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Brief Published: 4 Jul 2019

Meet the Chatbots Supporting Consumers’ Mental Health

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Brands and platforms are turning to chatbot technology to offer emotional support to their customers. While not a replacement for medical intervention, chatbots can encourage people to start their own mental health conversation. We spotlight three platforms providing psychological assistance.

  • Men’s (Mental) Health: As discussed in our Enlightened Masculinity report, US shaving brand Harry’s launched an AI-powered chatbot called HARR-e in October 2018. It was created in response to a study carried out by Harry’s in 2017, which revealed that although men are ready to talk, their concerns are often not understood in the right way. By gathering data through a short survey, HARR-e aims to better understand what mental health support men need.
  • At-Home Health: To counter the financial and psychological barriers that prevent consumers from seeking help, US psychiatrist Dr Jose Hamilton developed Youper. The AI-based app introduces users to questions and exercises they might face in traditional therapy, matching them to appropriate psychological techniques and helping them understand their emotions and behaviour. Read Nurturing Mental Health for more smartphone-based tools for emotional wellbeing.
  • Space-Age Health: US mental health tech company EverMind’s core product ePST (electronic problem-solving treatment) uses research conducted with the National Space Biomedical Research Institute to help manage psychosocial issues related to long-term space flight. Users interact with an app-based virtual therapist, which provides individualised cognitive therapy exercises to address depression. See The New Space Age for further interplanetary initiatives impacting life on earth.

Speaking at CogX during this year’s London Tech Week, Lauren Kunze, chief executive of US chatbot platform Pandorabots, explained the appeal of chatbots to consumers. “People feel more comfortable sharing things that make them feel less normal when they're talking to software, because it's less judgemental," she said. For more on empathetic technology, see Crafting Modern Connections, part of our Macro Trend The Kinship Economy.

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