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Mental healthcare in India – the way forward

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The COVID-19 pandemic has birthed a global catastrophe that no country certainly was prepared for, leave alone India. Lockdowns, rise in unemployment, loss of shelter, overburdening of medical infrastructure and the scarcity of tried-and-tested strategies to curb this pandemic, among other disruptions, have had a significant impact on every aspect of human life around the nation.

However, the deteriorating mental health of the population is somewhat a less-discussed impact of this pandemic, and to truly understand its magnitude, one has to accept its existence before the outbreak of COVID-19.

A national mental health survey revealed that approximately 10 percent of adults showcase symptoms of mental health conditions ranging from anxiety-related illnesses to severe mental trauma.

The Global Burden of Disease Study, a comprehensive regional and global research program of disease burden that assesses mortality and disability from major diseases, injuries, and risk factors, determined that almost 200 million Indians have encountered mental disorders of some form.

Nearly 50 percent of whom experience anxiety or depressive symptoms. And, India is also home to a third of global women who die by suicide and a large LGBTQIA+ community with a suicide rate as high as 31 percent in specific geographies.

During such an unprecedented and prolonged event as COVID-19, several individuals felt the need to turn towards certain unhealthy patterns to deal with their pent-up emotions, adversely affecting their mental health and relationship dynamics. Additionally, it also altered the way we view mental health in general.

It was observed that the pandemic had affected specific groups in society concerning their psychological well-being. Two of them stand out, the first being women and the other being the LGBTQIA+ community.

Studies claim that an increasing number of women experienced depression and anxiety during the pandemic due to the increased volume of household chores and frequent occurrences of domestic violence.

Increased instances of anxiety, sleep deprivation, and loss of appetite in the LGBTQIA+ community were reported during COVID-19 due to a lack of sensitive policymaking and marginalisation, among other causes.

India’s emerging holistic wellness services industry has paid close attention to the groups mentioned above, studying their requirements, and is now offering various solutions that significantly enhance emotional well-being. Some of India’s leading holistic wellness service providers have also gone the extra mile by launching inclusive mental healthcare platforms for women and LGBTQIA+ individuals.

These online platforms aim to provide a safe haven for individuals with COVID-19 related stress, ensuring maximum confidentiality and private counseling sessions with experienced medical professionals.

Let us now dive deep into the importance and advantages of online mental health platforms for women and sexual minorities.

Gender plays a crucial role in determining mental health and well-being. Women are more susceptible to mental disorders than men due to the overwhelming social pressures they have to endure on a daily basis.

Psychological distress patterns are also vastly different for everyone irrespective of their gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, etc., so there is a pressing need for a focused and streamlined approach to treating every condition differently.

Several leading Indian online health platforms are now wholeheartedly committed to adopting a gender-based mental healthcare perspective. Mental health experts on specific online platforms specialise in treating a wide range of psychological disorders experienced by women and LGBTQIA+ individuals, operating with a strong emphasis on gender sensitivity and privacy.

Advantages of online mental health platforms

1. Increased accessibility

One of the many benefits of the internet is that this medium makes mental healthcare more approachable while also being readily accessible. People generally feel more comfortable speaking with family and close friends about their physical well-being but may not exhibit the same kind of openness to discuss deep-rooted mental health apprehensions.

Easy online access to highly qualified and emotionally-sensitive health professionals empowers people to overcome the stigma attached to addressing mental health issues.

2. Affordability & convenience:

Online therapy is usually relatively pocket-friendly and convenient, enabling you to consult mental health specialists at the touch of a button from the comfort of your space.

Additionally, consultations are often scheduled at your convenience and availability. Online treatments also usually incur fewer overhead costs for healthcare service providers, allowing them to offer a flexible and highly-affordable line of treatments.

3. Wide range of therapists

Online mental health platforms do not restrict you to a particular geographical radius, allowing you to connect with licensed medical practitioners from all over the country or globe.

Furthermore, such internet-driven ecosystems enable users to find the expert who best aligns with their requirements, which is an effective option to have at your disposal.

In addition, users can expect continued technical and emotional support from the mental health professional of their preference in the form of texts or chats. Such interactive and long-term care is highly beneficial for people who require frequent assistance while coping with severe symptoms of depression or anxiety.

Final thoughts

Online mental healthcare platforms are ecosystems that afford us a time-efficient, convenient and easily affordable embodiment of effective therapy. It is also a facilitator for professional help available virtually any time of the day from your smartphone or computer without getting stuck with geographical boundaries.

With our lives increasingly becoming digital, it is expected that more people in need will use it regularly shortly.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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Identity in the metaverse: Creating a global identity system

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With the advent of the metaverse, the need for a global identity system has become apparent. There are many different ways to create an identity in the metaverse, but no single system is universally accepted. 

The challenge is usually two-fold: first, how to create an identity that is accepted by all the different platforms and services in the metaverse, and second, how to keep track of all the different identities a person may have.

There are many proposed solutions to these challenges, but no clear consensus has emerged. Some believe that a single, global identity system is the only way to ensure interoperability between different platforms and services. Others believe that multiple identities are necessary to allow people to maintain their privacy and security.

The debate is ongoing, but it is clear that the need for a global identity system is becoming more urgent as the metaverse continues to grow.

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In this article, we will explore the various options for creating a global identity system in the metaverse. We will discuss the pros and cons of each option, and try to identify the best solution for the future.

Option 1: A single global identity

The simplest solution to the problem of identity in the metaverse is to create a single, global identity system. This would be a centralized system that would be responsible for managing all identities in the metaverse. 

The advantages of this approach are obvious: It would be much easier to keep track of identities, and there would be no need to worry about different platforms and services accepting different identities. In addition, a centralized identity system would allow for better security and privacy controls, as well as the ability to track identity theft and fraud.

However, this approach also has several disadvantages. First, it would be very difficult to create a global identity system that is accepted by everyone. Also, a centralized system would be vulnerable to attack and could be used to track people’s movements and activities. Third, it would be difficult to protect the privacy of users in a centralized system.

Option 2: Multiple identities

Another solution to the problem of identity in the metaverse is to allow each person to have multiple identities. This would mean that each person could have one or more identities that they use for different purposes. 

One of the main advantages of this approach is that it would allow people to maintain their privacy and security. Each person could choose which identity to use for each situation, and they would not have to worry about their entire identity being exposed. In addition, this approach would be more resilient to attack, as it would be much harder to take down multiple identities than a single one.

The limitations of such an approach would be that it could be difficult to keep track of all the different identities, and there would be no guarantee that different platforms and services would accept all of them. In addition, multiple identities could lead to confusion and could make it more difficult for people to build trust with others.

Option 3: A decentralized identity system

A third solution to the problem of identity in the metaverse is to create a decentralized identity system. This would be an identity system that is not controlled by any one centralized authority but rather is distributed among many different nodes. 

This might seem like the ideal approach, since decentralization is a common theme in the metaverse. However, there are still some challenges that need to be overcome. For instance, it would need to be ensured that all the different nodes in the system are properly synchronized and that the system as a whole is secure. In addition, it might be difficult to get people to adopt such a system if they are used to the more traditional centralized approach.

One solution would be to get the nodes in the system to be run by different organizations. This would help to decentralize the system and make it more secure. Another advantage of this approach is that it would allow different organizations to offer their own identity services, which could be more tailored to their needs.

Another would be to incorporate an edge computing solution into the system. This would allow for more decentralized processing of data and could help to improve performance. It would also make the system more resilient to attack since there would be no centralized point of failure.

The best solution for the future of identity in the metaverse is likely to be a combination of these approaches. A centralized system might be necessary to provide a basic level of identity services, but it should be supplemented by a decentralized system that is more secure and resilient. Ultimately, the goal should be to create an identity system that is both easy to use and secure.

The ideal identity standards of the metaverse

Now that we have explored the various options for identity in the metaverse, we can start to identify the ideal standards that should be met by any future global identity system. 

It is no easy task to create a global identity system that meets all of the criteria, but it is important to strive for an ideal solution. After all, the metaverse is still in its early stages, and the decisions made now will have a lasting impact on its future. 

Current iterations of the metaverse have used very traditional approaches to identity, but it is time to start thinking outside the box. The ideal solution will be one that is secure, private, decentralized, and easy to use. It will be a solution that allows people to maintain their privacy while still being able to interact with others in the metaverse. 

Most importantly, it will be a solution that can be accepted and used by everyone. Only then can we hope to create a truly global identity system for the metaverse.

The bottom line on identity in the metaverse

The question of identity in the metaverse is a complex one, but it is an important issue that needs to be addressed. 

The challenges associated with creating an implementation that is secure, private and decentralized are significant, but they are not insurmountable. For one, it will be important to get buy-in from organizations that have a vested interest in the metaverse. These organizations can help to promote and support the adoption of identity standards. 

It is also important to keep in mind that the metaverse is still evolving, and the solution that is ideal today might not be ideal tomorrow. As such, it will be critical to have a flexible identity system that can adapt as the needs of the metaverse change. 

Ultimately, the goal should be to create an identity system that is both easy to use and secure. Only then can we hope to create a truly global identity system for the metaverse.

Daniel Saito is CEO and cofounder of StrongNode

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How to Eliminate Scheduling Inefficiencies in Your Business

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What do salons, consultancies, and home service providers all have in common? This question may seem like the prime setup for a joke, but there’s no punchline to look forward…

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Why You Should Start a Business Only While You Have a Job

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Many people that I meet tell me that they dream of starting their own . I always ask them, “Then why don’t you?” They typically respond by saying that they have so many financial and personal responsibilities, that they can’t just quit their job to start a company, etc. Then I tell them my story …



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Related: How to Use Your Current Job to Start Your Next Business

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