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Rubi Health: Affordable and accessible mental health care for all pregnant and expectant mothers

An affordable and accessible mental health care service with a self-referral model, that allows clients to book appointments online.

Photo of ABIGAIL ALABI
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In no more than 3 sentences, please tell us who your idea is designed for and how it reimagines the new life experience.

Rubi Health aim to change how mental health services are provided in Nigeria for pregnant and expectant mothers by introducing a more effective model of support (in terms of social impact and cost-effectiveness), thus influencing how mental health services are delivered in Nigeria.

Depression is common among women during perinatal period and is associated with long-term adverse consequences for the mother and infant. In Nigeria, as in many other low- and-middle-income countries (LMIC), perinatal depression usually goes unrecognized and untreated. It is estimated that over 100,000 pregnant experience mental health difficulties each year in Nigeria. With higher levels of stress, anxiety and depression, the range of affordable and accessible options for those in need of support is becoming more and more limited. Depending on where they live, services can be poor or non-existent and with the public system struggling to cope with demand many pregnant women are waiting for a long to see a consultant. Alternatively, private services can be expensive, often leaving those most in need feeling isolated and helpless.

Using web-based, non medical approach and in-person supports Rubi Health aims to create an online service that complement the more traditional face-to-face services, through an online support system comprising of the ePsychologist support and counseling tool and a range of self-support Cognitive Behavioural Therapy modules and exercises.

Rubi Health aims mobilize psychotherapists, psychologists and counselors on one platform to deliver early intervention and prevention for pregnant women that will result in substantial improvements for clients. A core component of the model is that clients will be able to see a professional within a few days of the initial contact.

Earlier intervention when a mental health issue starts presenting itself leads to better mental health outcomes. Early intervention on mental health issues including depression, anxiety symptoms, and stress can prevent issues leading to worse situations such as suicide.

At what stage is your idea?

  • Research & Early Testing: I am exploring my idea, gathering the inspiration and information I need to test it with real users.

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

We aim to first design an online platform for Rubi Health, then mobilize psychotherapists, psychologists and counselors to register, after which the platform would be open to the public partnering with clinics and hospitals and community organizations to reach pregnant women and expectant mothers. we envisaged that this would be ready within 60 days.

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

I hope to gain design and expert support from this platform to help me bring the idea to life.

Tell us about your work experience:

I am a nurse by profession, and expectant mother, and an entrepreneur. I believe mental health issues in pregnancy is important and all hands has to be on deck to help women scale these issues.

This idea emerged from...

  • A group brainstorm

Are you an expecting, new, or experienced mom?

  • yes

Are you a healthcare practitioner?

  • yes

Are you a current employee of UCB Pharmaceuticals or Sutter Health?

  • no

1 comment

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Photo of Lauren Ito
Team

Hi ABIGAIL ALABI ,

Great to see you in this challenge! What types of resources would the online platform you describe provide to compliment in-person services? Can you describe some next steps to begin prototyping your Idea?

Another Idea in the challenge Quality of life and mental health of expecting and new mothers. also addresses the mental health challenges in the new life journey. It may be nice for you to to connect!

Looking forward to learning more!