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Build Mental Health App in Africa to Address Neglected Issues in African Countries

Quick Summary: In the digital era where western countries are very close to meeting their healthcare needs, the African continent seems to be far behind, with outdated health legalization and resourced policies. The continent has a very low mental health workforce making the situation worse for the people who need emergency access to the therapy. Therefore it’s time to scale up innovative, practical, and locally tailored solutions developed for mental health awareness, treatment, and monitoring in Africa with international and local investment.

Though mental health is an integral part of overall wellbeing, it has taken a backseat to the more visible diseases such as AIDS, malaria, and Covid-19 in the low-income countries of Africa

Major challenges in the African region

There are major challenges in the region concerning mental health laws and policy reforms as most of them are outdated. Financing, research, training, and the integration of mental health into primary healthcare are also some other challenges.

Laws and policies:

In Nigeria, mental health legalization was first enacted in 1916, called Lunacy Ordinance. Then in 1958, these laws were amended to give medical practitioners and magistrates the power to detain an individual suffering from mental illness. Since then the Lunacy Act of 1958, has not been amended.

We can see the same situation of policies and laws for mental health in other African countries like Kenya.

Low budget for mental health services:

Another thing to worry about is the African government devotes less than 1% of their budget to mental health services and a large portion of this budget is used for medical institutions. The result is the number of mental health professionals is drastically low and most of them live only in the city.

Though there is the availability of primary care in remote areas of Africa, they do not treat mental health conditions. Ultimately such a situation raises the frequency of mental health treatment with traditional methods that mostly include abusive practices.

Other than the laws, policies and financial challenges, the growing African population, and unemployment are the major challenges to making mental health services accessible to people.

Investing in the mental health app development in Africa can solve major issues

In the developing countries of Africa, using the traditional one-to-one approach for mental health treatment doesn’t sound realistic due to the scarcity of mental health professionals and poor infrastructure.

The region has 1.4 mental health workers per 100,000 people as compared to the global average of 9.0 per 100,000. Also, it performs relatively poorly in concern with the availability of psychiatrists, number of hospital beds, and other facilities.

However, the rapid development in mobile technology and mental health applications has great potential to make mental health treatment accessible to the African people.

According to WHO, mobile health technologies are a beneficial resource for low-cost mental health treatment and rising awareness among individuals. The evidence-based digital intervention can be used as a front-line method of treating mental illness using apps in African countries.

This is the time to scale up the innovative, practical, and the locally tailored solution developed for mental health awareness, treatment, and monitoring in Africa with international and local investment.

Top app features you must consider if you’re planning to build mental health in Africa

  • Log in/sign up
  • Create a profile
  • Self-monitoring
  • Set a goal
  • Reminders
  • Notification
  • Communities
  • Video resources
  • Patient-therapist chat
  • Virtual care
  • Gamification
  • Relaxing exercises
  • Emergency support

Type of mental health apps you can build in Africa

Different people face different mental health crises with regards to what they deal with every day in their personal life. Meaning, there are several mental health app ideas as there is no single mental health challenge across Africa.

The following are the top mental health app ideas you can implement in African countries.

  • Meditation apps like Calm
  • Telemedicine app for remote mental health therapy
  • Mental health chatbot app
  • Mental health app for children
  • Mental health app for women
  • Mental health eCommerce app
  • Mental health therapists marketplace
  • App for learning coping skills

The entire process we follow to create outstanding mental health app in Africa

Process – 1

Some mobile apps aiding mental health in Africa



South African Healthcare Startup for Augmented technology is engaging with the investors to accelerate the development of Tracto- An app for neurodiverse children. The app lets parents track the treatment progress of neurodiverse children and children with anxiety. The app is used by multiple educational institutes in Africa.

Nguvu Health:


Nguvu Health is an e- mental health company that made therapy sessions affordable and accessible to Nigerians through the on-demand therapy platform.

The technology connects users with licensed clinical psychologists via in-app messaging and video calls. The user has to complete the short assessment to match their requirement and to choose a mental health professional accordingly.



The app helps to manage stress and is good for learning stress management skills. It allows you to record and visualize your current stress level and then provides you with a breathing exercise and thus provides you with a way to deal with your stressful situation

Truth Share:


The online mental health app helps Nigerian people to get counseling for mental health-related issues. It provides a safe place where people can express themself anonymously to the certified counselor to feel better.

Wrapping up:

There is no health without mental health.

Still, mental health has failed to grab the attention of global public health globally. The situation is even worse in the low-income communities of Africa due to the factors we discussed above such as low budget, and outdated policies. However, investing in mental health is critical to meet the sustainable development goal in any country.

If you have any plan to invest in the mental health application with a high ROI expected, we’re here to help you!

We are a healthcare-focused IT company with expertise in providing tailored solutions for your unique healthcare and wellness needs.

Our expert team includes healthcare app developers, UI/UX designers, business analysts, compliance specialists and QA engineers.

And the best part of our team is we have been dealing with only healthcare IT since the first day of our professional career.

Because healthcare is our passion and we only understand healthcare!