Q&A – Is Inuka for me?

GENERAL

Is Inuka for me? 

Inuka is a service available to anyone, regardless of age, gender or religious affiliation. It is a service that aims to offer completely confidential support for anyone. No issue is too small for the Inuka Life Coaches to help you through. 

From job stress to relationship worries and other concerns that might be making life heavier for you – Inuka is here to help you tackle each issue by talking things through, providing you with an action plan and follow ups.

Disclaimer: Inuka does not provide emergency help. We therefore urge you to contact these services if you believe you or someone you know might hurt themselves or others. Find them at the bottom of the page.

What kind of problems can Inuka help with?

Inuka can work for a range problems. We use a problem solving method that teaches you skills to manage challenges and stressful events that you face in life. 

These challenges can be large like:

  • Losing your job
  • Getting a divorce
  • Experiencing the death of a loved one 
  • Having a chronic medical illness 
  • Substance abuse related dependency
  • Financial difficulties

Or they can be the result of smaller, day to day problems that cause emotional stress, such as:

  • Daily irritations
  • Sleeping better
  • Overthinking
  • Job stress
  • Tension in relationship and friendships
  • Procrastination
  • Feeling lost / directionless

If any issue is affecting your day to day functioning or wellbeing, our problem solving method can be of help. 

Disclaimer: Inuka does not provide emergency help. We therefore urge you to contact these services if you believe you or someone you know might hurt themselves or others. Find them at the bottom of the page.

How much does Inuka cost?

Find all information about costs here: Start your journey.

What does the Inuka service include?

The fee for the service includes:

Personal guidance: Four 1-on-1 anonymous chat sessions of maximum 50 minutes with a trained Inuka guide
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.
Offline support: Message your guide in between sessions for support as you execute your plan
Real results: the Inuka method builds skills to deal with your challenges. Results are typically seen after 4-8 sessions

How does the Inuka service differ from counselling/therapy?

Counselling and psychotherapy are services offered by medical experts.

Counsellors and psychotherapists go through extensive training in understanding human behaviour through scientific methods and a range of different types of therapies in order to identify problems and help people improve their sense of well-being. These experts treat people who face various challenges in their lives, whether it is being unable to sleep or get to work every day, or more serious problems with substance abuse and mental health disorders.

In contrast, our guides are trained in a specific method which is grounded in ‘problem-solving therapy’.

Created by leading experts, it uses methods common to counselling and psychotherapy (known as ‘Cognitive Behavioral Therapy’) but in such a way that that people without a medical background can deliver the service because it only focuses on building your skills to deal with challenges, not on deeper underlying issues. You can find more information on the history of this method here.

An additional advantage of Inuka is that it is made available via chat: allowing us to continuously check and improve the quality of support you receive.

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

Do you have proof Inuka works?

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

pilot results

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.

Where is Inuka available? 

We currently deliver services to individuals located in Kenya, and we hope to expand to other locations in the near future.

If you have a working internet connection and an Android phone in Kenya, you can schedule a session with one of our Life Coaches when it suits you.

Do I need anything to use the Inuka service?

You will need a working internet connection, preferably a good one, and an Android phone.

Who runs Inuka and what is the Inuka goal?

Inuka was started by Robin van Dalen and Dr. Dixon Chibanda, in cooperation with a small team from Phillips Healthcare. Read all about it here: The Story of Inuka and What is Inuka?

To see the team behind Inuka, and our funders and partners visit https://inuka.io/about.

SESSIONS

How are sessions conducted?

Sessions are conducted via the chat app Telegram for the time being.

How long do sessions last?

A typical session lasts between 30-45 minutes, with the first session taking usually longer. If you run into challenges in executing your action plan, you can also reach out to your guide outside a planned session. You can always access you action plan and self-assessment results on your app. 

Why are you using Telegram?

Telegram provides us the flexibility to conduct sessions in real time, with a greater responsiveness, in a confidential and secure environment. The app is encrypted, and your data remains safe.

We are currently working on developing an in-house Inuka app, making it even easier to use our services.

LIFE COACHES

Who are my life coaches?

Your life coaches are hand-picked by our team of psychologists on the basis of their moral qualities and background. We train empathic individuals who often have a track record of community involvement, care and other altruistic activities.

This training of laymen in providing cognitive behavioural therapy is what makes Inuka unique. It means we can train many more people in society to be equipped to handle difficulties and ensure mental wellbeing. We believe connecting with those in your community is a necessary step in achieving wellbeing, and can have positive effects that extend far beyond just your one-on-one sessions.

Can I trust them with personal information?

Our life coaches will not know your identity, unless you freely share it with them, which we do not recommend doing. All conversation that occurs within the sessions are fully confidential, and we are committed to protecting your privacy and data.

For more on your privacy and data, see our statement here: Inuka Privacy Policy & Data.

What qualifications do the coaches have?

Our life coaches are trained and certified by AMREF Health Africa, and supervised by our team of licensed Psychologist and Psychiatrists.

TECHNICAL

My session ended abruptly. What happened?

Since Inuka is an internet-based service, if the connection is weak, the session might end abruptly.

Our tech team is hard at work, trying to make the app as light and easy to use as possible so that it can reach all audiences. However, sometimes the internet doesn’t work in our favour. We apologise very much in case this happened to you. Please contact our customer service so we can arrange for a new session, free of charge and at your convenience. 

We are very happy to receive feedback as to the flow of the session, or if there is anything about the process that was not up to standard. 

I can’t download the app. What could be wrong?

Check your phone’s storage space – you might have too little. This is easily fixable by making a little room for the app.

In need of immediate help?

Reach out now. You can find help at the contacts below.

Referral centers

Mathari teaching and Referral Hospital

This is a national referral hospital for psychiatry and the main teaching psychiatric hospital.

Location: Thika Road, Opp Muthaiga Police Station

Telephone: 020 – 2337694/3763311/4/5

Mental Health Department – Kenyatta Hospital

Offering holistic care through specialized services given by
psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers.

Location: Situated along Hospital Road, Upper Hill, Nairobi

Telephone: 0709 854000; 0730 643000; 0722 829500; 020 4243000;020 7244000 and 020 2726300 -11

Crisis Support

Kenya

24-hr National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Telephone: +254 20 3000378/2051323

If your issue is an emergency, call 911 or go to your nearest
emergency room

Rest of the world

Find helplines in different countries at Together we are stronger

Check International Association for Suicide Prevention

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