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Mental Health Companions: The Role of Chatbots


Apr 3, 2024

Earkick is a bandana-wearing panda designed to provide comfort and support to those struggling with anxiety. This mental health chatbot is not a therapy app but aims to offer self-help tools to users. By engaging in conversations or typing about anxiety, Earkick generates responses and coping tips, mimicking the experience of talking to a therapist. The panda may suggest deep breathing exercises to help reduce stress and negative thoughts.

A government study found that nearly 60% of teenage girls reported feelings of sadness or hopelessness. Earkick aims to reach these girls and offer support in a non-traditional way. The app is described as a health companion that tracks and helps improve mental health in real-time, without providing medical care or diagnosis. While some may view it as a form of therapy, the creators prefer not to label it as such.

Earkick is available 24/7 and is free from the stigma associated with traditional therapy. However, critics argue that there is limited evidence to support the long-term effectiveness of chatbots like Earkick in improving mental health. Some experts call for clearer disclaimers and FDA oversight as these chatbots continue to evolve with generative AI technology. Despite the debates, Earkick has received positive reviews on the Apple app store and is accessible for download on Android devices.

By editor

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