A new era of student mental wellness: Shamiri Health Partners with Mount Kenya University to empower students with mental health services

A new era of student mental wellness: Shamiri Health Partners with Mount Kenya University to empower students with mental health services

Rafi just got better, and through our partnership with Mount Kenya University, we are empowering thousands of students with mental health services.

Date Published:
March 7, 2024

Over the next 30 years, Africa’s young population will double, amplifying the need for accessible mental health care services. Our mission at Shamiri Health is to make mental healthcare affordable and accessible for everyone, and especially young people in Africa. We've built Rafi, a mental health and wellness platform that provides effective care at a fraction of the prevailing cost—and we are super excited to have launched Rafi 3.0 in January 2024 and to have rolled it out to thousand of college students through our new partnership with Mount Kenya University (MKU).

Mount Kenya University sudents logging into Rafi
Mount Kenya University students signing up for Rafi

Supporting the mental health and wellbeing of university students

We are excited to be partnering with Mount Kenya University to provide access to the Rafi app to their students. Young individuals face numerous challenges impacting their overall wellness, including substance abuse, academic and financial pressures, and social relationship issues. However, these challenges are often inadequately addressed due to fear of judgment, lack of anonymity, few available helpers, and unawareness of existing wellness services. In response, higher education institutions are implementing initiatives such as wellness ambassadors, peer supporters, and counseling teams to facilitate easy access to mental health services.

The launch

The Rafi 3.0 launch was celebrated with over 1,500 students at MKU Thika Main Campus on February 8th. Thanks to MKU’s dedicated mental health ambassadors and peer supporters, the event was a success. "The reception was amazing! Our Customer Success Team is motivated by witnessing the Rafi impact as students engaged with the app and its features," stated Natalie Mukami, Senior Associate at Shamiri Health.

Feedback from MKU students highlighted the demand for personalized, easily accessible mental health solutions in higher education. One student remarked, “I’m surprised at all the features, especially the wellness options for low-touch and high-touch therapy accessible with just a simple click on the app!”

This launch success was made possible through close collaboration with the school's administration and counseling department.

So, what's new in Rafi 3.0?

So what can university students look out for in Rafi 3.0?

  • Daily and Weekly check-ins - These are personalized questions that Rafi users can respond to which can help bring awareness to their mood, emotions, motivation levels, and provide insights about their feelings.
  • Journaling - Rafi offers both freeform and clinically guided journaling across a variety of topics to help users understand, process, and acknowledge their emotions.
  • Affirmations - Rafi users receive daily positive affirmations in the app on various topics and categories. These can help replace negative thought patterns with healthier ways of thinking. They can also create and save their own affirmations to serve as reminders. 
  • Goal Tracking - Rafi users can set daily or weekly goals, track their progress, and receive reminders to achieve set goals. Goal setting and tracking tools help users stay and follow through with their goals and celebrate their progress.
  • Ask a Therapist - With this feature, Rafi users can ask and submit any wellness question anonymously in the app, and therapists can answer them in real-time. Community-created and anonymous questions answered by a certified therapist on a diverse range of useful wellness categories such as therapy 101, anxiety, relationships, stress, etc. 

These are powerful additions to our existing caregiving services such as self-guided learning, group sessions with trained counselors, and one-on-one psychotherapy with certified clinical experts. 

In 2024 we are co-creating a community of student wellness ambassadors. Our objective is to work ever closer with student leadership, and counseling teams, to enhance personalized wellness options for our students.

What university should we work with next? 

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