- In November, the platform will be open to individual consumers who will pay only KES2,500 for a subscription that allows them access to all the services in the platform.
- After checking in with themselves, users can access personalized mental health solutions which include an array of care options like digital interventions and traditional psychotherapy (group sessions, one-on-one psychotherapy.
A new research-based platform developed by leading mental health company, Shamiri Institute, now allows individuals, university students, and businesses to access superior-quality mental healthcare and wellness solutions at a fraction of the prevailing cost.
This is a welcome development on World Mental Health Day 2022 where the global theme is making mental health and wellbeing a critical global priority.
Mental health issues are devastating around the world, and especially in under-resourced countries like Kenya.
It is estimated that as many as 200 million people in under-resourced countries struggle with mental health problems.
Unfortunately, access to mental healthcare is often inaccessible because there are a few mental health experts like psychiatrists and psychologists, most treatments and therapies are unaffordable to many people, and many treatments are often not personalized to individual and societal needs.
That is where the Shamiri Health platform developed by Shamiri Institute comes in.
It is a solution that was developed after years of research and development (>$2m in research) by an interdisciplinary team of leading mental health researchers from universities around the world including Harvard (where Shamiri Institute was founded), Duke, and Kenyatta University.
Founded at Harvard University by award-winning Kenyan entrepreneur Tom Osborn, Shamiri’s mission is to make mental health affordable and personalized for all.
“We want to make mental health and wellness solutions affordable to everyone, personalized to individual and contextual needs, and integrated within existing systems of caregiving,” Tom said, “this new platform allows us to do that for everyone.”
Through the platform, users have access to an anonymous personal wellness companion app called Rafi that allows them to regular check-in thus tracking how they are doing on their wellness, social support, happiness, life satisfaction, and motivation.
The app is gamified, and users earn gems every time they check-in with themselves. The check-in process is personalized through advanced statistical measures like item response theory.
After checking in with themselves, users can access personalized mental health solutions which include an array of care options like digital interventions and traditional psychotherapy (group sessions, one-on-one psychotherapy.
The platform uses a precision care algorithm to ensure that users get the appropriate level of care. This means, that depending on the issues someone is going through they will be matched with the right kind of support that they need.
Users also have the option to work with a care navigator to make their own plans if they want.
It is all anonymous
The important thing about the Shamiri Health platform is that it is completely anonymous.
Users set aliases and their information is confidential meaning that no one has access to this information.
“We believe that anonymity and confidentiality are very important: Our commitment is to ensure that all users are guaranteed the privacy that they need,” Tom said.
Companies can get it for their employees, individuals can buy a cheap subscription, and it is free for university students
To celebrate World Mental Health Day, Shamiri is giving out the platform for free to university students who can sign up here.
In addition, employers can get the platform for their employees. In November, the platform will be open to individual consumers who will pay only KES2,500 for a subscription that allows them access to all the services in the platform (this is the cost of 1-hour of traditional therapy making the platform 20 times cheaper than alternatives). Individuals can sign up for the waitlist here.
Around the world, it is encouraging that people are starting to make mental health an important global priority. Initiatives like this will go a long way in helping people flourish and live their lives to the fullest.