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.