Mental health services make up a huge market especially in a country like India where there are several platforms providing access to therapists and counsellors who one can speak to. This is where United We Care comes as a game changer. Hashtag Magazine speaks to the founder to know more.
Shumita Kakkar remembers the lack of online mental health platforms for women, as she hustled to launch her mental health startup towards the end of 2019. Last year, some of her friends who were once the strongest women she knew, were going through difficult times in their lives. “One of them was nearing separation from her partner and the other one, a divorce. They reached a level where they even contemplated taking their own lives. I saw all this, went home, and looked online for a platform that helped women with their mental health issues and legal support. To my surprise, there were none. This is what sowed the seeds for United We Care (earlier United for Her),” says Shumita Kakkar, founder and director of United We Care.
Already a successful entrepreneur since 2017, running her startup 6T seconds that tapped into the short-form entertainment sector with clients like Airtel, Vodafone, and Hutch, in nine countries, Shumita had been hoping to do something more meaningful. With United We Care she knew she would make a positive impact in the lives of people.
At United We Care, the objective is to tackle the problem in its initial stages, before it snowballs into depression and leads to suicidal tendencies. And that is one of the reasons why the platform is different from the rest!
While earlier their target audience was women undergoing issues related to separation or divorces, United We Care now helps anyone facing mental stress in getting the support they need without having to run from pillar to post. “We enable them to get a lawyer at the right time and place and at a nominal charge. While this is one part of the solution, the other is offering them a platform where they can speak to someone without worrying about being judged or about the stigma they may face. United We Care is the first brand that is going ahead to create a sensitised and valuable support system for help seekers,” says Shumita, who has a strong urge to stand up for mental health issues. She adds, “I aim to create an ecosystem where men, women and the LGBTQ community can be encouraged to express and achieve success without any fears of bias or judgment.”
United We Care is a platform that provides emotional, mental and legal support to men, women, youth and the LGBTQIA. “Mental health must be given importance today in everyone’s life and here we stand together to create a happier you. United We Care is a coming together of a large number of professional psychologists, life coaches and lawyers to support those who are seeking help,” says Shumita, who started her career as manager of Wizcraft International Entertainment Pvt. Ltd.
The start up is at the confluence of human touch and convenience that technology offers. “All our partners do probono work and this is part of our contract. We undertake a competitive analysis for every expert who comes on board. There is a three to four step process undertaken as part of their background check and our services come at a lower rate than most of the others in the field. We are also going deeper to understand the causes of stress, anxiety and depression, and in turn provide support. Our advanced AI and ML pairs you up with the right person after asking a few simple questions. You can then choose to do a voice or video call or just chat,” explains Shumita.
The platform offers over 300 trained experts—psychologists, life coaches, lawyers—who are adept at offering help for all kinds of problems.
Recently, the company launched emotional health virtual assistant Stella who is available to chat or talk to users 24×7. Stella helps with basic CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) CAT (Cognitive analytical therapy), humanistic, interpersonal or couple therapy. She is a one-of-her-kind assistant with multiple decision trees and the ability to move negative sentiments to positive conversations.