Nigeria’s DIY Counseling Network

Nigeria has 200 million people and just 250 psychiatrists, making therapy a luxury. So when 26-year-old investment banker Hauwa Ojeifo was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and PTSD, she sought refuge on her blog. Noticing a need beyond her own, SheWritesWoman expanded into an online counseling platform; then a help line that’s ringing off the hook, staffed with 20 volunteers and a psychiatrist. Now, its growing network of in-person support groups reaches cities and remote areas.

There’s plenty of debate around the efficacy of e-counseling, but stubborn stigma means some prefer it; for others, nothing replaces in-person counseling: “People need to talk to people who will hold their hand.”


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