The “Ayana” App Matches People of Color With Therapist They Can Identify With

Eric Coly spent 15 years coping with issues related to anxiety and depression, but race was not an issue that came up in the therapist’s chair until he came to the United States.

In the US, Coly, who is 42 years old and Senegalese, watched his Black American friends struggle to find therapists who looked like them and could understand their cultural backgrounds.

He began to research the market, and this month, after a year of tinkering, he is releasing Ayana (Bengali for “mirror”), his app designed for matching people with therapists from similar backgrounds, be it race, sexuality, ability, or otherwise, using an algorithm.

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