From The Straits Times    |

The concept of Safe Space, a tele-therapy platform for mental health, was borne out of my personal experience of trying to find a therapist to help me deal with work stress. But I found the entire process of finding the right expert – one who was the right fit for me –to be very tedious. It made me realise that there was a need for a private and safe space for people, especially considering the stigma around mental health that still exists in Asian society.

The system at Safe Space is designed to recommend therapists based on users’ symptoms and therapist preference, from language, to gender and price.

We launched Safe Space in March 2019, and soon saw high adoption of our platform. About 70 per cent of users confirmed that we were able to help them improve their mental well-being during Covid-19.

Such validation reassured us that we were on the right track – to help people have access to therapy when they need it the most.

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Investments were much lower during Covid-19, and even more so when it came to a female founder. But we were able to prove to investors that such a platform was the need of the hour, and that more funding was needed to make it scalable.

Being in the start-up business is very stressful, whether you are a woman or a man, as you need to hit targets and ensure that everything works. But being in the mental health business and in touch with so many therapists has taught us to take care of ourselves better.

Safe Space was set up to help people have access to therapy when they need it the most.

One of the biggest changes I see in myself is that I am now able to get past taboos and speak openly to other people about what I went through.

Going forward, we want Safe Space to evolve into a default and holistic platform for all mental health needs – a credible ecosystem of therapists and service providers (such as nutritionists, fitness coaches and the like) that corporates, hospitals, and insurance providers would feel comfortable referring their clients to.

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