YourDOST, a startup that anonymously offers online counselling and emotional support to the people in need


India has one of the world’s highest rate of suicides among people aged between 15 years and 29 years. The report says, in every four minutes one person in India commits suicide. In an attempt to reduce this hard statistics of suicides, Richa Singh, an IIT Guwahati alumnus, started YourDOST is an online portal that provides emotional support to the people and where they can discuss problems with qualified and experienced individuals, by maintaining complete secrecy.

When I was at IIT Guwahati, my hostel mate committed suicide. She was worried about her placements. This could have been avoided if we knew what she was going through. Even though we had counselors and psychologists in the campus hardly any student was seeking their support or help, says Richa Singh, Founder of YourDOST.

People became victims of stress due to bad performance in the competitive exams like CAT, IAS, etc. and also for relationship issues. Student’s inability to cope with the academic pressure, burden of high expectations from families and struggle to keep up the lifetime tag of being an overachiever often spiral into depression. In 2014, 14 students committed suicides only in the IIT’s, probably the highest ever across these elite colleges.

We all face problems, stress and anxiety at some point in our life, but mostly we are not willing to talk about these, fearing social implications, being judged and for the fear of being judged. We are confident that technology combined with empathy and right kind of experts will go a long way in helping people going through a various emotional and mental challenges and equipping them to better deal with it, says Richa Singh.

YourDOST has received close to 70,000 users so far since inception in December 2014 and has been growing at about 40 per cent month-on-month. There are 10,000 registered users currently with a team of 75 plus experts and about four in-house psychologists who select these experts through a stringent screening process. Even though YourDOST is currently looking at helping individuals, but very soon they also intend to help conduct sessions with corporate.


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