Nigerian startup Blueroomcare has launched a platform that makes it easy for users to speak to licensed therapists in a timely way at a reduced price.
Launched late last year, Blueroomcare allows clients to communicate with therapists via in-app messaging, videos, and voice messages.
“We have a secure online platform to help those facing life’s challenges by providing easy, affordable and private access to professional counselling,” Moses Aiyenuro, the startup’s founder and CEO, told Disrupt Africa.
The roots of Blueroomcare can be found in Aiyenuro’s own experience of depression, which occurred in 2020 when he missed an exam.
“I couldn’t reach out to people because i didn’t want to be labelled as someone who is sick, but what surprised me the most was when I did a little research with almost 100 young people. Eighty per cent of the respondents had been through emotional distress, with more than 60 per cent admitting they could not open up because of the stigma,” he said. “That really motivated me to provide a solution to this big issue.”
That solution is Blueroomcare, and Aiyenuro is confident it has a large addressable market.
“Nigeria is in a mental health crisis. One in four Nigerians suffer from mental illness, but help is hampered by tight budgets and a lack of skilled staff,” he said.
“With the stigma attached to mental health and the scarcity of mental health professionals and the high cost of treatment, it is practically impossible to access care in a timely way. We are not only making care accessible but we make sure the care we provide is effective and affordable to the common Nigerian.”
Grant-funded until now, Blueroomcare has established a number of key partnerships to help it scale. It hopes to hit 1,000 users by the end of the year, and Aiyenuro said its focus will be on Nigeria for the foreseeable future.