the App’s Version 2.0 (by January 24) will come with AI as the first responder, games that improve cognition and memory, much more premium content, podcasts and Interactive Journaling.

The App has gained support from leading mental health advocates and experts from diverse industries. The current angel investors range from a Silicon Valley surgeon to a Stanford professor to private equity goliaths to real estate dynasties that includes Dr. Sriniwas Ramachandra, celebrity surgeon and investor, Silicon Valley, Dr. Pramela Ramachandra, ex- professor, Stanford University, Yogesh Bulchandani, CEO, Diamantina, Karan Kumar, Founder, Amalthea Capital, Private Equity, Dubai, Nitin Passi, Chairman of Lotus Herbals and others. Thakur has a business background of Real Estate and Infra Development, has studied Entrepreneurship and Leadership from Harvard and is currently doing a course in Psychology from Yale.

The App is created by a company based in NCR called Primathon, helmed by IIT-Delhi alumni, Sagar Patidar. The Letsgethappi App is available on both iOS and Android and has already surpassed 16,000 downloads and is expected to cross about 500,000 downloads in the next nine months.

Veda Rehabilitation & Wellnesshas four 4 new centers coming up in the next few months. Clients suffering from depression, addictions, clinical anxiety and a range of other mental health illnesses are treated. Therapies offered include Talk Therapies, Music Therapy, Art Therapy, Sound Baths, Guided Meditation Practice, Mindfulness practice, Guided Yoga and many others.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here