Children’s Mental Health Is Cisco Youth Prize Winner Priya Prakash’s Top Priority Amid COVID-19
The HealthSetGo CEO and founder is helping families maintain healthy habits online.
The organization uses technology and health care to empower parents, doctors, schools, and governments to improve the health and lives of children through medical exams and health report cards.
One of the first people to test positive for the coronavirus in Delhi in March was a parent at one of the schools HealthSetGo works with closely, Prakash says. Now the 28-year old is running HealthSetGo remotely and is determined to find solutions to continue serving India’s youth.
“A large part of our work was offline, going to schools, and getting teams of doctors in various parts of the country. None of that is possible now,” Prakash tells Global Citizen.
HealthSetGo has impacted more than 200,000 children and parents in India, but the nearly 5,000 doctors in the organization’s network cannot continue providing in-school examinations due to the country’s lockdown first placed in March.
Children in India are at high risk of malnutrition, obesity, and preventable diseases and for some, HealthSetGo is their only access to health care. Their resources are even more limited during the pandemic.
“A lot of schools started online classes for education, but nobody was doing anything about health,” she says.
With stress at an all-time high due to COVID-19 coronavirus, HealthSetGo is focusing its efforts on helping children and their families manage their mental health.
“Parents are very stressed out because they see that their children's education is getting disrupted,” Prakash continues.
HealthSetGo’s online platform already had a feature to allow parents to submit questions before the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, but it takes 24 to 48 hours to receive a response. The organization is working to offer answers in real-time.
A mental health bot is also available for children to assess how they are feeling and help them deal with their emotions.
“These children probably did not have a way to express that, so that's been quite positive,” Prakash says.
What’s more, HealthSetGo is combating misinformation by hosting educational webinars and live Q&As with the doctors in their network, and encouraging children to stay active.
The organization is circulating a wellness calendar of daily activities, from meditation to exercise instruction, to nearly 80,000 parents.
We can’t imagine how hard it is to manage your School during the COVID crisis, but being India’s foremost health company for children we understand the mental and physical stress that children and parents are going through at home. We would like to support your school by giving a completely free of cost daily WhatsApp, email and SMS on health and wellness for all your parents. If you would like your school to enroll for this free service, please register by clicking on the link in bio and we’ll contact you to kickstart !
Prakash finds it uplifting to see so many parents spending positive time with their children and participating in at-home workouts.
“It is a very light-hearted moment in the day for these kids,” she says.
Prakash hopes HealthSetGo can eventually provide the same online tools to the global community in different languages. The organization is also planning a fundraiser to donate hand sanitizer and face masks to underprivileged children to protect themselves against COVID-19.
“We would love to give whatever resources we have,” she says.
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