BridgingSpace E-Health Startup Set to End Mental Health Problems in Nigeria

By Abbas Badmus

TECHDIGEST – A Nigeria e-Health startup, BridgingSpace has demonstrated its readiness to provide necessary support to persons suffering from mental health related issues such as depression, anxiety and others.

The CEO of BridgingSpace, Edet Ekpenyong, told TechDigest in an exclusive interview that his startup will serve as an effective platform for individuals who have mental health related issues in order to break stereotypes and stigma related circumstances while promoting healthy communities.

The chief executive officer, BridgingSpace Startup, Edet Ekpenyong
The chief executive officer, BridgingSpace Startup, Edet Ekpenyong

He identified the youth as the segment of the population with the highest cases of depression and anxiety due to factors such as economic hardship, cultural biases, and other social pressures, adding that one out of four Nigerians are victims.

“This trend has increased and will continue post COVID-19 pandemic. Many of them don’t seek professional help because of the stigma, discrimination and complicated processes needed to access therapy.

“BridgingSpace provides convenient on-demand teletherapy, support group and self-help services that cater to the needs of individuals.”

Edet, therefore, urged families, peer groups and the public to be more focused on the psychosocial health of their community by encouraging them to speak out about mental health challenges they may have encountered in schools, the work place or among their peers.

He assured that the startup has put in place effective channels for communication, partnerships and collaborations with support groups, for profit and nonprofit organizations to collectively address the scourge of mental health issues affecting people.

Edet, who is also a certified Global Mental Health expert, disclosed that BridgingSpace will deploy all necessary strategies including tours of tertiary institutions to raise awareness on sound mental health as a critical but neglected component of health in its entirety towards the achievement of ‘health for all goals’.

“Everyday people encounter many challenges, some of which take a toll on their mental health, hence affecting their work productivity and social interactions. By providing affordable on-demand mental health care, people can easily get professional help through therapy — either self-care or through counselling.’’

“So BridgingSpace will serve as a premier source for mental healthcare solutions while using data to positively influence healthy outcomes for communities around the world”, Edet added.

He expressed appreciation to the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) for sponsoring the startups to the annual GITEX show in Dubai, saying that the startups needed more incubator and accelerator programmes to facilitate their growth.

“The Gulf Information Technology Exhibition was a wonderful opportunity for BridgingSpace to engage with government intermediaries, international stakeholders, impact investors as well as fellow startups across different countries in the world.

“Without doubt, through the initiative of the federal government under the leadership of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami alongside NCAIR C-Level Director, Dr. Yau Garba, BridgingSpace has had multinational exposure, access to investors and growth hacking opportunities to steer forward in the entrepreneurial waters”.

BridgingSpace was unveiled by NITDA at the 2021 GITEX Future Stars Show in Dubai, United Arab Emirates in October.

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