A scalable solution to mental health support? 

A scalable solution to mental health support? 

Mental health. We might be increasing awareness, but is that translating into action? Sadly not for the millions around the world who are struggling with mental ill health, but are not getting the support they need, even in countries where support is free. 

Wysa’s report showed a third of working 16-65 year olds experience moderate to severe depression or anxiety symptoms – much higher than the estimated figure. Worryingly, more than half in the UK and USA, and one third in Australia, have not spoken to a healthcare professional. The inability to self-diagnose severity, time constraints, embarrassment, or not wanting to be prescribed medicine continue to prevent access to care.  

Access to care in countries across the globe is not always easy to come by, whether that’s due to location, provision, education or waiting lists. This is causing unnecessary suffering that is having a personal, social and economic toll, as we see symptoms that started out as minor deteriorating into something more serious, which carries with it risk. 

Of those who have received support, only 35% said it was what they needed. Most say help isn’t there when they need it or that they dislike talking to people about their challenges. Fortunately clinically proven digital support overcomes these barriers. With clinical efficacy proven at around 30-40% symptom reductions, depending on severity, AI support can help fill the gaps in care and increase capacity in human support pathways.   

We know that an AI-led model, with anonymous and clinically safe AI conversation as the first step in care allows for early and effective intervention, and has the benefit of being there any time of day or night. The significant cost of mental ill health can only be solved by creating early access to clinically proven, safe, and scalable support.  

AI-based mental health support as the first step of care is perhaps the only scalable systemic solution to the global mental health crisis. With over half the world living in areas with less than one psychiatrist for every 250,000 people, and the presence of long waiting lists and resource constraints even in developed economies, solutions like Wysa have used conversational AI to deliver therapeutic support that bridges key gaps in healthcare provision. 

Click below to share this article