Inuka a mental wellness app launched into the Kenyan market. The digital mental well-being app, connects users to wellness experts at their time of need allowing them to have immediate access to high level expertise at an affordable rate.
During a mental health conference which took place at the KICC, it was revealed Kenyan companies are losing billions due to reduced productivity at the workplace that is occasioned by stress and burnout. It was also noted that 36 percent of work-related illnesses is due to stress and burnout with 13 percent of employees being overworked. However, most employees dealing with mental health challenges do not seek help because of the stigma around it.
According to a May 2019 report, World Health Organization (WHO) included work “burnout” as an occupational phenomenon defining it as a syndrome resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. To remedy this, WHO recommended 10 mental health workers per 100,000 people. In Kenya, there is barely one health worker per 100,000 presenting a vast disparity in mental health professional support.
According to the Kenya Mental Health Policy (2015-2030), mental disorder cases in Kenya continue to rise rapidly. World Vision statistics show that approximately 25% of outpatients and 40% of inpatients receiving health treatment experience mental disorder. However less than one in five individuals with mental disorder receive evidence-based treatment.
Inuka was piloted in the Philips Innovation Hub to help at-risk employees realize that mental health support is accessible and available via online chats on their phone anonymously, anytime and anywhere.
The app has a free self-assessment test which enables users to check their mental health status anywhere, anytime, anonymously. Based on the risk-level they are connected to top mental health experts for Kshs 650 per session or Kshs 2500 for four sessions.
Inuka Wellness Market Lead Kenya, Ankiza Gakunu, had this to say, “Inuka has been launched in Kenya to bridge the accessibility and affordability barriers to quality mental health wellness and in turn increase productivity for employees.”