Wysa - Ai-based mental health support
From an article by World Economic Forum
Young people today face an increasing number of challenges to their mental health, and systems worldwide are insufficient to meet the large and growing demand.
Depression, anxiety and behavioural conditions are the leading cause of illness for young people and suicide is the fourth most prevalent cause of death amongst 15- to 19-year-olds. Meanwhile, around 50 per cent of mental health conditions begin by the age 14 and 75 per cent by age 24. So, if youth mental health challenges and their environmental factors aren’t addressed, they extend into adulthood. Conversely, having good mental health means being better able to cope, connect and function, leading to more fulfilling and productive lives.
Quality access to support and education remains a challenge in all countries, while stigma and discrimination prevents many young people from reaching out for support when it is available. However, access to support is not the only challenge. So too are the social determinants which influence mental health including poverty, social inequality, marginalization, exposure to war, increasing uncertainty and access to quality employment and training, with girls being disproportionately affected.
The Uplink Youth Mental Health Challenge by the World Economic Forum sought to identify some of the leading innovations around the world working to address these transformational needs, especially those led by young people themselves. One hundred and nineteen submissions were received from around the world and 14 Top Innovators were selected to join the UpLlink Innovation Network. This network provides these organizations with access to connections, visibility and support to accelerate their impact.
Let's look at one of those top innovators - Wysa
Wysa is a leading AI-guided platform for mental health support at scale. Using Wysa, users can stay anonymous, and get destigmatised access to clinically robust, high quality mental health support through an AI conversational agent where access can be granted through multiple modes - a mobile app, the web, or WhatsApp, with the ability to support multiple languages.
It's an AI chatbot that leverages evidence-based cognitive-behavioural techniques (CBT) to make you feel heard, blended with professional human support. It provides 24/7 high-quality mental health support.
It is the top rated digital mental health intervention in the NHS (UK) commissioned by 16 NHS services; and offered by the Ministry of Health in Singapore as a mental health service nationally.
Wysa covers 10 million lives and has served 4.1 million people across five public health bodies, four insurers, 30+ employers and direct-to-consumer across 65 countries.
Wysa is participating in 6 Random Control Trials (RCTs) with partners like Harvard Medical School, Columbia and NIHR. Their clinical outcomes are being peer reviewed and published through 11 papers in 2022.
There's been 485M conversations, 2M CBT breakthroughs and 91% of users find Wysa helpful. In a real-world evaluation of the effectiveness of Wysa, users who used the app regularly showed a 40% improvement in self-reported symptoms of depression when compared to infrequent users.
Watch this 2 min video on how technology can be used to improve mental health and build mental resilience:
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