With the current state of affairs in Kenya, there is clearly a gap that Kenyans are not getting access to mental health services with regards to normal life adjustment problems.. In Kenya now people are resolving issues by violence, and homicide, suicide… Yet some psychologists are waiting for the government to create opportunities for them to help! Oooh! My critical question…
Is Counseling and Psychotherapy service a viable market in Kenya or one should focus on donor funds to reach out to a large population? Could Kenyan’s attitudes towards talk therapy affect the growth of such a business? Should a psychologist in Kenya focus on starting out to make money or to help?
It should be depending on your network and how well you ha dle your clients. It may not be a big business for all practitioners but the few who have mastered it make big bucks.
Yes if you are working fo the government or an established institution.
I agree with you. In a town or city the business might come through just not too far into the village. Another way to look at it would be through an existing institution. Instead of setting up your own practice which is expensive and time intensive, you could get attached to an institution like school or hospital. Most of them are already offering the service as a mandatory requirement so all you need to do is practice without thinking about things like marketing.
This is a very good question. I personally think it depends on your approach. Business is about both the target market and the target audience. For these, you have to do research and you will find out that most people who need therapy services are in grassroots. The reason for this is that the Upper Middle Class have access to so many tools in their circles that can help them with mental health problems including apps, mental health events, mental health forums and even mental health hotlines. This sort of protects the “ego” of the victims as sometimes most of them are celebrities and politicians.
However, when you come back to grassroots; there is nothing. Many people are not even aware there is mental health. You will find that disorders like schizophrenia and bipolar are even blamed on witchcraft in many regions because of lack of awareness. There are so many churches that encourage just prayer for conditions like depression and anxiety. This means that the level of awareness about mental health to those who really need it is very low.
This would mean you’d have to invest in a lot of awareness first for it to be profitable. To get clients, you’d probably also have to charge low therapy fee since many of these people cannot even afford medication like antidepressants.
In conclusion, I think it is not a sustainable business to anyone looking to make a living from it unless you consider institution therapy which in Kenya is now mushrooming. Companies and private schools are paying lots of money to have a psychiatrist or psychologist in their midst.
I hope this helps.
It is not. In as much as many people need the services, very few see the need to invest in them for their benefit or that of their kin.