Due to COVID, many employees have been left to work online. Being home 24/7 can come with struggles that are unique to each employee, such as
- struggles with relationships at home
- financial struggles
- mental health
- and many more
As a company/business/team who cares for the well-being of all of their employees, it is difficult to tackle such a wide range of problems.
What it does
Since it may not be feasible to provide help for each source of the problem, the first step that a company/business/team can make is to help relieve the resulting negative perspectives. By helping them, each employee will be more efficient and healthy.
My Journal is a Slack App that allows businesses to provide positive perspectives for their employees. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has been well researched and is known for its effectiveness in solving any negative perceptions about one's situations or self. CBT is well known for its thought journal exercises which are a series of prompts that lead one to understand their feelings better. By following the questions, they are able to realize their negative thoughts and take action to replace them with positive thoughts.
My Journal incorporates an easy and simple format for employees to be able to start a simplified version of CBT. Since the simple act of answering the questions can provide therapy and to allow a safe environment for honesty, the answers are not stored. With only 3 questions, employees are able to summarize both happy and stressful situations while working remotely
- Describe the situation
- How I felt at that time
- What positive characteristics did you learn about yourself through this situation?
If the user is able to identify positive characteristics about themselves, the positive characteristic will be stored in a private chat so that they can be reminded in the future. If they list a negative characteristic, My Journal sends a quote for encouragement or self-love to the private chat. The determination of a positive and negative response was done through Microsoft Azure, Cognitive Services, Text Analytics Sentiment.
By continuously journalizing their situations, both good and bad, they will be able to keep a log of all of their positive characteristics and words of encouragement.
How I built it
This is built using Autocode. It uses the slack API to gather and send information and uses Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services, more specifically the sentiment capability from text analytics to determine the positive and negative comments that a user makes in their answer.
Challenges I ran into
The challenge was to be able to create an easy and simple questionnaire that could be completed quickly. Since the original CBT worksheet includes at least 8 questions, it was difficult to narrow down and combine the questions while still being effective.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
- First time using Autocode
- First time using Microsoft Azure
- First time incorporating machine learning (Text Analytics)
- Used Slack API and Figma for icon design
- Short and easy questionnaire so that users won't be intimidated and can use daily
- Made the app completely anonymous with no storage of specific incidents (as the information is personal and private)
What I learned
I learned how to use Autocode and Microsoft Azure for machine learning. I also educated myself about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, how it is effective and how it is beneficial for everyone.
What's next for My Journal CBT
- machine learning to identify when the user may need to be notified of nearby help centers or help phone lines
- create a larger amount of quotes, more personalized
- allow for integrations with other platforms
- extend to mobile platforms, for individual use