Shreeya Giri from Nepal included in Forbes’ 30 under 30 list for mental health advocacy

NL Today

  • Read Time 2 min.

Kathmandu: Shreeya Giri, a 28-year-old entrepreneur hailing from Kathmandu, has been recognised as one of Asia’s most influential young individuals in Forbes magazine‘s prestigious “30 Under 30” list for 2024. Giri’s commendable work in the field of mental health advocacy has earned her a coveted spot in the ‘Social Impact’ category of the renowned list.

The founder of “Happy Minds,” a digital platform dedicated to mental health, Giri’s journey towards this achievement began amidst the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. While pursuing her master’s degree in London, she grappled with her own mental health struggles, exacerbated by the isolation and uncertainty brought on by the global health crisis.

Recognising the glaring gap in accessible mental health support services, particularly amidst the pandemic-induced restrictions, Giri resolved to take action upon returning to Nepal after completing her studies. In 2020, she established “Happy Minds” with the mission to combat the stigma and trust barriers surrounding mental health issues prevalent in Nepali society.

Happy Minds serves as a comprehensive platform offering both online and in-person mental health counseling services. Through a blend of group workshops and individual counseling sessions, the organisation has been instrumental in providing support to individuals in need, regardless of their geographical location.

“I take this recognition as an opportunity to highlight the issue of mental health in Nepal – especially among youth and women,” said Ms Giri. “This has encouraged us at Happy Minds to work to highlight and help resolve the problem of mental health issues in Nepal in partnership with all stakeholders.”

Notably, Happy Minds’ reach extends beyond Nepal, catering to the mental health needs of Nepalis residing anywhere in the world. By leveraging technology and fostering a supportive community, Giri and her team have effectively bridged the gap in mental health care accessibility, offering a lifeline to those grappling with mental health challenges.

Happy Minds also runs an Employment Assistance Program, partnering with organizsations such as Unilever Nepal, Leapfrog and The British College to offer free psychological counselling to their employees. Happy Minds was named Best Newcomer from Nepal at the 2022 SAARC Startup Awards, and in 2023, Giri represented Nepal at the Youth Co:Lab Summit in Bangkok.

Happy Minds had launched 24-hour mental health counseling free hotline service for the benefit of earthquake survivors in Jajarkot and surrounding areas last year.