The startup story is about Mind Cafe founded by a leading counseling psychologist and certified happiness coach named Dr. Sumathi Chandrasekaran located at Bells Road of Chepauk in Chennai. The main objective of this café is to provide affordable and easily available counseling services to each stratum of individuals so that they break the counseling stigma to avail of professional help.
Mind Cafe consists of trained counselors, which provide mentoring, home counseling, telephone counseling, and other similar services. Furthermore, the café founded by Dr. Sumathi Chandrasekaran hosts many awareness campaigns, events, and workshops to promote mental awareness and good mental health.
Mind Cafe organizes a session for every individual, who feels emotionally distressed with the help of trained professionals. As an unconventional setup, a person may discuss his/her problems in a relaxed environment by having a cup of tea or coffee. Thus, every client arriving here leaves with mental relaxation and authentic directions.
The café founded by Dr. Sumathi not only refers clients to undergo physiotherapy, psychiatry, and rehabilitation but also refers to people looking for vocational training, job consultation, and willingness to participate in recreational activities.
How Dr. Sumathi Chandrasekaran Started her Mind Cafe
While growing up as a child, Dr. Sumathi Chandrasekaran has a deep love for people and always stayed ready to assist them for making them happy. Unfortunately, she underwent a few of life’s hardships, which molded her successful psychologist today.
She suffered from depression during the teenage but thanks to the support of her caring parents, husband, and other family members, she succeeded to overcome the depression and started her life again from a new perspective.
Dr. Sumathi Chandrasekaran thus became an aspiring learner and avid reader, while starting her journey as a counselor and psychologist. During her journey, she completed many training programs and courses pertaining to psychology not only in India but also in other countries. She thus helped people with large numbers of therapies and thereby, relieved them from distress.
According to Dr. Sumathi, “Unity and cohesion among the family members are prime strengths in my life, which helped me a lot to constantly focus, improve and reorient my personal growth to become a socially responsible woman.”
Dr. Sumathi always wanted to make a stress-free society, where everyone can access to affordable and easily accessible mental health-related solutions. However, she observed discrepancies related to the availability of mental health care and its approach to distressed people.
Hence, Dr. Sumathi Chandrasekaran decided to start an NGO named Yuvathi, whose main objective was to create awareness of mental well-being and deliver proactive solutions to avoid the consistently increasing Indian suicide rate because of depression.
Mind Café was a project of Yuvathi NGO, which provided a safe place for Chennai-based people to approach at any time to discuss their problems with experts while having a cup of coffee. In this way, the café addresses a big gap between people dealing with psychological distress and their accessibility to services related to mental wellness services.
Achievements and Future Plans of Mind Café
Mind Cafe founded by Dr. Sumathi Chandrasekaran is currently working on mental hygiene program for various school students to integrate the practices of easy mind wellness into daily activities to keep the mind healthy. Currently, the café has its branches in other Chennai-based hospitals to cater to many people to spread awareness of mental health.
During the COVID-19 pandemic period, Mind Cafe and its counselors are hosting counseling sessions via telephone, webinars, and e-counseling sessions. The café organizes monthly workshops and events combined with live QA sessions via online platforms.
We organized Mind Spa, Mindful Walkathon, Brain Box, and other events every month and thereby, approached about 40,000 participants from different areas of Chennai and other Indian cities. We are planning to get about 1,300 participants for the Mindful Walkathon event in the upcoming 2021.
Therefore, Mind Cafe has become an ultimate platform to provide authentic direction to depressed and other needy people belonging to different parts of India.