According to a 2022 report by the World Health Organization, a billion people across the world are living with a mental health condition, most of whom do not have access to adequate support and resources for treatment. This figure has almost doubled in the past two decades, with COVID-19 significantly adding to these numbers. The gap in mental healthcare services is due to several factors, such as reluctance in seeking help, the high cost of therapy and limited accessibility along with the stigma attached to mental healthcare.
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The mental health app Wysa was started with a mission to provide low-cost emotional wellness support across the world. Wysa helps overcome stigma, increase access to mental health support and provide early intervention at scale. Its services provide early intervention to high-risk groups in three ways: free chat with an ‘emotionally intelligent’ AI chatbot, self-help using a library of over 150 evidence-based tools, and online sessions with a mental health professional.
Every Wysa app user has access to self-care options in the form of an unlimited chat with the AI chatbot, which is completely free. The AI bot guides users to a library of tools and exercises based on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), meditation, breathing and mindfulness techniques. These interactive exercises can help users build mental resilience skills to manage distressing thoughts and emotions. Wysa’s conversational AI bot has been trained by leading mental healthcare professionals and the app has received an FDA Breakthrough Device designation along with other clinical validation.
You can choose tools to reduce anxiety using mindfulness-based exercises, work on stress management through meditation and relaxation techniques, improve your sleep using sleep sounds and sleep stories, or reframe your negative thoughts and improve your self-esteem using CBT techniques. Users looking for extra support can also subscribe to a premium version to book one-on-one sessions with a coach and get access to the entire library of tools. There are various subscription packs to suit the individual needs of users. A user can choose to begin with a weekly pack when they’re feeling overwhelmed or go for a longer monthly or quarterly pack to work on their ongoing mental health concerns.
However, if you notice yourself languishing, struggling due to stress, finding it hard to manage your difficult feelings or thoughts or if you just want to work on enhancing your sense of well-being, you can opt for online sessions with a coach at Wysa through text-based or audio-video based formats.
Here are some frequently asked questions about how online coaching works on the Wysa app.
Why should I choose online sessions with Wysa?
It can be difficult to locate and match with an emotional well-being coach who is available when we are. It can be even harder to find one who works with the concern we’re experiencing or uses an approach which works for us. The Wysa team has expertise with both adolescents and adults. Coaches take an active, goal-oriented approach to help users overcome challenges in any number of domains, such as sleep, anxiety, depression, stress and relationships. They use a range of techniques including motivational interviewing, behavioural activation, and cognitive reframing and work with users on skill-building areas such as achieving goals, stress management, building self-esteem, improving communication, work-life balance, recovering from loss, increasing resilience, managing anxiety and improving sleep. Wysa coaches are available across a wide range of time zones and can be accessed anytime just with your phone and an internet connection. The waiting time for sessions with a Wysa coach is just a couple of hours, and we ensure that users can receive help when in distress on time.
Who are Wysa’s coaches?
Wysa has a truly diverse team of trained and qualified emotional well-being professionals, who use a person-centred approach and offer empathetic non-judgemental listening. They use motivational interviewing along with other evidence-based therapeutic techniques like CBT techniques to help you take care of your mental health. They draw on various evidence-based approaches to enable you to get insights into your thoughts and behavioural patterns and overcome barriers to experiencing a sense of well-being and other personal or professional goals. They listen to your worries and support you in making successful lifestyle changes so that you can manage your situation better. Wysa users can connect to Wysa’s professionals for support via chat-based or audio-video sessions.
How does Wysa coaching help?
The process of coaching begins with outlining your goals for the sessions and reflecting on your concerns together with your coach. The Wysa coach can help you navigate through difficult feelings, stress, anxiety and other challenges. At Wysa, our professionals focus on mental wellness, helping you build emotional resilience and equipping you with strategies to manage distress. Our underlying principle is that you have the knowledge and capacity to make the desired changes in your life. Wysa coaches assist you in finding your way and tapping into your strengths and abilities so that you can identify and use resources around you to fill any gaps. After every session, your coach also provides you with a summary of your conversation and the work you did in the session. This can assist you in keeping track of your recovery journey and in reflecting on conversations whenever you experience stress.
Our coaching process includes synchronous live sessions with professionals along with an asynchronous messaging option in-between sessions to ensure a continuous-care model.
Users also get to practice the exercises and techniques discussed during their coaching sessions by using Wysa’s tools and exercises.
How do text sessions work?
At Wysa, we offer mental health support via text-based sessions. This chat therapy also makes access to an emotional well-being coach comparatively affordable and facilitates easy interaction between users and their assigned coaches. Users can choose to remain anonymous during these chat sessions, and the coach can refer to them through their chosen nickname. It is a live synchronous chat for thirty minutes wherein the professional begins by understanding the user’s context and the concerns that led them to the session. Then the coach helps the user build skills to deal with these challenges effectively. These chat sessions also give users the advantage of revisiting their conversations with the coach later and reflecting on the insights.
How do audio-video sessions work?
Wysa also offers audio-video-based emotional well-being coaching sessions in the US through its B2B partnerships. These sessions take place over a secure third-party interface. Each session is for 30-45 minutes and the interaction is similar to what you would expect from a face-to-face session. The Wysa app ensures complete confidentiality between you and your coach during these sessions and nothing is recorded. Users can also choose to have an audio-only session with their coach.
Will I feel connected to my coach online?
Sometimes it can be hard to seek help and share parts of ourselves with a coach for the first time. An anonymous mental health app such as Wysa allows us to choose what we want to share and how we want to share it. It often reduces feelings of being overwhelmed or intimidated that some individuals may experience when starting coaching. Wysa professionals ensure a safe space for users and maintain confidentiality at all times. Wysa believes that your alliance with your professional can have a significant impact on your therapeutic journey and our professionals try to nurture that with empathy and understanding. Wysa’s coaches use a person-centred approach during sessions and work along with you in your journey, acting as facilitators for your recovery.
Can I talk to my coach in between my sessions?
At Wysa, our coaches don’t limit their support just to sessions and believe that care should be continued throughout your journey with them. This means you can journal your thoughts, feelings and experiences on the Wysa app and share them with your coach through messages in between your sessions. This asynchronous messaging support in-between sessions allows users to share in real-time and access coach-recommended tools and exercises whenever they are feeling overwhelmed.
Is Wysa impactful?
The Wysa app is especially helpful for groups that are at high risk. It has been shown to significantly reduce symptoms of depression, stress and anxiety. People from more than 65 countries across the world use Wysa. The app’s current user base is 5 million, with more than 91% of users finding it helpful. Over 500 million conversations have taken place on the Wysa app so far.
Where is Wysa available?
Wysa is available in 65 countries across the globe, in which it provides support to users through the AI chatbot, as well as a team of Wysa emotional well-being professionals. Wysa is currently available in English and Spanish and is working on building support in other languages as well. Wysa is widely used in the US, UK, Singapore, India, UAE and South Africa.
Is Wysa private and safe?
Can I afford Wysa?
Wysa is one of the most affordable online support options in mental healthcare at the moment. In a scenario where the average cost of a single face-to-face therapy session varies from $100 to $200 in the US approximately, the Wysa coaching service offers a whole month of support at a lesser price. This includes sessions with your coach, unlimited asynchronous messaging support in-between sessions and access to its complete library of tools and exercises.
“I love it when my coach gives me exercises and things I can do to help with what I’m going through. I love the work and assignments cause its fun to do and it really helps me. My coach has helped me a lot. I am very grateful.” – Wysa User
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