Apps that aim to improve your mental wellbeing

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Apps that aim to improve your mental wellbeing

Post by spot »

Around the world there are almost one billion people with a mental disorder, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). That is more than one person out of every 10.

The WHO adds that "just a small fraction of people in need have access to effective, affordable and quality mental health care".

And while anyone with a concern for either his or herself, or a relative, should go to a medical professional in the first place, the growth of chatbot mental health therapists may offer a great many people some welcome support.

Dr Paul Marsden, a member of the British Psychological Society, says apps that aim to improve your mental wellbeing can help, but only if you find the right one, and then only in a limited way.

"When I looked, there were 300 apps just for anxiety... so how are you supposed to know which one to use?

"They should only be seen as a supplement to in-person therapy. The consensus is that apps don't replace human therapy."
I'll make a bet, Dr Paul Marsden, member of the British Psychological Society. I bet that when and if your organization finally publishes a reliable methodology for evaluating medical health intervention by in-person therapy, AI intervention will beat human intervention consistently by a clear margin. The fact that it will be orders of magnitude cheaper is just a bonus. Of all the professions most likely to disappear in the next generation, that of Freud, Adler and Jung should be way out in front and extremely measurable.

Whenever I think of in-person mental health therapy I always find Tom Lehrer's phrase spring to mind, "He soon became a specialist, specializing in diseases of the rich". The world will be a far better place once mental health therapy becomes effective and widely available instead of just obscenely profitable.

The British Phrenological Society (founded by L.N. Fowler in 1887) was only disbanded in 1967. I wonder how many more years The British Psychological Society and its Public Relations representatives can count on. In 2019 the BPS had 60,604 members and subscribers, membership having been opened up to members of the medical profession in 1919 presumably as a response to the potential profitability of demobilization after World War One. As far as the present-day effect of in-person mental health therapy is concerned, Effectiveness of psychological interventions is (I suggest) a spectacularly grim indictment of what in any other field than outright quackery would be clear and convincing measurable results.

I would not dispute that there is a need for in-person mental health therapy, far from it. I merely challenge the notion that any medical practitioner of in-person mental health therapy has ever made a justifiable cost-effective living, or that AI services will prove incapable of doing exactly that so long as the British Psychological Society has no hand in their licensing, oversight or administration.
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Re: Apps that aim to improve your mental wellbeing

Post by LarsMac »

You're probably right.

I know that the few times, for one reason, or another, I found myself having conversations with some sort of "professional Therapist" type, I came away thinking "That guy needs help"

The conversations did, in fact, help me sort things out, and get some direction for what I needed to do with myself at the time. But, some sort of AI might have been just as effective.
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