London teens to get preventative mental health support through digital therapeutic app
- Wysa Premium offered to 13-18 year olds to help improve teen mental health
- Facilitates discovery of teenagers who may need therapy but haven’t yet come forward
- Built-in safety features offer a life-line at any time of day or night
London, 1 September 2022: From today, Hammersmith, Fulham, Ealing and Hounslow Mind will provide mental health app Wysa to 13-18 year olds attending its state school network whose needs are assessed to be suitable for virtual support. The West London based Local Mind Association intends to offer Wysa as a preventative tool and to encourage more young people who need help to come forward.
By offering Wysa Premium, HFEH Mind will support young people with proactive mental health support through 24/7 access to interactive, AI-guided, mental health support through Wysa.
How it will work:
- All 13-18 year olds in the HFEH Mind school network will be invited to complete a request form on the HFEH Mind website
- HFEH Mind will confirm parental consent where required under standard procedure
- HFEH Mind will take the teenagers through a standard assessment to confirm if the virtual tool is suitable for the child’s mental health needs
- The questionnaires will be logged on IAPTUS electronic patient records
- Children with mild (subclinical) support needs will receive an SMS from the patient record system with a link to access for free Premium Wysa for a year (worth £69.99)
- Children identified as having mild to moderate symptoms will gain access to Wysa in addition to being offered the usual pathways for HFEH Mind talking therapy support.
Once activated, Wysa will provide instant support through an AI chatbot that guides users through interactive self-care exercises. Wysa’s NHS-approved self-care library offers a wealth of evidence-based intervention exercises for stress, grief, insomnia, coping with pain, anger and self-esteem and more.
The app will run Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) questionnaires to monitor and report progress on a regular basis. These questionnaires will be integrated with electronic patient records on IAPTUS with alerts for high risk triggers.
Nana Owusu, Clinical Lead and Director of Children and Young Peoples Services, HFEH Mind said: “We wanted to give teenagers something to help them with their everyday mental health that is convenient, discrete, and feels familiar. Teens are willing to embrace mobile apps and texting is part of everyday life, so we are meeting them on their level with this kind of interactive digital support. Self-help needs to be interactive, engaging and even enjoyable, to encourage teenagers to build their mental resilience and help prevent the onset or deterioration of any diagnosed mental illness. The appeal of this app also means we can tap into teenagers’ preferences for communicating. We hope it will mean we can discover more teenagers who need the higher level of support that is available to them. With so many apps out there, parents can be reassured that their children are safe and supported through a tool that is clinically validated.”
Wysa Managing Director Ross O’Brien, who previously worked on digital innovation within the NHS, added: “Wysa makes it easier for young people to access the vital mental health support they need, when they need it. Young people shouldn’t have to wait until they are very unwell to receive treatment or support. So whether they need one to one therapeutic support, wellbeing resources, immediate and ongoing support and information, or on-demand exercises to help their mental health – Wysa will be with them every step of the way.”
Aaron Cosgrove, Deputy Headmaster, Head of Lower School & Designated Safeguarding Lead at Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School, said: “It’s encouraging to know that our children will be able to access mental health and wellbeing support as and when they need it, in a safe way, and that any worrying triggers will alert local mental health support services. Parents and teachers worry about the advice that pupils are receiving on social media, and the echo chambers created in closed peer networks. The teenage years can be very challenging, and the more we can support our pupils to be mentally healthy, in ways that feel comfortable for them, the better. Wysa is likely to appeal to our students, yet provides a safe and clinically robust tool, built-in to our local mental health support groups, so we are looking forward to seeing how this changes things.”
Wysa is a global leader in AI-driven mental health support, available both to individuals and through employer benefits programs. Wysa helps in dealing with stress, depression, and anxiety with the help of an “emotionally intelligent” bot, which uses evidence-based cognitive-behavioural techniques (CBT), meditation, breathing and mindfulness exercises, as well as micro-actions to help users build mental resilience skills. Wysa has facilitated over 500 million conversations in 65 countries across the globe.
How Wysa works
Wysa is used by more than 6.5 million people from all walks of life. Research-backed, widely used techniques of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), and meditation exercises support you with depression, stress, anxiety, sleep and a whole range of other mental health and wellness needs.
Wysa is empathetic, helpful, and will never judge. The user’s identity remains anonymous and conversations are privacy protected.
Wysa is an emotionally intelligent chatbot – a penguin! – that uses AI to understand and react to the emotions and worries you share. Unlock techniques that help you cope with challenges. For extra support, take guidance from a qualified professional therapist. Leveraging behavioural techniques, therapists help you identify, design and work towards goals that are aligned with your true values.
How Wysa helps:
- Vent and talk through things or just reflect on your day
- Practice CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) techniques to build resilience in a fun way
- Deal with loss, worries, or conflict, using conversational coaching tools
- Relax, focus and sleep peacefully with the help of mindfulness exercises
Wysa self-help tools:
- Build confidence and reduce self-doubt: core mindfulness, visualisation, confidence techniques, advanced mindfulness for self-esteem
- Manage anger: mindfulness meditation, exercises for compassion, calming your thoughts, practice breathing
- Manage anxious thoughts and anxiety: deep breathing, techniques for observing thoughts, visualisation, and tension relief
- Manage conflict at work, school or in relationships: special mindfulness and visualisation techniques like the empty chair exercise, gratitude meditation, exercises to build skills in having difficult conversations
93% of the people who talk to Wysa find it helpful.
About HFEH Mind
Hammersmith, Fulham, Ealing and Hounslow Mind (HFEH Mind) is an independent charity which has been delivering mental health services and support to London residents for over 30 years.
It exists to make sure everyone in our community gets the support they need to have better mental health and wellbeing, to recover and to live the best lives possible. It works to challenge stigma and discrimination as a result of mental illness.
Local community services include Advice and Information, Advocacy, Community Support, Psychoeducation, Services for Children and Young People and more. It also delivers professional mental health training courses and offers consultancy services to businesses, public sector organisations, schools, colleges, and charity organisations.
Contact: [email protected]