In view of tackling the rising cases of mental health issues in Nigeria and incessant reports of depression, a Nigerian therapy startup, Mytherapist is set to bring relief and hope to the country with the launch of its mobile application to offer a wide range of accessible mental health care services to Nigerians.
The firm through its digital platform is targeting over 20 million Nigerians, home and abroad, to provide fluid, localized, and affordable access to mental health therapy sessions with well-vetted licensed therapists. The system will use a peer-to-peer approach such that mental health patients are matched through an algorithm-based system with therapists that are specialized in their issues.
Established earlier this year, the startup was co-founded by Dedoyin Ajayi, a Psychotherapist specializing in Emotional health; and Oluwaseun Raphael Afolayan, a seasoned full-stack developer.
The digital solution was principally inspired by the yawning gap existing in the supply-demand of Mental Health therapy in the country, which significantly widened during the Covid-19 pandemic and the October 2020 #EndSARS event, further upsurging depression, suicide attempts, and various unsaid emotional traumas.
This is considered a timely development, given the various statistical reports, especially by the World Health Organization (WHO), which revealed that about 50 million Nigerians live with varying mental health disorders as the country has Africa’s highest caseload of depression and ranks 15th in the world in the frequency of suicide.
Since its inception, the health-tech company has been gathering momentum towards the official rollout of its mobile application in December 2021, as users are encouraged to join its waiting list via its official website – mytherapist.ng.
Speaking on the forthcoming app launch, Mytherapist’s COO, Ajayi, averred that “Social media has helped to create a platform for many to voice out, it has still not proven to be the safest space to talk about your mental health struggle and get the needed help.”
According to her, “with the app, users can get personalized access to quality mental health care. This would also help to solve the problem of stigmatization users face as they would have a safe space to share their experiences and get the needed help.”
Raphael, who has spent the last five years building and documenting tech solutions for startups and is the current CTO of the company, further disclosed that those without internet access or smartphones would not be left out of equation.
He said a dedicated toll-free helpline and walk-in centers strategically located in various local and semi-urban communities would be available.
In addition, he said, “We’re going to begin funding rounds after our initial rollout in December,” offering investment openings for angel investors and venture capitalists to help reach our goals faster.