Thursday, Aug 13, 2020 | Last Update : 11:41 PM IST

142nd Day Of Lockdown

Maharashtra54831338184318650 Tamil Nadu3145202563135278 Andhra Pradesh2641421709242378 Karnataka1964941126333511 Delhi1494601343184167 Uttar Pradesh140775887862280 West Bengal98459671202059 Telangana8647563074665 Bihar8274154139450 Gujarat71064542382652 Assam5883842326145 Rajasthan5249738235789 Odisha4592731785321 Haryana4163534781483 Madhya Pradesh3902529020996 Kerala3811424922127 Jammu and Kashmir2489717003472 Punjab2390315319586 Jharkhand185168998177 Chhatisgarh12148880996 Uttarakhand96326134125 Goa871259575 Tripura6161417641 Puducherry5382320187 Manipur3752204411 Himachal Pradesh3371218114 Nagaland30119738 Arunachal Pradesh223115923 Chandigarh1595100425 Meghalaya11154986 Sikkim9105101 Mizoram6203230
  Life   Health  16 Jul 2020  Beware of Insta-‘Therapists’

Beware of Insta-‘Therapists’

Published : Jul 16, 2020, 7:56 pm IST
Updated : Jul 16, 2020, 7:56 pm IST

As mental health gets more visibility, is counselling becoming a money-making game for unqualified influencers

Representational image
 Representational image

They call themselves therapy influencers, but they’re not licensed health professionals. They re use their social media feeds ostensiby to raise health awareness. They eagerly tell the story of their personal struggles.

These so-called Instagram therapists speak to the “therapy generation” online. It's a good business for them.


Recently, Santoshi Shetty, an influencer with zero therapy knowledge, offered 'mental health therapy' for which she charged Rs 1,500 from fans. In her now-deleted video, Santoshi wanted to help people overcome difficult phases of life, which she called ‘Flying Cheese’.

  Santoshi Shetty

In another case, Mumbai-based actor and social media influencer Rytasha Rathore, who has 61.8K followers, set out for a class from Versova. Having spotted a cute stray pup, she invited her into the auto.

Rytasha Rathore

Then, after she was done uploading pictures and videos with the dog, she left the dog in Khar, 8.9 km from her natural habitat. She received flak from her followers. Later, she had to apologise.


Doing more harm than good

Influencers are very popular in beauty, fashion, travel and lifestyle. But can they counsel us on mental health too?

“Online influencers solicit patients and adverte products even if they have no qualifiications whatsoever. There are lots of people who practice without having any qualification. Some of them even work at reputed hospitals, or run their own websites. A special national-level government body is required to license therapists,” says Dr Nisha Khanna, a celebrity psychologist.
“These are just quacks,” says actress Sanjjanaa Galrani.

Stop acting like a therapist

“Mental health issues are very serious. Doctors/therapists get trained for years to help patients. Santoshi Shetty was absolutely wrong in doing what she did and people did call her out for it. Giving your followers a safe space to just vent in their DMs and then charging them to do so is just on on. Nothing justifies someone charging money unless he or she is a trained professional. Mental health care has to be left to the experts. Influencers can maybe give a word of advice/comfort to a follower but they definitely cannot claim to cure mental health  issues,” says Akanksha Komirelly, content creator on Instagram and YouTube.


Tags: instagram creators, mental health awareness