Nguvu Health, an on-demand online therapy platform has launched to help Africans anywhere in the world, get therapy sessions from the comfort of their smartphones.
Nguvu Health uses technology to connect users with licensed clinical psychologists via in-app messaging [text therapy] or video call, in order to lead a quality mental health lifestyle. Users register and complete a short assessment before being matched with a mental health professional who has to go through a rigorous onboarding process before joining the company’s panel of therapists. Currently, sessions can be conducted in both English and Swahili to encompass users across the continent and beyond. The company aims to onboard 10,000 users and 1,000 therapists by the end of 2021.
According to Joshua Koya, Founder & CEO of Nguvu Health: “Together with my Cofounder & friend of 19 years, Tolulope Ogunjuyigbe, we’re excited to be opening up our services to the African market and beyond. We’ve been building our platform for over a year now, working with clinical psychologists, software engineers and corporate lawyers, to ensure Nguvu Health is ethical and quality.”
“For a continent with an increasing prevalence of mental health issues, mental health discussions still often come with a stigma and it has long been an issue swept under the carpet posing to be a silent epidemic. Whilst social media has created a platform for many to have a voice, it is not the safest space to talk about mental health struggle. This is why Nguvu Health has taken a forward stance in building a safe space to encourage individuals to speak freely and get psychotherapy treatment that they need.”
With the COVID-19 pandemic and series of movement restrictions, causing an undeniable impact on individuals’ mental health and well-being, Nguvu Health’s provision of teletherapy service will create a safe space for individuals to unapologetically cater for their mental health.
Nguvu Health aims to bridge the preexisting mental healthcare gap that got further widened by the COVID-19 pandemic with its mobile app that provides easy access to quality therapists and therapy. Also, with limited funding by African nations to fund mental health care, according to a World Health Organization survey conducted in July and August 2020, the company aims to make access to therapy affordable starting from $10.
To further reach out to the millions of people from low-income communities, who don’t have access to the internet or smartphones, the company has some plans to ensure that they are not left out in easy and affordable access to mental health care. News regarding these plans will be shared in the coming months.
Roughly 50 million Nigerians live with mental disorders and according to a World Health Organization report 2017, about 29 million Africans live with depression, which is the most common mental health disorder coupled with limited access to mental health care. However, with increased internet and smartphone penetration, Africans have begun to embrace the topic.