The COVID-19 pandemic has been adversely affecting the mental well-being of individuals. While official measures have been lacking, many have taken up the mantle to combat this growing issue. Among those are Gurgaon-based Lawrance Lovedeep and Sakshi Shah, alumni of Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, who have been trying to help people by providing the first therapy session for free followed by a bare minimum charge for the next sessions through a campaign called ‘Covid Anxiety Relief Sessions’ under their venture Good Lives.
The campaign started on April 28, 2021, with around 30-40 qualified and experienced psychologists who provide one-on-one online therapy sessions to people suffering from mental health issues induced by the pandemic.
“People suffering from the covid-anxiety need to feel that they are not alone and that it’s going to be okay soon, which is exactly why we came up with this campaign. We want people to feel that it’s okay to feel anxious and that there is nothing wrong with it,” said Shah.
The co-founders added that they have provided online therapy sessions to more than 150 people so far in English, Hindi and Tamil. Not only are these sessions available to people living in India, but also to those residing in other countries such as UK, Spain, Nigeria, the US, and so on.
Their team of around 12 members promises to reach out to people within 24 hours of registering and to regularly follow-up with their clients about their psychological well-being and if they need further help, as per Shah.
After having witnessed their loved ones suffering from mental health issues, Shah and Lovedeep decided to launch ‘Good Lives’ in May 2020 with an aim to make mental health therapy sessions affordable and accessible to all those who need them. As per Shah, at ‘Good Lives’, they try to spread awareness about mental health issues using various social media platforms and encourage conversations around psychological well-being.
“We understand that there is a lot of stigma around mental health concerns in our country so, at ‘Good Lives’, we don’t just help people get therapy but also hand-hold them when/if they need. We encourage people to come and talk to us about how therapy works and help them understand whether or not what they’re going through is a matter of concern,” said Shah.
According to Lovedeep, aside from spreading awareness on social media platforms, they also have a blog where they invite guest authors to write for them. Then, they have a series of podcasts wherein they invite people who wish to talk about their mental health journey.
The co-founder further adds that they also offer three different types of therapy sessions at ‘Good Lives’ — one-on-one therapy sessions; workshops wherein they try to inculcate art, music and other forms of therapy; and live sessions to make people aware of mental health concerns.
All the therapy sessions are hosted by qualified and experienced professionals keeping in mind the anonymity of the clients, as per Lovedeep. He adds that they provide the first therapy session for free and if the users are in need of any further assistance they are charged a bare minimum amount for the next sessions.
Employee wellness program
According to the co-founder, they also have an employee wellness program wherein they have tied up with various corporates like Airtel, Slintel etc to provide them with tailor-made wellness programs. It incorporates not only creativity-boosting activities but also one-on-one help for the corporates in order to create a stress-free work environment.
Lovedeep further adds that the response to their initiative and the campaign has been overwhelming, as can be seen in the screenshots below, and that they are “glad to be able to help people in these difficult times”.
As per Shah, the main aim behind ‘Good Lives’ is to “make people’s lives a little bit happier in a world freighted with sorrows”.
Featured Image: Sakshi Shah and Lawrance Lovedeep, founders of Good Lives
All images provided by the founders.