The team at Healingclouds is on a mission to break down the barriers people face when seeking help. The web-based mental health and well-being platform connects users to a pool of therapists via video call, with 60- to 90-minute sessions available from as little as £35.
The service offers a range of therapies from approved and accredited practitioners, including cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), psychological counselling, and psychotherapy.
Founder and CEO Asim Amin wants to eliminate the obstacles preventing people from reaching out and says cost is a huge factor, as well as the stigma surrounding the topic.
Asim said: ‘In recent months we’ve seen major strides in people’s perception towards mental well-being, In the past, mental health has not been publicised in the same way that physical health has.
‘Cost is also a considerable part of the problem; it can be £90-£100 for a session, and that is a significant amount of money to most people.’
Mental health has always been close to founder Asim’s heart. His mother, Farah Shakir, suffered from depression through Asim’s childhood, but, after seeking help from a therapist, she was able to understand her mental health battle and how to manage it.
‘I know personally the importance of mental well-being and the difference that the availability of support systems makes,’ Asim added.
After having the courage to reach out, another hurdle often encountered is long wait times before people can speak to a therapist. As well as affordability, accessibility and availability are extremely important to Asim and the team at Healingclouds.
The service offers users access to a therapist as early as the next day, from the comfort, convenience, and safety of their own homes, eliminating additional travel costs often associated with a face-to-face service.
Asim said: ‘The NHS, which is one of the best healthcare systems in the world, is doing everything it can, but there can be a long wait time.’
Healingclouds has a number of monthly subscription packages to suit all needs, from a basic level at £45 a month which includes one therapy session, to a more premium package including four sessions at £140 a month. All packages included unlimited direct messages to therapists as well as access to Healingclouds online resources.
Users are matched with therapists after completing a short online questionnaire. Therapists are bound by confidentiality clauses, Healingclouds code of ethics, and the site uses encrypted technology to secure all sessions. Additional measures are in place to ensure a high standard across the platform – all therapists are certified in their relevant practice and are put through a stringent vetting process by the Healingclouds team.
Asim is on a crusade to ‘normalise’ mental health and build it into a day-to-day routine, much like going to the gym.
Asim added: ‘People go to the gym to continue to improve, and addressing mental health has the same effect. It can improve your relationships, your work-life balance. For example, stress is thought of as a “part of life”, but it doesn’t have to be. We want to break the barriers of cost and convenience for people so they can seek help. We have an opportunity to change and impact lives. It’s all about helping people.’