Ashwin Naik, Founder, Manah Wellness
Ashwin Naik is an author and award-winning entrepreneur. He is widely regarded as the go-to expert and keynotes speaker on Affordable Healthcare Innovation, Scaling Social Impact, and Mental Wellbeing at Work.
Despite being in the 21st century, we live in a society where talking about mental health, sharing the issues we are dealing with is still considered somewhat a taboo. Whether we are surrounded by our friends in a casual environment , or family gatherings or by our colleagues and bosses in a professional environment, that is our workplace, it’s not easy for us to open up.
This is definitely something that needs to change. And changing it is!
In today’s episode of TBCY, we welcome Aswin Naik, who has founded Manah Wellness to bring the change and help organisations take care of their employees’ mental well being and thus work efficiently.
About Ashwin Naik
An accomplished entrepreneur, Ashwin Naik is the founder of Manah Wellness, which works towards building emotionally healthy workplaces. He has contributed significantly in healthcare and has been recognised by the World Economic Forum as a young global leader. He has also authored two books. “The Health-Care Game Changer and “Change Starts Young”.
What does Manah wellness do?
Manah Wellness was founded just before the pandemic with a mission to build a culture of well being across organisations. Seeing the drastic transformation in the workplaces, the way of recruitment, the process of working, and the relationship between employer and the employees, and taking into account further changes that are to come in the nearing future, It becomes essential looking for the well being of employees.
At Manah Wellness, as Aswin explains, “We help organizations build emotionally healthy workplaces by doing assessments of the well-being of employees, equipping them with tools and resources, by providing direct services and also skilling their leaders and managers to become champions of well being at work.”
The word “Manah” equals the meaning mind in Sanskrit and hence chosen as the name of this initiative as it is associated with mind and well being.
Challenges faced by people regarding mental health at workplace before and after the pandemic
Ashwin, clears that challenges have always been there, related to mental health. The pandemic only highlighted the already existing problems. Most people, he says, think only of some illness when talking about mental health. Which shouldn’t be the case. Because, as he confirms, “we all have mental health, and we can always get better.”
Things are changing though, for the better. People have become more aware now, as compared to the old times. People are now showing interest in helping their colleagues. The question is, do they know how to detect the signs, start the conversation and say the right things that would actually help the person going through stress and anxiety? Maybe not, but this is what Manah Wellness is training them and this is the shift that has come in the recent years.
What signs to Look For to Identify When Someone Needs Help?
It’s important for us to know what signs we see in a person suffering with mental health in order to be able to help them. Therefore, Aswin lists down some common changes we can detect in our colleagues to know they need our help. He says any inconsistent behaviour seen in a person, such as being absent frequently from office meetings, or isolating themselves, lack of sleep are reasons enough for you to go and offer support.
People should be trained to identify, connect and help their colleagues. Also, it’s equally important for an individual to be aware of their own problems and have the courage to open up about their feelings. The issue lies here, as many people fail to understand when they need help and ask for it.
Aswin points this out, saying, “If your body has a problem, it tells the mind. But if your mind has a problem, who does it tell it to?”
Further in the conversation, Aswin talks about the services provided by Manha Wellness, how it works and helps people in the corporate world, the challenges faced by the young people who are joining the working population now and shares what he has learned from his work and experience about the scenario across the world regarding mental health.
He talks about the two books he has authored and also shares a sneak peak of his latest book “Keep calm and lead on”. To know all about this, tune in and watch the episode.
Ashwin Naik is an author and award-winning entrepreneur. He is widely regarded as the go-to expert and keynote speaker on Affordable Healthcare Innovation, Scaling Social Impact and Mental Wellbeing at Work.
As an entrepreneur he has started multiple healthcare organisations – Manah Wellness (Platform for Preventive Mental health), Let’s Talk (Helpline for Mental Health Support during COVID19), Vaatsalya (India’s first rural hospitals network), Seraniti (India’s first integrated mental health organization, acquired by Curefit) and We Scale Impact (Global Health Consulting).
He is the author of two books – The Healthcare Gamechangers, which profiles innovations around the world which have the potential to change the way healthcare is delivered, and #ChangeStartsYoung, a book about young changemakers who are starting as early as 11 years young.
He is an Ashoka Fellow as well as a TED Fellow and a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum.
He started his career in a team tasked with decoding the human genome as part of Celera Genomics in the United States.
He is passionate about healthcare access and is now deeply engaged in building a right to primary health movement around the world, via his consulting organisation – We Scale Impact. To support health startups, he also leads DisruptHealth a health focused ecosystem enabler based in Bangalore/Pune and is actively involved in the sector as an advisor and angel investor.
Dr. Ashwin Naik is a trained physician and has spoken at various forums around the world, including World Health Congress, NHS Alliance, Ashoka Future Forum, Global Philanthropy Forum, UBS Emerging Trends, and Africa Health summit (organized by KPMG).
He obtained a Medical Degree from Karnataka Institute of Medical Sciences and a Master’s degree from the University of Houston.
Ashwin has been recognized as a Economic Times Leaders under 40, Young Global Leader (YGL) 2012 By World Economic Forum, Young Leader by Asia Society Asia21 in 2011, Senior Ashoka Fellow in 2010, Finalist for the India Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2010 by Schwab Foundation, Ted India fellow for 2009. Dare Magazine India in its April 2011 edition profiled Ashwin as 50 inspiring Entrepreneurs of India.