According to Lancet, 1 in 3 Covid 19 survivors are suffering from Mental health issues. In fact it is considered a second pandemic. Bereavement, isolation, anxiety & fear of catching the virus are all factors that contribute to mental health problems. Mental wellbeing disorders are considered the second outbreak following Covid.
Now while doing research – “what are companies doing to support Mental health challenges during covid”, we found – Most organizations are providing toll-free numbers for employees. But the question is :
- How many of us remember toll-free numbers, when we are sad, stressed, or angry?
- We cannot do any blood test to detect mental health problems. Then what will be a preventive approach for an organization that can help employees?
- In toll-free numbers, employees don’t know whom they are talking to, what level of experience the counsellor has as employees will choose those counsellors
So entire approach is curative or reactive without any proactive intervention.
Can these challenges be addressed? Definitely yes – Artificial intelligence (AI) can assist. As a supplement to teletherapy, AI and machine learning have the potential to revolutionize the diagnosis and treatment of mental health conditions. In the future, algorithms could serve as our first line of defense against the crippling mental health challenges that so many people face.
- Do you know six Mental Health problems Artificial Intelligence can solve during Covid-19?
- 1. How Mental Health is related to Physical wellness?
- 2. How AI Reduce bias and destigmatize mental health issues?
- 3. Notifying early warning signs of being in serious trouble.
- 4. Making support available 24/7, anywhere you are.
- 5. Financial Wellness – the undiscovered segment of mental stress
- 6. Effectiveness of employee wellness without Analytics
- Conclusion :
Do you know six Mental Health problems Artificial Intelligence can solve during Covid-19?
1. How Mental Health is related to Physical wellness?
Mental and Physical wellbeing are inextricably connected. The World Health Organization (WHO) characterizes wellbeing as a total condition of physical, mental, and social prosperity, not just the shortfall of infection or ailment. As per the WHO, “there is no physical health without mental wellbeing.” and vice versa.
Individuals with chronic physical conditions are bound to foster poor mental health. Conversely, if physical fitness is compromised, mental health can deteriorate immediately. Both are directly proportional to each other.
Thus, organizations are gradually recognizing the growing importance of an employee’s physical wellbeing. As a result of which, we can see various initiatives, such as partnering with physical activity clubs, hosting physical wellness seminars and webinars led by multiple coaches to raise visibility. Also offering access to online therapists and a complimentary pass to other health and fitness applications, and a never-ending list.
But as an HR leader, have you ever realized, “How is the adoption of the Employees?”
If you think the adoption rate is reasonable, then how can you say so?
Here comes AI into action. AI integrates with your initiatives and ensures that Employees are adopting these initiatives as well.
As an HR leader, you can also know how many Employees are adopting these initiatives and how many are not with AI-powered dashboards.
Like MonAmI, which runs on AI, comes with an option of goal setting. Suppose if you set a goal to lose weight this month, then MonAmI will capture it in its algorithm that he/she wants to lose weight. Then MonAmI will come up with different solutions of how you can lose weight. It will suggest other exercises and a required diet for it.
But it’s expected human behavior that we set a goal with total energy, but after 2-3 days, we don’t follow up or procrastinate. So what MonAmI (AI) does is start sending you new push messages every day like, “Remember you set that goal, you didn’t accomplish it.”
“Hello, you have this task by 7 am. Don’t forget to accomplish it”.
Additionally, it provides timely motivation for completing the necessary task. In this way, AI establishes a connection with you in every aspect of your life. Further, it creates an interpersonal bond in this manner. But still, if you are procrastinating, it will push you to book a consultation with a health coach.
So like that, it will cater to your physical health, resulting in a balanced state of mental wellbeing.
2. How AI Reduce bias and destigmatize mental health issues?
There are still many stigmas related to mental wellbeing. We all have some mental health issues in our life. But no one likes to speak about it socially. We always hide our mental health problems even after knowing if we can share our pain with someone, it will help us release some stress and make us feel happy.
But the way we humans have stigmatized mental health issues, no one would like to share their pain in fear of people mocking them, getting to know their weakness & using it against them. Most of us even feel people may judge us or think that we are weak.
Moreover, even if someone comes to us and says that “I sometimes feel stressed,” our most natural response would be “not to be discouraged. You must be happy”. But in reality, it would never help a depressed person in any way.
So we can say we humans are judgemental & biased. But AI is not. Robots provide an utterly judgment-free zone where they listen to your problems, analyze them according to their algorithm, and provide you with necessary solutions and suggestions based on your situation.
The other thing is that they can provide you with quick responses and answers whenever you feel low.
So, according to a study by Oracle, 64% of people would love to talk to a bot over their manager. Also, they turned to a bot for advice and instead of asking their managers. And 82 % believe that robots can support their mental health better than humans.
One consequence of talking to a robot is privacy. As after all, robots are still now created & controlled by humans. Perhaps the personal details you provide to the bot might be used as a source of information against you to send you targeted advertisements.
So in MonAmI, we tried our best to keep our privacy policies too strict. The information provided by the employees is not even offered to the companies or the managers as well.
3. Notifying early warning signs of being in serious trouble.
Mental health problems are similar to kidney disease. It encompasses a sneaky approach to build up in you, and you will be unaware of it until it becomes a severe issue. And our bodies are not adjusted to prolonged stress issues. So when it remains for long periods, our body starts malfunctioning.
It may also not be viable to force neuroscience-enabled headgear for each corporation to tune thoughts in real-time. But there are accessible tools that can track moods, the reason for stress and nudge them to take appropriate actions before they fall into some serious trouble.
You cannot do a blood test to determine your Mental Health condition, but an AI algorithm can.
The only way to determine is to get the signals through proactive interventions. For example, AI-based chatbots send push messages to you every day to do regular checkups of your mood.
If it finds something unusual in the person’s behavior or conversations, its algorithm catches the symptoms and starts sending alerts. So, like MonAmI will ask me every day how are you feeling today?
But I didn’t reply as I may be busy. So then, at the end of the day, it will again ask me how my day was? Then maybe I replied, fine, not that great. Then it will ask me what happened. Finally, its algorithm will suggest solutions and note my current situation about how I feel based on my conversation. Then this cycle will follow up for a few days.
Suppose it observes that my situation is not improving. In that case, it will detect the state of unusualness in me and start sending me signals that I am maybe falling into severe mental stress within a few days or fall into depression or anxiety. So better, I shall talk to a counselor or take some expert advice.
This way, AI caters to our mental wellbeing, As AI tends towards a preventive approach, not a curative approach. Therefore, it will protect you from falling into some chronic severe mental health issues in the time when it just starts developing in you.
So for an organization, employee sentiment analysis and proactive interventions to support mental health have become more critical now than ever.
So AI and machine learning algorithms have become scalable in monitoring real-time emotional solutions and providing valuable HR insights & recommendations.
AI is getting better and better to solve Mental Health problems.
4. Making support available 24/7, anywhere you are.
We human beings are emotional creatures. Emotions always drive us. So when we call a helpline number when stressed, not necessarily we may get our problem solved as the people on the other side of the phone are getting the same calls throughout the day.
Moreover, Saturdays & Sundays are a different story as it’s not even a business day. Maybe helpline numbers are available 24*7, but while developing MonAmI, we also tested these numbers. We hardly got the expected response on non-business days.
But AI can be your 3 am friend as well. AI has made our mental wellbeing just a text away. It can support you always, and every time you need it, no matter wherever you are.
A chatbot or conversational AI bot can be a lifeline for someone struggling in the middle of the night. For example, suppose an employee is working in the middle of the night as he cannot finish his targets; he can easily talk to an AI buddy, guiding them by providing valuable guidance and resources based on real-time situations.
If I am stressed, it may suggest to me to have chewing gum as chewing gum promotes blood flow to your brain & causes brain waves similar to those of relaxed people. Or maybe sending you some soothing, relaxing music. The best thing is that MonAmI can also help you if you have insomnia. You can talk to MonAmI at midnight about your problem that you can’t sleep and check how it helps.
But are we saying AI can replace human therapists? No, it can better support them.
5. Financial Wellness – the undiscovered segment of mental stress
It is one of the most common but undiscovered segments of mental stress. There could be many reasons that can lead to financial stress like massive debt trap, job loss or overtime reduction, medical costs, or merely being reckless about your spending habits may cause excessive financial stress. These are also called financial crises.
The most important reason for financial stress is that people don’t even know how to manage their finances well & most people are grossly underprepared for their retirements.
In this case, AI will do an assessment based on its algorithm. It will find out whether you need financial planning. If it thinks your spending habits may lead you towards a financial crisis in the future, it will push you towards goal-setting for financial wellness.
It can provide you with the necessary knowledge about managing finance better, when to spend & how much to spend, or connect with different financial wellness tools. For example, we at MonAmI provide employees with an excel template to keep track of all their finances, how much they spent on what, and many more. If this doesn’t work, too, MonAmI suggests connecting to a financial expert.
6. Effectiveness of employee wellness without Analytics
As an HR leader, you may have taken different employee wellness initiatives in your organization, including online workshops and many other employee wellness programs. But have you ever realized how many employees were interested in these workshops? Or how many employees have adopted these employee wellness programs?
Employee wellness initiatives without analytics are similar to throwing an arrow in the dark. Because without getting insights, how can you get to know about the effectiveness of your employee wellness programs?
Here, AI can provide you with AI-based dashboards Analytics that can provide you with actionable insights & recommendations based on which employee wellness program has been more effective.
MonAmI provides organizations AI-powered dashboards that provide valuable statistics. For example, you can run a survey on did you attend the yoga session yesterday? Did you find it helpful? “Which department of your corporation is the most stressful?” “How many employees are stressed?”. “Employees are suffering from back pain, so let’s have an ergonomic session rather than Zumba class.”
It can help you with the necessary pieces of information.
You can know when employees need more attention and whether your employees are financially stressed or mentally stressed or the probable reasons for their stress, which can help you take the right employee wellness initiatives at the right time, that can benefit them.
Let’s imagine a more significant proportion of the workforce is stressing out for financial reasons. So they will need to be made more aware of economic knowledge on how to manage their finances better. But in this case, if you take initiatives related to physical wellness or organize physical wellness programs, it will not benefit your employees.
So, analytics play a vital role in knowing the effectiveness of employee wellness initiatives and choosing the right employee wellness program for your employees
Mental health problems are touching the peaks. Only AI can cater to this growing challenge. AI reduces human intervention, which in terms lowers bias and errors. There are no blood tests to determine mental health problems, but an AI algorithm can. With early alarms & proactive interventions, AI can protect you from falling into some serious mental health problems.
With Analytics, Actionable Insights & recommendations, AI also helps managers to know about the effectiveness of their employee wellness programs and helps to provide the right interventions at the right time.
But AI can never replace human therapists. It can support them.
So to support organizations during these testing times, we at MonAmI provide free mental health support until these unprecedented times with actionable insights and analytics to help organizations thrive in these testing times. You can reach us in case of any need at email@example.com.
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