In an age when the internet has become a go-to forum for many people to express themselves, the issue of mental health difficulties remains a sensitive one.
However, a promising Nigerian health care startup, Mytherapist.ng, is capitalizing on the situation by harnessing technology to provide Nigerians with accessible, cheap, and stigma-free mental health care services.
The company intends to accomplish this by launching a specialized mobile application, with the primary goal of serving 20 million afflicted individuals across the country.
Dedoyin Ajayi, co-founder and chief operations officer (COO) of Mytherapist, announced the company’s efforts in this regard, noting that the concept sprang from a gap in the supply and demand for mental health therapy in the country’s public health care system.
Because of the country’s unsettling difficulties, the demand for mental health consulting has increased dramatically in Nigeria.
The Covid-19 pandemic, combined with the October 2020 #EndSARS incident, exacerbated the mishap among young Nigerians, leading to increasing melancholy, suicide attempts, and countless unspoken mental traumas.
Speaking about the upcoming app launch, Dedoyin, a licensed Neuro-linguistic practitioner from the Academy of Modern and Applied Psychology, revealed that the app’s algorithm will give users with free resources and tools that they could access at any time to assist them handle these issues.
“Social media has helped to create a platform for many to voice out, but it has still not proven to be the safest space to talk about your mental health struggle and get the needed help,” she said, having spent over four years in the emotional counseling practice with an average of twenty-six hours per week (both physical and virtual).
According to her, the app will assist to alleviate the stigmatization that afflicted people often face by providing a secure area for them to discuss their stories and receive the necessary help from the network’s well-vetted therapists.
The online therapy platform, which will be available to Android and IOS smartphone users, is unusual in that it will connect users to numerous experts, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists around the country.
In addition, Oluwaseun Raphael Afolayan, co-founder of Mytherapist and an accomplished full-stack Software Developer and Technical writer, observed that customers without internet access or cellphones would profit from the health solution.
He announced the availability of a dedicated toll-free helpline and walk-in centers strategically situated in various local and semi-urban communities.
“After our initial release in December, we’ll commence funding rounds, presenting an investment opportunity for angel investors and venture capitalists into the firm,” Oluwaseun added.
According to the health-tech firm, its mobile app will be officially revealed in December 2021, and the public is encouraged to join the waiting list by visiting Mytherapist’s website.