“At Sukoon, we create a safe & judgment-free environment”

Kanishk Gupta, Co-Founder and Chief Operations Officer, Sukoon Healthcare shares insights on mental health scenario besides his company's current role and larger vision

In February 2020, along with Vidit Bahri, Kanishk Gupta co-founded Sukoon Healthcare, an inpatient psychiatric hospital that aims to deliver evidence-based care to patients and set global benchmarks for mental healthcare in India. Prior to Sukoon, Kanishk founded Praaks Consulting, a technology and product consulting firm for FinTech solutions. He is one of the founding team members of Sunible (acquired by MyDomino), San Francisco, a residential solar systems aggregator. He has also worked as the Product Head for FinTech at CarDekho. Kanishk was instrumental in scaling home-eye-check-up for Lenskart as the Product Head.
Kanishk Gupta, Co-Founder and Chief Operations Officer, Sukoon Healthcare leads the multi-disciplinary team of psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, counsellors and art-based therapists to ensure that each patient receives personalized and quality care.
In an exclusive interview, Kanishk shares insights on mental health scenario besides his company’s current role and larger vision. Read the excerpts:

BV LogoHow is the mental healthcare scenario in India? The current situation and gaps that remain unaddressed. 
India is in a unique stage with regards to mental health. While our government has approved one of the most progressive and generous Mental Healthcare acts in the world, the populous hasn’t really been educated on Mental Health and the stigma associated with mental ailments is high.
The primary infrastructure for mental health in India (Acute hospitals and Rehabs) in woefully lacking with the country battling with only 0.75 psychiatrists for every 100,000 patients. There is an urgent need to address this demand-supply mismatch and Sukoon aims to address this gap by expanding its services in mental health across India.
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Why are both mental health issues and care providers in the field often looked down in our society? 
As per a recent survey, there is a 38% increase in respondents from 2018 to 2021, who said they would seek mental health treatment for themselves if required. This is a very positive development and to encourage this trend further, the treatment for mental ailments needs to be more personalized. We need to offer discreet services and make arrangements wherein patient confidentiality is paramount. Technology interventions can help address privacy concerns of patients.
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Factors that aggravate the situation rather than providing solutions? How can we build better awareness among stakeholders?
Stigma is a complex and pervasive issue that impact patients’ well-being and their ability to seek help. Addressing these and promoting mental health awareness can help break down these barriers and encourage those suffering from mental ailments to seek the care they need.
At Sukoon, we create a safe & judgment-free environment and encourage people to discuss their mental health issues openly and without any inhibition. We also provide patients and their families with accurate information about mental ailments including the causes, symptoms, and treatment options, to help dispel myths and misconceptions. Community-based interventions, such as support groups and outreach programs, can also be effective in combating stigmas and building awareness.
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Tell us about Sukoon Health’s vision and journey so far?
We started operations just a month before the first COVID lockdown, in February 2020. Since then, we have served over 20000 patients. In the past two and a half years we have seen a positive trend in terms of occupancy, outcomes and patient retention.
Our vision is to create India’s largest and most reputed platform for mental health services. We aim to humanize mental health and make Sukoon the first choice for India’s mental health needs.
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How is the hospital addressing various mental health disorders? Any specific case studies that you would like to highlight?
At Sukoon, we offer patients a safe environment for inpatient interventions in addition to offering them outpatient services. To ensure that patients receive individualized and comprehensive care, Sukoon employs a multidisciplinary team of skilled psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, counsellors, and vocational therapists. Our facilities are designed to feel like home, and we have taken a keen interest in making sure our design reflects safety, comfort, and care.
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Does the hospital plan to expand to other locations in the coming years? 
We are currently operating in three centres in Delhi which include Sukoon Psychiatry Centre (Acute facility), Sukoon Recovery Centre (Rehab) and Sukoon Centre for Mental Health (OPD facility). We will be opening our facilities in Bangalore and Mumbai later this year.
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Where do you see the hospital in the next five years?
In line with our mission to be India’s largest and most reputed behavioural healthcare provider. We plan to have 40 centres across 20 cities by 2028.