My Friday Favourite this week is Woebot – A Therapy Chatbot to help with Depression and Anxiety.
What is it?
Woebot is an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based Chatbot that uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques.
How can it help me?
We are all affected by depression, anxiety and other mental health issues in our lives — either personally, or we know a close friend or family member who is affected.
This is especially challenging for men, as my friend Dave Algeo writes about in The Man Sprouts Man-ifesto – Let’s Talk About Male Mental-Health.
Talking — both in general, but especially when you’re on the cusp of, or during a mental-health issue — does seem to help.
But often it’s difficult to summon the courage or energy to have a conversation with a fellow human being when you’re in this place.
Woebot is an AI-driven chatbot and app that is available 24/7/365 and uses Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) techniques to listen to you and offer insight and techniques to help you.
The idea of chatting about your state of mind with a computer seems odd, but I have tried Woebot over the past month and can honestly say it’s helped.
I used Woebot via the Facebook Messenger app, and every day Woebot pops up to ask me how I’m feeling.
During the conversation, Woebot listens to how you’re feeling and offers insights into techniques for dealing with a range of issues.
As somebody who has personally struggled with mental-health issues all of his life, I have learned what I should be doing to stave off depression and other negative feelings. However, should and doing are two different things. This is where Woebot shines, for me. Our conversations reminded me of the reality of emotions and steps I could take to keep myself on the straight and narrow.
There were days when I was doing a-ok, and I got irritated when Woebot jumped in to ask me how I was. However, unlike a human-being who you worry may take offence at being shooed away, if I was busy, I can tell Woebot to leave me alone or remind him/her of a better time to ask me without any guilt.
Woebot certainly isn’t a replacement for traditional therapy, or indeed a cure for depression, but I’ve certainly found it to be a useful tool in the arsenal of keeping the black-dog at bay.
How much does it cost?
How can I get it?
You can also follow the WoeBot page on Facebook and use Woebot via Facebook Messenger.
You can also follow @HiWoeBot on Twitter.