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Mpower’s Mental Health Champion

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Neerja Birla, 

Founder & Chairperson
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If a patient in rural Maharashtra visits a local primary health centre, the physician would screen her for mental health challenges as well. If the physician suspects any imbalance, a trained psychologist will take over.
Neerja Birla, founder and chairperson, Aditya Birla Education Trust and Mpower, is creating mental health awareness even in the remotest corners of the country. She currently offers her services in primary health centres across Maharashtra, and plans to replicate the model in 12 states. “A significant number of people in rural Maharashtra are acknowledging that they are suffering. They want to address it.”
Birla has not just taken her mental health service providing organisation Mpower to eight cities, she also works with corporates to recognise the mental well-being of their employees as priority. “We are doing regular workshops with organisations as well as setting up exclusive helplines for their employees to get their mental health issues addressed by our specialists. Organisations are also asking us to deploy our professionals in their offices.” Birla has also been championing inclusion of neuro-diverse individuals by schools, colleges and firms. The Aditya Birla Integrated School in Mumbai offers specialised programmes for students who learn differently. “Since mental health is not measurable unlike education, there’s not much investment in it. I want to change that narrative,” she says.