• Shwetabh S Verma

Communication Inspiration Challenge

Updated: Jun 27

Saturday, October 10, 2020. Bengaluru, India

In March 2020, the OpenIDEO Bengaluru Chapter initiated a conversation among the community members around the communication inspiration challenge i.e. 'How might we rapidly inform and empower communities around the world to stay safe and healthy during the COVID-19 outbreak?

Over few weeks of conversation, it evolved and matured along with the local environment variables and local context and got re-framed with the following context variables: Focus Area : Holistic Mental Health & Well-being Focus Group : Students & Young Professionals


The chapter team ensured that discussions around the challenge grows slowly and organically across the interested community members which eventually made the the challenge narrow down to a topic and move ahead in a specific direction i.e. Mental Health and Mental Well-being.

Here are some metrics the Chapter team has been able to put together : India accounts for 36.6 % of suicides globally. According to World Health Organization, the burden of mental health problems is of the tune of 2,443 disability-adjusted life years per 100,000 population, and the age-adjusted suicide rate per 100,000 population is 21.1. According to the burden of mental disorders across the states of India: The Global Burden of Disease Study 1990–2017 – One in seven Indians were affected by mental disorders of varying severity in 2017 and the proportional contribution of mental disorders to the total disease burden in India has almost doubled since 1990. WHO also estimates that, in India, the economic loss, due to mental health conditions, between 2012-2030, is 1.03 trillions of 2010 dollars. WHO estimates that about 7.5 per cent Indians suffer from some mental disorder and predicts that by end of this year roughly 20 per cent of India will suffer from mental illnesses. According to the numbers, 56 million Indians suffer from depression and another 38 million Indians suffer from anxiety disorders.

WHO also states that the mental health workforce in India is not up to the mark and there is a huge shortage of psychiatrists and psychologists in the country as compared to the number of people suffering from mental health issues. WHO states that in India, (per 100,000 population) there are psychiatrists (0.3), nurses (0.12), psychologists (0.07) and social workers (0.07), while the desirable number is anything above 3 psychiatrists and psychologists per 100,000 population.


Besides the unprecedented times and despite most of us struggling to define the boundaries between personal and professional life, we have had an overwhelming response from the community members... Kudos to each an every member who took time to contribute to the challenge... By Saturday, October 10, 2020 i.e. the World Mental Health Day, it become a movement in the community where 50+ volunteers had actively participated in the initiative and have come forward as a subject or as a researcher and we have already spent 150+ hours on the conversations around mental health with a strong intension to keep the conversations going. Since the movement has caught fire, I spoke to experts, professionals and organization in the mental health space for collaboration and partnerships. We have charted out a roadmap for the project inclusive of all major stakeholders where we would be using IDEO's Design Thinking methodology to fuel the progress of the project to create tangible impact in the space of mental wellbeing and awareness around the topic while onboarding the right partners as we move ahead.


Cheers to our team of researchers from Bengaluru, New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Berlin, San Francisco, Sao Paulo, Kiev, Abu Dhabi, Istanbul, Sohag, Kaohsiung, Sao Goncalo, Itumbiara & Chicago..

As per the conversations with the experts, we need to deep dive into a intense qualitative research to evolve as a strong base in combination to the quantitative data mentioned above for a focused problem definition. Hence, we would like to invite all our community members to participate the following community engagements :


We look forward to have you join this movement as we grow bigger and stronger as community and create impact in the space of Mental Well-being and awareness around the topic.

Looking forward to co-create and collaborate...

We can't wait for an in-person community catch up. However, owing to the regulations and guidelines issued by the local government and authorities, we have moved all our interactions to virtual interactions in the interest of safety of our community members and would like to continue until we have a stable situation and it's officially safe to gather in groups.


Data Sources :

World Health Organization

National Crime Records Bureau, India

Feel free to reach out for any questions or queries via the OpenIDEO Bengaluru Chapter page.


Cheers! Shwetabh S Verma Chapter Leader & Community Designer, OpenIDEO Bengaluru Chapter


Disclaimers :

  1. None of the engagements mentioned are a full-time or part-time job application.

  2. None of the engagements mentioned are a full-time or part-time internship.

  3. There is no stipend or any form of monetary or non-monetary remuneration associated with the volunteer roles mentioned above. It's a 100% pro-bono activity and volunteer contribution as a part of community engagement.

  4. Since this is not a job/internship, the relationship between any community member & the OpenIDEO Bengaluru Chapter would be that of a 'Volunteer'. Any other representation apart to the word 'Volunteer' would be a misrepresentation of the relationship between the community member and the OpenIDEO Bengaluru Chapter.


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