CHATBOT: InayaConnect TO ADDRESS MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES
A 16 years old Ishaan Singh developed a Chatbot named InayaConnect to address mental health issues arising from COVID19. A Chatbot is a Computer-Assisted program that is designed to encourage conversation with human users on the internet through the use of Artificial Intelligence. The InayaConnect helps individuals suffering from mental distress. Singh developed the InayaConnect chatbot with the help of her mother who is a homeopathic practitioner and a counseling psychologist she guided him with the initial questions need to be asked on the Chatbot. He also partnered with Vandrevala Foundation, Juno clinic, Taare Social, and many mental health practitioners. On the technical end, he developed Chatbot on google’s Dialogflow. Singh mentioned that the chatbox is not an alternative to therapy but a step towards mental well-being which help, shows empathy, and kindness to the user. Inayaconnect is low-cost support for people dealing with any sort of mental health issues and it also takes care of privacy while maintaining the anonymity of the users.
Singh begins the awareness campaign in April 2020 he focuses on key issues like the stigma associated with mental health and it’s not economically feasible to avail of mental healthcare services. He noticed that during the pandemic life was confined within four walls, his grandfather whose routine has been hampered in the pandemic the sudden transition was quite disturbing for him. He observed that mental healthcare is not accessible and affordable in India. Which encouraged him to take action in building InayaConnect. The target audience for the chatbot was Students, senior citizens, and corporate employees. They also want to bring Chatbot in regional languages to increase the reach of mental health at grassroots levels.
In today’s era of globalization and the interconnectedness of the world. A new concept of using Artificial Intelligence emerged where programmed technology will assist us. Artificial Intelligence is assisting humans in wide areas be it healthcare, banking, etc. In the current pandemic situation, we need to be mentally prepared to accept this new emerging technology. Research needs to be done in this field for better Healthcare. Over the last few years, mental health care has changed evolving from couch in a one-to-one conversation to text-based therapy through messaging apps, online therapy sessions, Chatbots that perform CBT therapy, etc. In the 2020 pandemic, the mental health crisis pushed us to seek mental health care, and online services and InayaConnect is one such initiative. Our Mental health has been suffered from issues like Social isolation, Depression, Fear of getting COVID19, Anxiety, etc. during the pandemic. During the last few years, awareness has been created in mental healthcare sectors to overcome mental issues which need to be addressed in the Covid19 pandemic. In India there’s a shortage of mental health care professions even we have a mindset of ‘what will people think’. This initiative is a positive step towards building a Mental Healthcare system free from any stigma and bridging the gap between demand and availability of mental healthcare personnel.