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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Know how Mimblu uses tech to connect patients with therapists

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Meeting with a therapist can be difficult when your mental health is deteriorating.Mimblu intends to address this issue by connecting patients with therapists via text.

The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated many people’s mental health problems. However, mental health care is not widely available in the country.

According to the National Mental Health Survey-5, there are 0.75 psychiatrists for every 100,000 people in India.

Yash Malhotra, a former Zomato and Expedia executive, struggled with anxiety during the pandemic and sought therapy. After talking with close friends who were struggling with mental health concerns, Yash decided to create Mimblu in 2021 with the goal of making counselling more accessible to everybody. 

The Mumbai-based startup provides asynchronous text-based therapy from certified therapists through its app.

Yash wanted to concentrate on text message-based therapy, which, according to a 2020 study by the National Library of Medicine, has improved treatment outcomes for those suffering from anxiety and depression.

Mimblu began operations in January of this year. Shevantika Nanda, a practicing therapist with three years of clinical consulting experience, joined the startup as Co-founder and COO in August.

The Mimblu app allows users to consult with mental healthcare therapists via chat, voice notes, or video calls, which can be scheduled according to convenience and availability. 

Yash, Mimblu’s Founder and CEO, says, “It’s an extremely friendly and non-intimidating format, with more individuals comfortable conversing via text than than video or in-person.” 

Users must select issues such as anger management, anxiety, behavioral management, low self-esteem, social anxiety, work or home stress, eating disorders, and depression/feeling down on the app.

Mimblu then connects them with specialised therapists. Shevantika joined Mimblu as a therapist before becoming a co-founder. 

Asynchronous text-based treatment, Shevantika says, is useful in mild to moderate instances of anxiety, sadness, and eating disorders.  According to a study by Talkspace, over 85% of participants reported positive change after asynchronous text-based therapy for a two-to-four-month period. 

Before onboarding therapists, the startup relies on word-of-mouth referrals from their colleagues. 

According to Yash, Mimblu is working to establish a “gig economy” for therapists. Currently, 8,000 users from across the world are using the Mimblu app—with around 80% of them hailing from India.

The app’s target audience is Gen Z and millennials, with 70% of the users being women. According to the company, over 90% of customers prefer texting—with 8,000 text conversations hosted thus far—and only 10% choose video. 

Mimblu is a subscription-based service that allows users to connect with therapists via chat for 14, 30, or 60 days. It gives users the option of changing therapists if necessary.

Mimblu charges Rs 2,139 for the 30-day plan, Rs 1,299 for the 14-day plan, and Rs 1,200 per 45-minute video session for text-based plans (all exclusive of GST).

Shevantika says, “The major benefits of text-based therapy include an easy and quick connection to therapists (traditional therapy may require you to wait weeks or months depending on the practitioner you choose); it is more affordable, accessible, and convenient—you don’t need to be at a specific location at a specific time.”

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