Mental Health AI Chatbots Can Boost Therapy Support

Mental Health AI Chatbots Can Boost Therapy Support

Date: April 08, 2024

Generative AI chatbots are being tested for mental health support cases to identify potential support they can provide to boost the therapy experience.

Artificial Intelligence is becoming a part of our everyday lives. It has impacted almost every industry and personal aspect of lifestyle choices. In mental health, generative AI is bringing the biggest transformation since the inception of psychotherapy in the 1800s. While all other healthcare services have advanced using technology, mental health has retained its traditional form due to a lack of proven technological support. Generative AI may change this situation by deploying AI chatbots for therapy support. 

Alison Darcy has found a way to connect, engage, and support mental health patients using AI chatbots. Alison combined her background in coding with years of therapy experience to build a comfortable solution that ensures confidentiality and is readily available on smartphones. The AI chatbot she developed is known as Woebot, which identifies self-harm patterns in conversations and helps manage problems like depression, anxiety, addiction, and loneliness. It essentially works as a pocket therapist, available to seek support 24/7. 

Even without the skepticism around generative AI’s accuracy, the mental health industry faces all the challenges other industries face while having unique ones. In the case of mental health conditions, providing cognitive behavior therapy is the last stage. The first stage has the toughest penetration, with people either in denial or hesitant to join. The second problem people face is a lack of information about CBT practitioners nearby. While Googling may help, the results hold as little credibility as the symptom lists for physical problems do. Mostly none.

Many researchers are working to modernize psychotherapy using Artificial Intelligence. Mental health apps have the potential to offer accurate monitoring of symptoms, quick support during situations, and verified information about nearby practitioners. Woebot is trained on extensive specialized data to recognize and respond to words, phrases, or emojis associated with dysfunctional thoughts. 

It is also developed in a closed environment, meaning the tool cannot offer unpredictable replies that may harm the patients. However, a closed training environment also leads to similar responses, which may make the conversation boring or repetitive after a point. Companies are pushing the benefits of AI chatbots for therapy to offer pre-professional or first-base help in the comfort of isolation, which most mental health disorder victims tend to be comfortable with. This will not only help people connect with support at odd times and places, like at 2 in the night while sleeping. AI chatbots in mental healthcare can revolutionize the engagement cycle and provide real-time escalations to professionals to reduce unwanted incidents.

Arpit Dubey

By Arpit Dubey LinkedIn Icon

Arpit is a dreamer, wanderer, and a tech nerd who loves to jot down tech musings and updates. With a logician mind, he is always chasing sunrises and tech advancements while secretly preparing for the robot uprising.

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