28th June 2024  Bangalore, Karnataka, India Over 120 mental health practitioners, educators, parents, and mental health advocates gathered at the Royal Orchid Convention Centre in Yelahanka, Bangalore for the National Youth Mental Wellbeing Summit 2024, on June 1st.

Speakers and participants at the National Youth Mental Summit 2024, organized by Mindei on June 1 at Royal Orchid Convention Centre, Bangalore, discussed children’s and youth’s mental wellbeing

The Summit served as a platform for collaboration and knowledge sharing, empowering attendees to navigate the complexities of child and youth mental health and equip them with practical strategies to support young minds.

Organized by Mindei, a mental health solutions startup dedicated to supporting young minds, the summit addressed the crucial role of various stakeholders in promoting positive mental and emotional well-being among children and youth.

Showcasing AI-Powered Solutions
Mindei co-founder Rishu Srivastava unveiled MindVoice, an innovative AI-powered mental health screening tool. MindVoice utilizes audio samples to detect signs of stress, fatigue, self-esteem issues, and other indicators of mental well-being in children and youth. The demo was very successful with the volunteer giving a ‘thumbs up’ to the results of the assessment.

Keynote Speech Highlights the Importance of Community Support
The event began with a powerful keynote address by Lakshmi Seshadri, CEO and Founder of MomPower360 and Ex-Mrs India Universe. Seshadri emphasized the critical link between a mother’s mental health and the mental well-being of her child. She highlighted the importance of fostering a supportive community for mothers to prioritize their own mental health.

While musician-composer-singer Abby V was unable to attend due to a scheduling conflict with his album release, he sent a heartfelt video message detailing his own struggles with OCD and the value of seeking professional help.

The first panel, “Identifying and Addressing Mental Health Challenges in Schools,” shed light on the alarming reality of student mental health. Ms. Jyoti Mehta from QPR India presented the staggering statistic of over 35 student suicides per day, emphasizing the need for early intervention. Mr Naveen Anjo Tom, Deputy Principal at The International School, Bangalore, advocated for a respectful approach towards students and avoiding undue academic pressure. The other speakers were Dr Indrajit Thopte, a paediatrician and child psychiatry practitioner, and co-founder of Mindei, and Ms Reshma Sanjay, school counsellor at National Public School, ITPL Bengaluru.

The second panel focused on “Parenting for Mental Wellness.” Ms. Riddhi Doshi Patel, a child psychologist and parenting counsellor, underscored the significance of quality time and engaging in outdoor activities with children. Mr. Haider Jasdan, a leadership coach and psychotherapist, delivered a moving poem in Hindi stressing the importance of regular, meaningful connection with children. Ms. Gotha Hari Priya, a parenting educator also contributed her thoughts on the importance of allowing children to explore and build on their curiosity for as long as possible.

The final panel, “Navigating Mental Health in the Digital Age,” explored the risks and solutions associated with technology use in children. Dr. Meghna Singhal, a trauma-informed psychotherapist, warned about the “3Cs” – content risk, conduct risk, and contact risk – arising from excessive screen time. Shreyas Mehta, CEO of The Little Gym India, championed the importance of physical activity as an alternative to screen-based entertainment. Ms. Richa Singh, CEO and Co-founder of Happinetz, introduced the concept of a “tech contract” – a set of ground rules between parents and children regarding technology use. Mohua Chinappa, a podcaster and a parent herself, spoke of the importance of building a trusted relationship with the children, so the parents can be aware of any form of digital bullying or other harms that the children might suffer.