Mental health and wellness are witnessing more innovative startups offering unique avenues for support and guidance. Amongst these, a diverse array of platforms has emerged, promising aid in navigating life’s emotional complexities.
Character.ai, one such platform, has captivated millions, hosting an assortment of AI personas, including renowned figures like Beyoncé. However, nestled within this eclectic mix, a standout bot named Psychologist has brought in unparalleled attention, fielding an astounding 78 million messages since its inception a year ago.
Sam Zaia, the mind behind this unexpectedly popular bot, shares insights into its genesis: “I never anticipated its widespread adoption or envisioned it as a tool for others. But the flood of messages from individuals expressing its positive impact was unexpected.”
This surge in AI-based therapy has captivated not just curiosity but also concerns within professional circles. Theresa Plewman, a seasoned psychotherapist, highlighted the bot’s limitations: “It tends to make swift assumptions, lacking the depth of human comprehension. Yet, its instantaneous nature could offer solace to those in need.”
Whether you prefer standard therapy, or tech-based therapy, there are startups creating either. Here are 5 startups who focus on wellness and mental health for all.
Nutrable collaborates with businesses to enhance the health and wellbeing of their employees, by providing a personalised nutrition-based service to help improve wellness and productivity.
In talking to clients who use other health benefit providers, Nicholas learned that nutrition is woefully underserved. His nutrition solution is 365 days a year and offers talks, consultations, recipe planning, blood testing and even a feature that allows the member to take a ‘food-selfie’ to have it assessed by a nutritionist. It also provides 45 health pathways such as diabetes, menopause, eyesight, fertility and cognition to name a few. and individually tailored to include nutrition health talks, one to one consultations, blood testing, talks with nutritional therapists.
Hoop is a tech start-up that has re-launched in late 2023 to list healthy activities for children. With increasing levels of mental health problems in children, as well as childhood obesity soaring, the Hoop app has been launched to address these issues. The Hoop app, designed for parents, lists family-friendly healthy activities for children aged 0 to 18. Hoop lists classes, camps, and events, making activities accessible based on your geographical location.
Our mission to get kids into healthy activities and away from TV screens, computer screens, social media, and online gaming, and encourage them to do activities that improve their mental health and reduce obesity. Event organisers will be able to find a place to list their events and have a huge reach to parents.
Hoop should become the UK’s biggest kid’s event platform and we hope to change the way that children play. That involves sports, craft, socialising, being outdoors and close to nature. Our aim is to make the UK aware of the dangers of social, physical and mental issues suffered by children who spend repeated time on screens.
Unmind is the workplace mental health platform on a mission to help companies create mentally healthy workplaces, where employees can flourish. While leading a team in the NHS, Dr Nick Taylor became interested in corporate wellness and realised the opportunity to enable organisations to offer proactive and preventative wellbeing support to their people. This vision led him to partner with corporate wellbeing consultant Steve Peralta to found Unmind in 2016.
Using the latest scientific evidence, Unmind offers preventative strategies underpinned by data to create higher-performing organisations. Unmind delivers a whole organisation approach to improving wellbeing through a suite of world-class digital tools, resources, and easy access to mental health experts. Built for modern enterprise needs, Unmind partners with clients like Uber, British Airways, Major League Baseball, Disney, and Standard Chartered Bank to create mentally healthy workplaces and financially healthy businesses.
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4. Adaptogenic Apothecary
Adaptogenic Apothecary create life enhancing powdered supplements using Affron®, medicinal mushrooms and adaptogenic herbs. The company launched in January 2023 with ‘Harmony’ the world’s first four-phase menstrual cycle and perimenopause support. ‘Freedom’, the companies clinically proven menopause supplement was launched in June 2023, followed by their Organic Lion’s Mane offering ‘Focus’ in August and ‘Calm’ their premium organic Ashwagandha root powder in October 2023. ‘Power’ their male offering is the most recent launch and is for men who are looking for a natural and effective way to support their health and optimise their well-being.
MyNARA provides victims of domestic abuse (narcissistic abuse) with the tools they need to escape from the abuse and recover from the trauma. 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men will suffer from narcissistic abuse in their lifetime. The UK Government report that it costs £66 billion a year.
MyNARA was developed by a survivor of abuse, Emma Davey, who has since qualified (BACP accredited) and become an award-winning abuse counsellor. MyNARA launched in app stores in October 2023 and is already being used by thousands of victims across Europe and the US.
MyNARA is cloaked on the phone, so abusers are unlikely to spot it. It provides users with a 12-phase recovery programme and a number of free tools, including the ability to store evidence secretly and permanently in the cloud, a red flag monitor and the ability to journal.
Lawyers report that is it solving one of the key challenges of proving abuse. Early reviewers are calling it a ‘life saver’. Many can’t afford counselling and the app is a very cheap way for them to access a recovery programme.