As we mark World Mental Health Awareness Month in October, the sobering statistics around anxiety, loneliness, depression and other mental health issues are at the forefront of many people’s minds.

Now, a personalised AI coach, Journey Wellness, is available to assist those struggling with these issues.

The Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns have caused global disruptions and uncertainty, and these have exacerbated modern stress levels across South Africa. Job losses, growing financial pressures, and an uncertain future have taken their toll on mental health across the country.

Adults and teens alike have been affected by this, as many face growing isolation and uncertainty.

A dedicated mental health support app, aimed at teenagers – called Vive Teens – is also available to provide support for teens during these difficult times.

Initially developed by Dr Jacques Ludik of Cortex Logic, Vive Teens has recently spun off to become a stand-alone company dedicated to focusing on mental health issues for teens.

Figures released by SADAG (South African Depression and Anxiety Group) show an alarming upward trend in the distress calls it receives on its hotline. Before the global Covid 19 pandemic, SADAG received around 600 calls a day.

At the beginning of lockdown, this figure soared to 1 200 calls per day, and now, 18 months later, SADAG receives over 2200 daily distress calls. The group’s dedicated Suicide Crisis Helpline has received over 75 000 calls since January 2021.

Cortex Logic is the company behind Journey Wellness, has also released an app aimed at emotional and mental health support for teens, called Vive Teens.

Vive Teens is an AI-driven personal wellness companion that equips teenagers with world-class content, advice, self-discovery, and human-led support systems to not only cope with the challenges that they face every day, but also contribute to the development of balanced, emotionally mature, and well-prepared young adults.

The app’s content includes:

* AI curated content relative to the user’s interests and context;

* User-centred exploration context that includes inspirational posts, podcasts, videos and news articles;

* Targeted content around common psychological and social challenges;

* Access to a network of registered human counsellors; and

* Personal companion chat, check-in and assessment.

For an explainer video, click here

The app is available on google play and Istore.