AIMS TO DEMOCRATIZE MENTAL WELLNESS WITH A NEW GLOBAL APP
HBO’s series In Treatment reboots in May after a decade hiatus with plotlines that lay bare the bleak mental struggles of everyday life. The timing of this series that profiles patients in therapy piggybacks on a cultural watershed moment in mental health. After more than a year of grappling with the pandemic, we are not ok.
Holistic doctor and wellness guru Deepak Chopra predicted this dark night of the soul would reach a critical mass if our institutions ignored one fundamental fact—the mind and the body are connected. After a year marked by unprecedented challenges and turmoil brought on by a global pandemic, economic uncertainty, racial discord, and polarizing politics, we are in a full-blown mental wellness crisis.
Amid this emotional chaos, Chopra has got our back with a new global platform to democratize access to mental wellness resources. NeverAlone.Love launched in January of 2021 as an app and online site that connects us in a worldwide network of support, professional care, and curated content to heal the heart, mind, and body.
The timing and necessity of NeverAlone.love mark a bittersweet moment for Chopra, who has spent a lifetime preaching and practicing body-mind healing. Finally, medical science is embracing the role holistic wellness plays in the prevention of many chronic diseases.
“It’s shocking to me that it took 40 years for modern- day scientists to understand that our mind and body are
connected. We are at a pivotal point. Either we understand this, or frankly speaking, the future of healthcare is in peril. Nobody is talking about health; they are talking about insurance. All of this healthcare reform has nothing to do with health or wellbeing. The future of medicine is precise; it’s personalized, it’s preventable, it’s participatory, it’s a process,” Chopra says.
The future of medicine is also artificial intelligence in the form of a virtual listener named Piwi. The chatbot is on call 24/7 on NeverAlone.Love to speak with anyone regardless of creed, culture, or language.
Tell Your Troubles to Piwi, an Artificial Intelligence Chatbot Who Counsels and Connects
“Piwi can speak to you if you are sad or depressed and immediately help you because people are more comfortable speaking to a machine than a human being these days,” Chopra notes. He developed the Never Alone platform together with co-founders Gabriella Wright, an actress who lost a sister to suicide, and Poonacha Machaiah, an entrepreneur.
The app and website work on several levels to address physical health, emotional health, spiritual health, and social wellbeing. “The future of mental wellbeing has to be democratized. We are creating a global community offering the education, knowledge, and wisdom to maximize the experience of a joyful, energetic body, love and compassion, lightness of being, and a quiet mind. If you have those four things, I think you will be set,” Chopra says.
NeverAlone.Love operates using blockchain technology, developed in partnership with Hedera Hashgraph, which built the secure platform in collaboration with CG Creative Studios, which handles the brand and user experience. The site, its services, and content draw funds from donors in a token system and smart contracts providing full transparency with the use of funds.
Chopra intuitively understands what medical science has been slower to embrace, this mind-body healing approach to health rather than limiting medical diagnosis protocols. “This old system of classifying people into disease categories may be obsolete. If somebody is sad, they need to be helped; it doesn’t matter the causes or gene expression. The common factor in depression and anxiety is that if we don’t address it, we miss the point,” Chopra says.
Chopra has dedicated his life’s work to teachings and practices of Ayurveda, an ancient healing system based on lifestyle factors including biological rhythms, nutrition, the microbiome, and wellbeing. “Ayurveda is derived from two words, ayur, which means life, and veda, which means knowledge. This system has been around for 5000 years. We feel Ayurveda is the best holistic system for the prevention and reversal of chronic illness,” Chopra says.
Science and medicine are starting to validate the principles of Ayurveda, making it a mainstream practice. “If you follow the science, it’s possible to not only prevent 95 percent of illness but even reverse it. With any chronic illness, whether it’s diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, premature aging, or frequent infections, you will find common factors— inflammation, anxiety, and depression. Those three factors predict almost 95 percent of illness,” Chopra notes.
He believes we can heal our bodies from most illnesses if we prioritize and practice healthy sleep habits, meditation, stress management, and exercise regularly. “If you foster mind-body coordination with yoga and breathing exercises, cultivate emotional resilience and happy relationships, balance your biological rhythms, connect with nature, and engage in some kind of spiritual inquiry, you can restore homeostasis or what we call self-regulation in 95 percent or more of illness,” Chopra says.
Chopra’s latest project echoes an awakening the Global Wellness Institute headlined in its 2020 Summit—the fact that you don’t have to be diagnosed with a mental illness to be mentally unwell.
“The universal conversation about mental health needs to be reframed. There is a pandemic of global depression and stress. Let’s reach a billion people for personal and social transformation to have a more peaceful, joyful, sustainable, healthy world. If you understand that right now, the world is in pain, then everything makes sense. We don’t have to buy into the insanity of war, terrorism, global climate change, mass migrations, pandemics; this is the creation of our collective insanity. We need to wake up.”
NeverAlone.Love aims to deliver mental health healing while Chopra’s Meditation and Wellbeing app fosters mental hygiene with content to help people live a more mindful, present, joyful life.