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InnerHour starts IH21 initiative – a pro bono mental health programme for those struggling in the COVID-19 crisis

InnerHour starts IH21 initiative

Friday, 03 April 2020:  With over 197 million people suffering from mental health issues and a suicide every 17 seconds, India today has a third of the world’s cases of depression, addiction and suicide. Inspite of the staggering numbers, there’s a 95% treatment gap due to the lack of access, awareness and affordability and the variable quality of mental healthcare providers. The times we live in today, are adding layers of uncertainty and emotional distress at a population level, in a way people haven’t deal with before anywhere in the world.

To provide an extended support system for people in these challenging socio-economic times, InnerHour, a global mental health platform, is extending its digital programmes and self-help tools pro bono to healthcare professionals, WFH employees of companies and university students to support their mental wellbeing in these very uncertain times.

The organisation is widely offering a range of clinical tools and self-help psychological activities, topical content and webinars, bot-based check-ins and voice/video therapy sessions in 7 Indian languages. Since its inception, the InnerHour team led by Dr. Amit Malik, MBBS (India) and MRCPsych (UK), has supported over 600,000 people from over 100 cities worldwide and is today rated as one of the best self-help apps globally.

InnerHour’s efforts are being recognised by prominent policy makers. Dr. Shekhar Saxena, Professor of the Practice of Global Mental Health at the Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health and previously Director, Mental Health and Substance Abuse, WHO, commented, “In times of crisis we see a rise in mental health concerns and its most critical to provide supportive tools and early intervention for those suffering, in an accessible affordable manner. I complement the InnerHour mental health platform for providing such a timely service and making it freely available for those who need it most.”

Social entrepreneur Neha Kirpal (Founder, India Art Fair) has joined Dr Amit Malik as co-founder of InnerHour and is calling on leaders and change makers to come together and make a pledge for global mental health. She says, “The covid pandemic has brought great socio-economic uncertainties, giving rise to increased anxiety, depression, addiction and suicide the world over. Together, we can resolve to find the optimism, resilience, and emotional balance to tide over these challenging times, and help provide access to treatment and care, for those who need it. Our mental health problems and solutions are much the same across boundaries, race and colour. Let’s join hands and share a pledge. #MyMindMatters #MentalHealthForAll”

About InnerHour:

Co-founded by Dr. Amit Malik and Neha Kirpal, at InnerHour tech is being used to break the barriers for mental health access and early intervention by providing a series of clinical self-help tools (remote, anonymous 24/7). The self-help app developed over the last 2.5 years provides for self-awareness through free assessments, a range of CBT based self-help tools delivered as personalised programmes, support communities and a step-care approach. It uses algorithms and data/intelligence with the guidance of trained therapists to identify unique user needs and create a highly personalised programme suitable for each user. There is the further optionality of engaging with a live therapist via text/voice/video; through a network of 120 therapists across 60 cities in India. 

Now live for 18 months, the app has 500k+ downloads globally and iscurrently ranked #1-2 on PlayStore for Self Help in India and the US and is a top 10 ranked app for both Depression and Anxiety. Currently, 40% of the downloads are from India with a similar number coming from the United States, followed by other countries across the globe. 

Both co-founders come with astute pedigree and together with a team of 20 people and a renowned advisory panel of world class scientists, psychiatrists and engineers, they are building an integrated full stack platform for mental health.


InnerHour starts IH21 initiative

Dr. Amit Malik completed his MBBS in India and his specialist and sub-specialist training in Psychiatry in the UK. As a psychiatrist with over 13 years of experience in the NHS, seeing thousands of patients, heading large clinical teams and spearheading tech innovation partnerships for delivering mental health services at scale. He has also held numerous leadership roles with large mental health organisations as Board Member, Clinical Director and Associate Medical Director. Dr Malik has also been on the board of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the European Board of Psychiatry and the standing committees of the European Psychiatric Association.

In addition to MBA from London Business School, he is an extensively published author as and has co-authored/co-edited 6 textbooks and has previously been an editorial board member of two international journals – International Psychiatry and International Journal of Social Psychiatry. He is also the recipient of “Young Psychiatrist Scholarship” from European Psychiatrist Association and World Psychiatrist Association.

Dr Malik is extremely passionate about addressing the treatment gap in mental health  and believes that technology will be critical to any solution that achieves that. To this end returned to India to set up InnerHour.

About Neha Kirpal

InnerHour starts IH21 initiative

For over a decade, Neha worked at the intersection of the creative and social sectors. Having founded India’s first international art fair, she ran it successfully for ten years before selling the business to MCH Basel and moving her focus to the marginalised sector of mental health.

Being a passionate social entrepreneur, Neha brings tremendous experience in weaving impact networks, with great passion and commitment, stemming from her own experiences and her family’s struggle with schizophrenia.

Her consulting venture, Librum Ltd, recently launched in the UK as the world’s first strategic think tank for mental health solutions; co-founded with leading global scientist Dr. Vikram Patel and policy expert Dr Shekhar Saxena.

Neha’s full focus is now on InnerHour, where she has joined Dr Amit Malik as co-founder. The digital platform solves for ease of access and delivery of early interventions that help users with personalized self-help tools to support their mental health journey. Neha is a trained counselor and mental health caregiver. An Aspen fellow and an Eisenhower fellow, Neha is part of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders community and a recipient of the President of India’s prestigious Nari Shakti Award. She has been named amongst Fortune Magazine’s 40 under 40 and received the coveted Business Today’s India’s Most Powerful Women award for three consecutive years.

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