More Indonesians seeking online help for mental health issues amid social stigma and shortage of psychologists

by Raj Das

In recent years, Indonesia has seen a rise in mental health platforms that aim to provide support and assistance to those in need. These platforms have become a lifeline for many Indonesians, especially those living in remote areas with limited access to mental health professionals.

One of these platforms is Riliv, co-founded by IT engineer Audrey Maximilian Herli in 2015. Mr. Herli was inspired to create this platform after witnessing his close female friend struggle silently with personal problems and traumas. When she reached out for help on social media, she was dismissed and bullied, which only exacerbated her depression. Recognizing the stigma and discrimination faced by individuals with mental health issues in Indonesia, Mr. Herli decided to create a space where people could seek professional help without fear of judgment or ridicule.

Riliv, along with two other platforms, and Psikologimu, have provided hundreds of thousands of Indonesians with access to mental health professionals. These platforms, both in the form of apps and websites, offer online consultations and other mental wellness services. They bridge the gap between Indonesia’s low mental health awareness and the scarcity of professionals in the field.

Andreas Handini, the founder of, was also motivated by personal experiences to establish his platform. After struggling with childhood traumas for years, Mr. Handini sought therapy, which helped him control his emotions and find relief. This positive experience prompted him to create a platform that encourages others to seek professional help and provides a safe space for individuals to talk about their mental health.

The names of these platforms reflect their aims and purposes. Riliv, a play on the Indonesian pronunciation of the word “relief,” signifies the relief that individuals can find through seeking professional help. Bicarakan, meaning “talk about it,” emphasizes the importance of open dialogue and removing the stigma surrounding mental health. Psikologimu, translating to “your psychology,” emphasizes the individual nature of mental health and the need for personalized support.

The emergence of these mental health platforms in Indonesia is a promising development. These platforms not only provide access to professionals but also contribute to raising mental health awareness across the country. Individuals who previously may have felt isolated or struggled silently can now turn to these platforms for support and guidance.

However, while these platforms offer valuable services, they are not a substitute for the larger issue at hand – the need for improved mental health infrastructure and awareness in Indonesia. It is crucial for the government and society as a whole to address this issue, invest in mental health services, and work towards erasing the stigma associated with seeking help.

Overall, the rise of mental health platforms in Indonesia signifies a shift towards addressing the mental health needs of individuals in the country. By leveraging technology, these platforms have made significant strides in providing accessible and convenient mental health support. They offer a glimmer of hope for those who previously struggled in silence and bring us closer to a society that prioritizes mental well-being.

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