Cincinnati Children's Develops App To Help With COVID-Related Anxiety

Aug 6, 2020

The advice of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center psychiatrists is now at your fingertips as you deal with the uncertainties of COVID-19.

Whether it's deep sadness after the death of a loved one or concern for a parent who has to travel, a new free app is designed to help deal with such situations before anxiety becomes severe.

Here's a video from Children's giving an example of how it works.

Children's machine learning expert John Pestian, Ph.D., developed the chat bot in collaboration with the digital behavioral health platform developer Wysa, which has 2 million users.

"There is an increased demand for mental health services, with a surge of up to 25% in requests for new services since the pandemic began," Pestian says. "We believe this app addresses an unmet need for direct, convenient engagement for people as they live through this challenging time." 

The app has nine exercises for coping with COVID-related anxiety. It uses cognitive behavior thereapy methods, visualization, relaxation and more.

If You Are In Crisis, Don't Wait

Children's encourages you to call the National Helpline from SAMHSA at 1-800-662-4357 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

For non-emergency questions about the app, email covidanxiety@cchmc.org.