Mental disorders affect one in four people. Treatments are available, but nearly two-thirds of people with a known mental disorder never seek help from a health professional. The stigma around mental health is a big reason why people don’t get help. This needs to change. By changing the attitude towards mental health in a community setup, we believe we can create a domino effect of more people opening up as a result of increased social and sympathetic views on mental health.
Our Solution - Wellbeings: A Community Wellbeings is a Mental Health Community. Unlike most mental health communities, Wellbeings is inclusive to even people that are unaware of mental health problems. This community is called Wellbeings because we want to de-stigmatize mental health.
Our solution to the problem is to provide access to vital information so that people can educate themselves on types of mental health problems, identify any warning signs by a quick self-assessment, information, and resources including helplines, advice on helping someone else, tips on wellbeing, etc. We want this done in the most interactive way possible, which we believe we can achieve by creating a chatbot and a community that is synonymous with peer support groups. We want to focus on the idea that people with mental illnesses are not abnormal or some isolated group of people, but as many as 1 in 4 people in the world will be affected by mental disorders at some point in their lives. By creating a community, we want to reach out to the victims as well as the general public because they are likely to know someone who suffers from mental illness. Collectively in a community setup, we harness a "me too" feeling and help members become advocates of mental health.
To sum up, we aim to
- advocate the importance of mental wellbeing,
- make information accessible and available,
- tackle stigma,
- empower community,
- support people by aiding recovery through early identification & intervention.
Who are we?
We are a team of 4 people - which consists of a developer, a designer, and 2 doctors. All of us share a common vision to improve the intricate health system with the use of revolutionary technologies. Mental health is one of the issues we feel strongly about.
How we built it
Our messenger bot is powered by wit.ai to handle all the NLP tasks. The webhook managing all the backend logic and scoring is built with flask. For the bot flow, we have used Chatfeul. And for the self-diagnosis of disorder, we have used the WQS standardized test.
Challenges we ran into
Most of the people don't even know that they are suffering from some kind of mental distress, so they usually are not engaged with apps and bots marketed as self-diagnostic/help apps. To even reach to that naive user, we have taken a community approach to engaging him by providing a comfortable community which will be pictured by the user as the answers to his unknown problems. Once engaged, we can help him use our bot to take the assessment and know about his/her mental wee being. Most of the self-diagnostic tests available are lengthy or too monotonous so implementing it in a bot is not a good experience and the drop out ratio of users becomes high. So our team of health professionals selected WQS from various different standardized tests and modified it to be more interactive and less negative to increase conversion ratio. Also, the questionnaire has around 50 questions but we have made it dynamic to the users are not given disorder-specific questions if his/her response is negative to the screening question. So for a normal user, the effective number of questions is around 15-20 which improves the number of people who complete the test.
What's next for Well Beings
We don't stop here. We aspire to engage as many people as we can and bring this to every person who is unknowingly possessed by this demon. We also want to educate the community about mental well being so that they can understand its importance and observe the silent cues of people in distress.
We plan on scaling this solution in the following ways
- Incorporate health care professionals to help members with an accurate diagnosis
- Add a database of country-wise helplines
- Work on suicide prevention
- Improve the self-help questionnaire
- Make our bot even smarter (Thanks to wit.ai)
- Incorporate CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) to assess and help people with mild symptoms here in our community only.