Here are five founders on the Gen.T List 2022 who are destigmatising mental health and improving access to relevant services and resources
At least 65 percent of people in Asia believe that mental health will be a critical issue in 2023. The survey of 10,000 respondents conducted by FWD Group Holdings found that even though there is greater awareness about mental health in the region, only one-third of respondents are open to seeking external treatment for their condition.
The underlying fact is that there are still cultural and social stigmas associated with the matter in this part of the world. The cost of treatment is also another significant impediment for people seeking to improve their well-being.
But these reasons have not stopped five 2022 Gen.T honourees from searching for a solution and finding ways to support those in need of mental health care. Read on to learn more about them and how they're helping others understand and manage their own well-being.
Who Founder and CEO, MyTherapist
When Jian Lili started MyTherapist in 2014, it was one of China’s first mobile platforms for psychotherapy. It allows users to learn about mental health through podcasts, online classes and reports, plus access to trained psychotherapists. The former psychology professor, who often shares educational resources with her million followers on Weibo, is also a member of the Chinese Mental Health Association’s Professional Committee of Psychological Counselors.
Mahira Syafana Kuswanto
Who Co-founder, Mentalhealing.id
After witnessing how unresolved mental issues can be a cause of poor domestic relationships, coupled with her own experiences with anxiety, Mahira Syafana Kuswanto launched MentalHealing.id in 2020. The platform has a large social media following and seeks to provide Indonesians with professional counselling services and self-development classes at affordable rates.
Who Founder and CEO, Empath
Where The Philippines
The difficulty of navigating the mental healthcare system in the Philippines when she needed it most prompted Stephanie Naval to start Empath, a social enterprise that envisions equal access to mental healthcare. It has established more than 30 partnerships with schools, non-profits and other Philippine companies and continues to fight mental health stigma in the Philippines through education.
Who Founder and Head Coordinator, Into The Light Indonesia
Indonesia loses about 20 people a day to suicide: Benny Prawira Siauw is tackling that head on with his organisation Into The Light. It works with young people, universities, the media and the government, with the aim of changing attitudes towards suicide prevention and encouraging a more positive attitude towards mental health in the country, helping to fight stigma and get discussions out into the open.
Who Founder and CEO, ThoughtFull
Joan Low once managed a US$1.3 billion portfolio at JP Morgan; today, she’s helping others manage their mental and emotional well-being. The ThoughtFull app provides bite-sized counselling sessions with certified professionals and mental wellness programmes for corporate and educational organisations, as well as mood-tracking and journaling opportunities. Joan’s vision is for seeking mental health to be as aspirational and habit-forming as seeking physical health is today.
In 2022, her tech startup, which is now in various Southeast Asian markets, partnered with AIA Malaysia to launch a first-in-Asia mental health coverage for corporate employers nationwide with the aim to support employees’ mental well-being and build a resilient and productive workforce.