The Everyday Mental Health by Wysa (EMH-Wysa App) AI Coach is an artificial intelligence-based 'emotionally intelligent' service which responds to the emotions you express and uses evidence-based cognitive-behavioral techniques (CBT), DBT, meditation, breathing, yoga, motivational interviewing and micro-actions to help you build mental resilience skills and feel better.
Is the AI Coach a human or a robot?
The App has an artificial intelligence (AI) coach, it’s a pocket penguin which learns and grows wiser with you. The AI Coach is restricted in the means of response and the intended usage is for providing evidence-based tools and techniques to manage emotions and encourage mental well-being. It is not intended for providing diagnosis, treatment or cure of a condition or disease or disorders. The AI Coach cannot and will not offer advice on unrecognizable issues.
Who is the App designed to help? Are there situations where the App wouldn’t be recommended?
The App is designed to help people who are experiencing low mood, stress or anxiety, or who are interested in improving their emotional resilience. Wysa will provide evidence-based tools and techniques and encourage you to maintain your mental well-being. You can type ‘Help’ anywhere in the conversation to see all the things the AI Coach can help you with.
Learning skills to manage our emotional resilience is important for everyone. However, if you are currently receiving therapy for a long-term mental health condition, discuss the App with your clinician as part of your care plan.
The App is not designed to assist with crises such as abuse, those with an eating disorder, psychosis, severe mental health conditions that may cause feelings of suicide, harm to self and any other medical emergencies. In any of these cases and otherwise, Wysa cannot and will not offer medical or clinical advice. It can only suggest that users seek advanced and professional medical help.
How - and why - does the App work?
The Wysa platform is the result of a year-long co-design effort between a 15-people team of psychologists, designers, developers and over 500,000 users to understand how AI chat can help us learn skills to build emotional resilience.
We learnt two important things. First, that privacy is key. So, we decided that all chats will be safe and secured. Second, that people don't want their problems ‘fixed’. Mostly, they just want to talk through them, with someone who doesn't judge.
An AI-based chat platform can be great for those 4 am conversations. We all have a dark place, and have feelings we don't share with anyone else.
Talking to the App about these gives us the confidence to reach out for help when we’re ready - from friends, family or a Coach or a Therapist.
Ten hours of in-person therapy are rarely enough to break long held thought-patterns. In addition to building skills, AI-based conversations are also an easy, private way to practice these skills when learnt in therapy.
Is there an age limit?
You may use the App and services if you are authorised to use by your Institution. Where applicable, your Institution may seek your and your parental or guardian consent before directing you to use the App.
What is the science behind the suggested techniques?
The App uses evidence-based techniques like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which are suggested and approved by professional psychologists at Wysa for use in a self-help context, and by our scientific advisory board comprising of leading mental health professionals from around the world. Guided Programs using these evidence-based techniques are also co-designed along with Institutions. The App, including but not limited to its content, images, videos, tools and techniques, gets reviewed and approved by our qualified psychologists and safety professionals, and the updates are released as part of our bi-weekly development process. Please consult a qualified healthcare professional before making any major changes in your levels of physical activity or if you have a medical condition. Do not use physical activity-based tools if you are suffering from eating disorder, pyschosis, back problems, blood pressure, hernia, any disability or any other medical conditions.
Is Wysa designed along app design standards and accessibility guidelines?
To ensure that our user interface design and visual design are more accessible to people with disabilities, we align to WCAG requirements (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines), assess any new changes, and update elements that need to be modified to follow WCAG principles.
The WCAG requirements we work on are:
-Providing sufficient contrast between foreground and background so that all users should be able to read the text on our app/website and determine what our app/web page elements are supposed to do.
-Providing clear and consistent navigation options so that the different parts of our app/web page are easy to locate and identify.
-Using headings and spacing to group related content, reducing clutter and making it easier to scan and understand.
-Ensuring that form elements include clearly associated labels. We ensure that the label for any interactive component within our app/web content makes the component's purpose clear.
-Creating designs for different viewport sizes, making it easier to read and navigate the content on different screen sizes.
We also follow Apple iOS and Google Android provided design guidelines and best practices.
Wysa’s ethos is that everybody should have access to quality wellbeing support in a way that suits them, and we work closely with users from all over the world to ensure Wysa incorporates and reflects the views and needs of a variety of people. From clinical professionals to everyday members of the public, we take your feedback very seriously and use it to help our product grow. We use comments left for us in the app store or in feedback to the app to help make important changes, and we set up specialist co-design groups to help us support our research projects. Until now, there have been over 350 app iterations from reviews and feedback received from 500K users from 65+ countries. We have incorporated feedback from various user groups like students, caregivers, under-represented communities and people living with chronic conditions.
Until now, there have been over 350 app iterations from reviews and feedback received from 500K users from 65+ countries. We have incorporated feedback from various user groups like students, caregivers, under-represented communities, and people living with chronic conditions.
What Service Levels does the App provide?
Wysa ensures a > 99% service availability of its App and Services.
Privacy and data sharing
Does the App meet compliance standards that test for safety, privacy and security?
Wysa ensures that it follows standards to keep our App and Services compliant. We have a 3rd party audited Information Security Management System (ISMS) and Privacy Information Management System (PIMS) and certified for ISO 27001:2013 and ISO 27701:2019. Wysa is also Cyber Essentials certified. Wysa is compliant to DCB 0129 Clinical Risk Management Standard. Wysa meets standards of NHS Digital Data Security and Protection (DSP) Toolkit. Wysa has also been DTAC approved by NHSX.
Where can I read your Privacy Notice?
Is my data private?
Yes. The App generally does not ask for Personal Data. If You inadvertently submit any Personal Identifiable Information (including but not limited to email identifier, location address, mobile numbers) then we will take adequate measure to irreversibly redact any Personal Identifiable Information within 24 hours in our system. Unless asked, please do not share any personal data that directly or indirectly identifies you at any time during your use of our service such as while in conversation with the AI Coach. All conversations with the AI Coach are private.
Do I have to use real names?
No, not really. You don't have to use your real name. Instead, we recommend that you use a dummy name or a nickname in your conversations with the AI Coach. Call yourself Superman, Wonder Woman…or Yoda even. (Safe your data will be.)
Who can read and use my messages?
Only Wysa. The Wysa team occasionally uses some messages, which are anonymous, to train the AI Coach to help improve its ability to have conversations. Any identity specific data is removed, so no-one can ever know who said what. Also, no-one outside of Wysa will ever have access to chat messages without your explicit consent to us or your Institution.
How will my responses to assessments be used?
You may be asked to complete validated assessments or outcome measures, such as PHQ-9/GAD-7/RCADS/SDQ/WEMBLS among others, at defined time-intervals. Validated assessments are a proven way to track progress of your well-being. Your assessment responses are calculated. Based on the scores you will be triaged to appropriate resources and encouraged to take external support. Those users with moderate-to-severe scores, as defined by the assessment, will be informed that the App may not be suitable to help and you will be signposted to either ours, or your Institution-approved helplines and services. Assessment responses that trigger an SOS, will be signposted to appropriate emergency helplines provided by us or on behalf of your Institution.
What security measures are taken?
On the phone, you are required to set a PIN from the settings inside your App to ensure only you see your chats with the AI Coach.
Where do you store my data? Is it safe?
I need access to my past conversations, can I?
I've switched to a new phone, how do I move my data from the old to the new phone?
If your Institution has provided you access to Wysa, your data will be automatically moved to the new device when you log in using your phone number for verification. If you have not logged in using your phone number but wish to move the data to another device, please write to us at [email protected] At any given point of time, you can have access to Wysa on a single device only. If you have changed mobile phone number please contact your Institution.
How do I delete my data?
You have the Right to erasure. You can, at any point of time, delete all your provided data by using the “reset my data” feature available in the App settings. Post reset, all your provided data will be deleted from our servers and cannot be recovered. You can also write to us at [email protected] or contact your Institution to exercise your rights.
If you provided consent to send App data to your Institution Electronic patient Records (EPR) system or to your clinician/GP, the data that is already sent till that point of time cannot be deleted. You will need to contact your Institution to exercise your rights.
Whom to contact if I have additional questions, concerns or complaints?
What additional support is available through the App?
The App is not designed to provide assistance in critical cases and conditions. Therefore, it has a list of external helplines and chatlines for users to get in touch with in such situations. These are appropriate and vetted resources that one can get personalized and guided help from.
Will the App provide additional support ?
Unfortunately, The App is not designed to provide assistance in critical cases and conditions. Therefore, it only provides access to relevant and validated resources in the form of externally validated helplines and chatlines or resources provided by your Institution.
Am I guaranteed support if I go through the App?
We include only credible, verified and reliable resources in our app. However, there might be cases where you don't get a response immediately. As these are external resources, Wysa cannot claim responsibility for them. But we truly hope you get the required assistance immediately.
What are helplines/textlines?
Helplines and textlines are telephone and text-based services respectively that can provide assistance in emergency and crisis situations. These services are run by national-level governmental/ non-governmental agencies to help people going through medical and/or a mental health crisis.
What is a Safety Plan?
A Safety Plan is a guide that you create for yourself with the AI Coach. This personalized plan is used while facing crisis like situations and includes resources such as your emergency contacts, places you feel safe at, people you can turn to etc.
Is Safety Plan a guided plan?
Unfortunately no, Safety Plan is not a guided plan. It is a plan created by yourself with the help of the AI Coach as per your preferred resources.
What is Grounding for Panic?
This is a mindfulness tool created by our psychologists using an empirically supported technique. It is aimed to help you calm down, reduce feelings of panic and attain a sense of clarity.
Is Grounding for Panic a guided plan?
Grounding for panic is not a guided plan. It is a mindfulness exercise that helps you think through your worries and look at the situation through new lens. It also offers the option to manage your anxiety with a guided visualization.