Frequently Asked Questions

Questions?

General

Inuka makes proven guidance available and affordable for everyone. We want to make sure that people who are going through a rough time in life find support that is science-based, easily accessible and comfortable to use. We want to see a world where everybody feels they can share problems and get professional support for issues they face in life.

At Inuka we look at general mental distress, it doesn’t matter whether it is called burnout, depression, stress or just dealing with difficult problems you’re dealing with in your life.
Right now the burnout label is very recognized. That’s why we use it, hoping people who need help and can benefit from Inuka, will reach out.
But in general our coach method works for almost any kind of mental distress.

Your coach will in the first session start with mapping out how you are doing in life. 

The aim of every session is to come up with a personalized wellbeing plan to follow between sessions. They will do so by following this format: 

  1. Understand and structure the problems you’re dealing with.

Every session begins with the coach listening to you and what you’re going through in the context of your daily live. What are the challenges you deal with, how are you feeling? The aim is to make an overview of how you are doing overall, and identify specific struggles, whether this concerns work, emotions, relationship, finances, your body or spirituality. Together, you’ll come up with a ¨things to tackle list.¨

If it is a return session, the session begins with evaluating whether the action plan worked.

  1. Focus on one specific problem & goal

The coach then helps you find out the most pressing issue on the ‘things to tackle’ list and set a goal which for you is most important at the moment. Sometimes it takes a while to find out what this is – which is perfectly fine and part of the process! 

  1. Make a plan

Based on your goal, together you brainstorm a range of solutions, pick a solution and make a SMART action plan. The session ends with a short scheduling of the next session. After this the hardest part comes: actually doing the plan you have agreed on. Which means really going to the gym, not opening your laptop in the evening or having that dreaded conversation with your manager. But no worries, whether you manage to do it or not, your coach is on your side to support you and find a way to make it work, together!

Inuka can work for a range of problems. Our coaching method focuses on that what issue you find the most important including: 

  • managing stressful situations better, whether at work or in private life 
  • setting and achieving goals important to you, such as exercising more or getting up earlier
  • learning how to cope better with a stressful job or work situation
  • managing struggles around covid-19, such as working from home, feeling low or stressed
  • coping better with stressful events, such as a break-up, moving places or a new job

Disclaimer: Although this service is designed to help you cope with a range of issues you face in life, Inuka is not a medical service, and if you feel you are in crisis, or you may hurt yourself or others, you should seek professional help. Please view our resources for professional help here.

Inuka coaching is to build skills for you to deal with whatever life throws at you, no matter how big or small or deep.
However it will not solve issues that have been persistent for a long time or may need medical support from a therapist or other  medical specialist.
Our coaches are trained to identify if someone needs additional specialized support, more support than we can offer. They will always refer, but continue to support with the basic coaching.
Our coaching method is also about helping you with building coping skills, regardless what nature of event is bothering you.
 
For instance, this method is also used in Zimbabwe people have to deal with natural disasters, an unstable government, and high economic stress. These are also things that can’t be controlled, external things. Even there, this method helps them to cope better with the challenges life throws at them.

Yes, they can. Especially in helping people who are scored ‘at-risk’ in the Inuka wellbeing test. 

But it is important to remember that although this service is designed to help people cope with a range of issues they face in life, Inuka is not a medical service, and if they feel in crisis, or they may hurt themselves or others, they should seek professional help. Please find resources for professional help here.

The short answer is no.
Inuka guides are trained on a widely applicable guided conversation method grounded in problem solving therapy. They are not therapists or medical professionals.

Although this service is designed to help you cope with a range of issues you face in life, Inuka is not a medical service, and if you feel you are in crisis, or may hurt yourself or others, you should seek professional help. Please find resources for professional help here.

Counseling and psychotherapy are services offered by medical experts. Counselors and psychotherapists go through extensive training to understand human psychology and learn a range of different types of therapies. These experts can therefore treat people who face various challenges in their lives, whether it is serious addiction problems, being unable to sleep, and mental health disorders. They often explore in-depth your history, family situation and personality. 

In contrast, our coaches are trained in one specific method which is grounded in ‘problem-solving therapy’, the Inuka Method. Created by leading experts, it takes some of the most-used tools in coaching and therapy, (known as ‘Cognitive Behavioral Therapy’) but it only focuses on helping you deal with challenges, not on deeper underlying issues. Therefore it is very useful for helping you to make changes in life, and cope with challenges you face in life, but not to resolve larger underlying issues such as addiction, a serious mental disorder or trauma. 

It is important to note that although this service is designed to help you cope with a range of issues you face in life, Inuka is not a medical service. If you feel you are in crisis, or you may hurt yourself or others, you should seek professional help. Please scroll down to find resources for professional help.

Each person reacts differently to this support, depending on the issues they face, but we have two reasons to believe this can work for you:

1. Evidence-based guidance method. All Inuka guides are trained in a method which is grounded in problem solving therapy. This method has been found to be effective for a range of problems people face.

2. We tested it. 63 people received 4 guidance sessions from Inuka guides, trained in our problem solving method and saw the following results:

a) For 81% of participants, mental distress symptoms go down by an average of 42% (mean from M=12 to 7 out of 20 on screener for depression, anxiety, stress and sleep challenges)
b) 69% said Inuka helped very much in dealing better with their life’s challenges
c)The quality of the program was rated by 67% as ‘excellent’
d)If a friend was in need, 84% would ‘definitely’ recommend Inuka
e)In circumstances where they may need help again, 91% would ‘definitely’ come back to Inuka

Based on a study with a prototype. Results may differ with the current solution. Different life challenges may require varying numbers of sessions. Typically, 4-8 sessions are needed.

Text chat provides its own discretion.

You can do it from almost anywhere and with limited connectivity.

We have had success with this method and seen text chat to work for clients dealing with a range of challenges, which we measured by tracking their wellbeing scores after sessions.

A text gives you the chance to express yourself carefully. There is no pressure to say something simply because someone is looking at you for an answer.

Give it a shot, it might just surprise you. If you prefer video calling, we have that available as an optional service as well.

Let us know what your experience is, we’d love to hear from you! 

Sessions are available in the following languages. We are constantly adding new languages, as they are requested. Feel free to reach out to us if you are missing some!

English – French – Spanish – German – Hindi – Dutch – Romanian – Kiswahili – Shona

The Inuka Method
Inuka does more than just chat – much more! Our coaches are well trained in an evidence-based problem solving method so they can help you with the challenges you face in your life.

History of the Method
It is now well-known that 1 out of 4 people in the world suffer from psychological or mental issues in their lives. The problem is that most of the people affected, up to 75% in many low-income countries, do not have access to the care they need.

Origin
Scientists around the world have been developing and testing methods to make evidence-based support available. They have trained people with no medical or professional background to become counsellors.
The results have been impressive. Specifically, problem solving therapies delivered by non-clinical people are effective in improving the lives of people who face increased anxiety, worry, and are overwhelmed with their life’s challenges.

How the Inuka Method was developed
In 2015, we teamed up with Dr. Chibanda, a scientist from Zimbabwe, who works at the Friendship Bench. The Friendship Bench trains people without professional background to offer problem solving therapy on a bench outside a primary care clinic. They are one of the most recognized task-shifting programs in the world. Dr Chibanda and his team tested this method with a cluster randomized controlled trial (considered a gold standard for scientific research) – with great success.

More About the Friendship Bench Clinical Trial 
Over 250 participants received an average of 6 sessions with non-clinical, non-specialist people, often grandmothers, using the problem solving method. Six months after these sessions, 86% of participants were mostly free of the challenges they faced (such as poor sleep, too much worry, and feelings of helplessness). You can read about the results here.

Inuka now
Together with Dr. Chibanda and his team, Inuka has translated this method to a digital setting, provided by coaches. Dr. Chibanda believes Inuka is the way to make evidence-based support available widely, so that people start getting the help they need to thrive. Now you can connect with coaches trained on this method on your phone, available whenever and wherever you need it!

Disclaimer: Although this service is designed to help you cope with a range of issues you face in life, Inuka is not a medical service, and if you feel you are in crisis, or you may hurt yourself or others, you should seek professional help. Please visit our page to find resources for professional help.

A typical session lasts 60 minutes. You can always access you action plan and self-assessment results on your app.  And book a session when you are ready to discuss how you did.

Inuka can be 100% anonymous. At the registration page, you can fill out any display name and valid email so Inuka does not know who you are.

It is illegal for us as to share any of the data you have given us with third party individuals or companies.

If your sessions are sponsored by a company, they will only receive aggregated results about the wellbeing scan that in no way allows anyone to retrieve who scored what.

Inuka is a social enterprise to whom privacy is of highest importance. Our privacy policy for processing sensitive data is GDPR compliant. We also have onboard a certified Data Protection Officer (DPO) to ensure constant, updated compliance.

In no way do employers know anything about you individually. That is illegal for us to share. We are GDPR compliant in the strictest level. 
Employers will not know the content of sessions or your wellbeing score or even whether you’ve participated or not.
What they will know is the number of people who completed the wellbeing test and sessions, the average rating of the sessions, and the % of people being in what category before and after the Inuka program, so they can see what the progress if any. Which we of course expect 🙂 

You can trust you work with someone who is both genuinely caring and highly trained on a proven coaching method to get you to a better place. 

This is not just blah-blah: reserach shows that typically only 7-20% of people achieve the goals they set for themselves, such as exercising more, gaming less, set better boundaries or seeing friends more. With an Inuka coach on your side, typically 82% of people achieve their goals! 

Why? Because of our proven coaching method, within 1-2 sessions you will have an overview of where you stand in life, set a goal and have concrete actions to work on. 

Also, you have someone on your side to motivate you and hold you accountable to REALLY make the changes you want to make 

Anytime in the year you can check how you are doing with the wellbeing scan, and book another session with your Inuka coach and start where you left off. 

You can also contact your coach, book and reschedule an appointment anytime, anywhere, or switch coaches via the online environment. 

Our coaches come from a diverse set of backgrounds, and can relate to where you are. Many have been through the same or similar challenges as you. 

You can choose your coach and session based on a personal description of the coach, their rating by other coachees, and the language you feel most comfortable expressing yourself in. Right now, we offer over 9 different languages including English, Dutch, French, German, Hindi, Dutch, Romanian and Kiswahili. 

All our coaches are first vetted by us, and then trained and certified through the Inuka Academy in the Inuka Method, a simplified coaching version of Problem Solving Therapy (PST). This therapy is a type of cognitive behaviour therapy that helps people become more resilient in dealing with challenges in life. Inuka coaches receive over 300 hours of education and training, and have to do an exam with a licensed therapist in order to become certified. 

Coaches are continuously supported and quality checks are done by experts, such as highly experienced coaches, licensed therapists and psychiatrists. 

A typical session lasts 60 minutes. Only the first session lasts 90 minutes. 

Good question! We have 5 ingredients to ensure high quality, consistent service from our coaches:

Solid Training – All coaches have completed an in-depth training on the proven InukaMethod, and only were allowed to start coaching after they did an exam which is checked by our team of experienced coaches, licensed therapists and psychiatrists. 

Strict quality control – After the exam our quality checks don’t stop! With the use of technology and regular feedback from our team of therapists we ensure all our coaches provide top-notch support. Yet you got the bad luck to run into a coach you are not happy with? No worries you can change coaches anytime!

Careful selection – Our coaches are carefully screened and selected by us. They have to have a history of social engagement, have to be highly motivated and compassionate and of course pass our strict training and exam. 

Inuka Coaching Method – Coaches are trained on a proven problem solving method, the InukaMethod, which builds your skills to effectively deal with challenges or stressful events you face in life. As opposed to many offers of therapists or counsellors, on the Inuka service all coaches work with the same method to ensure you get a similar high quality service, every session.

Solid research & development – We have tested the quality of our coaches’ problem solving method by tracking the progress and feedback of 63 people who received 4 chat-sessions on our Inuka app. We saw great results: for 82% of participants, mental distress symptoms went down with 42% and 91% of participants reported they ‘definitely’ would come back if they would seek support from a coach again.

Note that it depends per type of challenge how many sessions are needed for results. Also, although Inuka is designed to get you to a better place, it is NOT a medical service, and in case you are in crisis or need medical support, we recommend you seek medical treatment. 

Prices and Offers

If you are an organization interested in using Inuka, we offer a 3-month pilot for 39€/month (minimum of 50 employees). For more pricing info, please contact us, or book a call. 

For Kenya, all updated details about the price and available discounts for Kenya can be found here. and within the inuka app.

Personal guidance: Anonymous chat sessions of 60 minutes with a trained Inuka coach.
Concrete outcomes: A clear action plan with steps to tackle the issues you face
Measurable results: An assessment at the start and end to understand your progress
Flexibility: Plan sessions anytime, as convenient. View your action plan and assessment outcomes whenever you need.
Real results: the Inuka method builds skills to deal with your challenges. Results are typically seen after 4-8 sessions. Take the Inuka wellbeing before and after a set of sessions to see if the sessions are having a positive impact.

If you are unhappy with our services please do contact us a inukacares@inuka.io with details. We’ll work with you to resolve this in the best possible manner.

Technical Issues

You can access the Inuka web app through any device from here. Alternatively, you can also download the Inuka android app for Kenya from here.

Check network connectivity to ensure you are connected to the Internet. If it still does not work, log out and log in again.

Go to the profile page, tap on the profile image, then tap My Information to update. After you update, tap ‘Save Details’.

Usually we advise you to work with the same coach across sessions to build connection and depth. If for any reasons you need to change your loach, you can do so by tapping on the chat menu icon and tap ‘change coach’. You will be asked to give a reason for doing so.

Alternatively, you can contact us at inukacares@inuka.io and request for your coach to be changed.

At this moment you cannot change the registered email ID. You will have to register again with a new email ID.

For any specific concerns please mail us at inukacares@inuka.io

At this moment, you cannot change your Display Name. You will have to register again with a new Display Name.

For any specific concerns mail us at inukacares@inuka.io

We hope this is not needed as we work hard to make this an excellent service. If you experience an issue, go to the menu during a chat and tap ‘report a problem’.

Alternatively, you can reach out to inukacares@inuka.io. We take your comments seriously and will do everything possible to resolve your issue.

You can reset your password in the following scenarios:

When you log in for the first time, you will be asked to change the password
(refer to the ‘Help’ tab in the app for steps).
Or,
Go to the profile page, tap on the profile image, and tap ‘Change Password’. Enter your old and new passwords in the appropriate fields.

Coach Related

Our coaches are a very diverse group of people, who have only 2 things in common.
1. They have empathy and a desire to help other people thrive
2. They are selected, trained and have their work reviewed by our supervisors and therapists.

Good question! We have 5 ingredients to ensure good quality, consistent service from our coaches:

Training – All coaches have completed an in-depth training on a proven problem solving method by AMREF Health Africa, a trusted leader in the field of healthcare training.

Strict quality control – A clinical professional supervises all coaches and all clients are asked to provide regular feedback on their coach.

Careful selection – Our coaches are carefully screened and selected by us. They have to have a CV that shows social engagement and they have to pass a test after completing their training.

Guidance method – Coaches are trained on a proven problem solving method, which builds your skills to effectively deal with challenges or stressful events you face in life. As opposed to many offers of therapists or counsellors, on the Inuka service all coaches work with the same method to ensure you get a similar high quality service, every session.

Solid research & development – We have tested the quality of our coaches’ problem solving method by tracking the progress and feedback of 63 people who received 4 chat-sessions on our Inuka app. We saw great results: for 81% of participants, mental distress symptoms went down with 42% and 91% of participants reported they ‘definitely’ would come back if they would seek help again.


Note that we used an earlier prototype. Results may differ with the current solution, and it depends per type of challenge how many sessions are needed for results.

It is solution oriented coaching, grounded in problem solving therapy, as developed by our co-founder, a psychiatrist and professor. The aim of our coaches is to always give you a concrete plan with simple steps to a goal you set. 
Every 4 sessions our supervisors check whether we see progress in the client’s wellbeing. The wellbeing test results are a great way to objectively track whether sessions are helping or not.
 
If we see someone worsens or does not improve we do refer them after 4 to 12 sessions, depending on the person and the recommendations  of our team of therapists.

Absolutely! Your coach will stay with you until you complete the program to ensure she knows you well and can provide the best support possible. After you complete your wellbeing self-scan, you can choose from our coaches, based on their profile, their availability for your chosen session time slot and your language preference.

Every coach will deliver the same guidance based on the Inuka Method. 

While many people think face-to-face guidance is beneficial, we chose coaching via chat, based on feedback from our clients. Some of the reasons that clients mention most often are:

a. Confidentiality. A chat allows you to be anonymous and feel freer in expressing yourself.
b. Convenience. A chat lets you have your guidance session anytime, anywhere, on your phone. There is no need to take time off or travel. 
c. Ease of communication. A text gives you the chance to express yourself carefully. There is no pressure to say something simply because someone is looking at you for an answer.

No. Our coaches are very good and can help with a range of issues. However, Inuka is not a medical service, and if you feel you are in crisis, or you may hurt yourself or others, you should seek professional help. Please find resources for professional help here.