Initiatives that combine technology and mental health are multiplying. Between a business opportunity and a real need, technology itself invites our unease.
Mental health needs have skyrocketed a year after the pandemic that locked millions of people in their homes and deprived them of social relationships for months. One in six Belgians today suffers from psychological problems, According to the insurance company AXA. However, the topic is still taboo.
The Covid-19 crisis It had a positive result To somewhat underestimate the importance of access to mental health care. To facilitate the process, technology, particularly through start-ups, is entering the sector.
Obviously, one of the difficulties is access to the care itself. It’s not always easy to take the initiative and pick up your phone for an appointment with a therapist. This first step often corresponds to awareness for the future patient. As a result, even if the need for mental health support is greatest, Less than 10% of Belgians today turn to a health professional to deal with their difficulties.
As an eyeliner, three young men from Brussels launched WebsieA platform that facilitates access to mental health care through online consultations. The start of Brussels is supported by The largest startup accelerator in Belgium, Start itKBC.
“We created Websie to break down the barriers that often prevent people in distress from seeing.”
Help to consult
on Websie, The user first answers a series of questions About his reasons for consulting, and the characteristics he is looking for in a psychologist. Based on these answers, Websie will suggest a psychiatrist that best suit the patient’s needs, within Network of 150 psychologists agreed.
“Mental health needs have exploded with the Covid crisis, and a psychological hotline is one way to meet them.”
The user will then have the opportunity to get to know the psychiatrist via a private and secure chat, before planning an online consultation. What to break the ice and demystify The case is sometimes intimidating to a psychologist.
“We created Websie to break down the barriers that often prevent people in distress from counseling,” he says. Martin Braggard, co-founder of the startup. “Thanks to the support during choosing a psychiatrist and the simplicity of an online consultation, we are attracting many patients who would not have dared to consult. 85% of our patients say they have never had a consultation before“.
In the same way, a newcomer to the health insurance sector in Belgium, Alan, start a psychological hot streak, Just Available to its members 24 hours a dayWith two psychologists on the phone.
“Mental health needs have exploded with the coronavirus crisis, and this is one way to respond,” explains Jean-Charles Samuelian, CEO of the French startup that intends to rapidly increase the number of psychologists available via the Belgium hotline.
Between social network and directory
Another major problem related to mental health care: The passage of time between the appearance of the first symptoms and treatment by a specialist. “This period is estimated to be 10 years,” explains Thirty-two Things that, last April, launched a digital platform that aims to reduce it to 6 months.
“Our added value is that, above all, we can get information through the content posted by these therapists and members of the platform.”
Antoine Sepolcher and Emilie de Morteuil launched Nooscommunity platform Halfway between social network and directory, largely dedicated to mental health. The goal here too is to take advantage of digital tools.
“We can of course enter into a direct relationship with healers and practitioners, but Our added value is that we can inform ourselves privately through the content posted by these therapists and platform members. Users will not be evaluating practitioners, but rather indicating symptoms for which they have been helped, in order to offer a reversible approach to facilitate research”, explains Emilie de Mortel. It is an initiative that is still young and will need a number of users thus to function properly.
The increase in mental health needs is a A major societal issue, but also, more precisely, an issue for the health care system, which should be He is able to communicate better with his patients and accommodate the request.
Technologies can help, and as we can see, Initiatives multiply, but it is only one of the answers to the problem. They will never beAdditional bridge or relay for healthcare professionals. It is enough to improve the internal workings of the process, but not radically change the situation.
- 1 in 6 Belgians today suffers from psychological problems مشاكل According to insurer AXA, however, the topic is still a taboo subject.
- To facilitate access to care, Several initiatives Stand on their feet.
- The Technique Probably Excellent facilitator and relay, but You will never replace a health professional.