Before COVID-19, many individuals and businesses didn’t grasp the significance of psychological health. If anything positive came out of the pandemic, it’s the heightened attention on mental health and the economic burden it can create once neglected.

In the case of EMPWR, a mental health and wellness magazine, the CEO Ally Salama, noticed several challenges in the Egyptian mental health ecosystem, resulting in a passion to solve the psychological health crisis within Arab communities.

First, there’s a flaw in the accessibility to mental health services. People often rely on word of mouth and lack trust in practicing professionals. This stems from little to no regulatory boards that ensure patients receive a benchmark standard of psychological care.

Another underlying issue in the market was accessibility for the Arab youth, where 60% of the region’s population is under the age of 25. Many of the younger generations have acceptance towards mental health yet very few can access or afford the services.

With presence in UAE and Egypt, Salama’s approach was to create online engagement and awareness through culturally relevant and youth-sensitive educational content to earn their trust through the EMPWR magazine.

Today, after multiple on-ground and online activations, EMPWR has published its debut mental health report with Microsoft and Wamda. The report addresses the challenges around mental health in the tech-ecosystem, a field that many youths aspire to set foot and thrive in.

EMPWR will continue building the startups’ reporting system, enabling policymakers and educational institutions to provide proactive data-driven solutions.

By 2030, the economic burden of mental health in MENA is estimated to exceed $2 Trillion; thus, the need for innovation around mental health and data-driven solutions such as EMPWR and strategic call-to-actions are crucial.

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