SINGAPORE, 18 August 2020 – In response to the renewed focus on mental wellness in Asia, ThoughtFull, a digital mental health startup headquartered in Singapore, announced the launch of ThoughtFullChat – a subscription-based mobile application that connects users to certified mental health professionals for daily bite-sized coaching on-the-go.
A 2020 study1 found that 60 million Southeast Asians were affected by anxiety and nearly 86 million lived with depression2 even before COVID-19. The pandemic has exacerbated the situation – 36 percent of respondents in the same study reported that employees working remotely experienced mental health challenges from social isolation and economic anxiety – but it has also provided a timely boost for awareness as more than seven in 10 professionals today are suffering from burnout in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The biggest setback for workers is the lack of separation between their work and private life, according to a new study from professional feedback platform Blind.
Global organisations such as the United Nations and the World Health Organization are calling for proactive self-assessment and management of individual mental health, as well as enhanced access to, and investment in mental wellness support services.
ThoughtFullChat, an innovative digital mental health solution, continues the conversation by empowering users to take charge of their mental wellness via an accessible, intuitively designed application. The personalised coach-led program matches users to certified mental health professionals via an advanced algorithm, providing scalable digital mental health without losing the warmth of human connection. Once assigned, a ThoughtFull Professional employs an evidence-based approach that blends both traditional therapy and coaching frameworks to meet clients at various stages of their needs for a minimum of four weeks.
The ThoughtFullChat model is built around asynchronous texting. Users have unlimited access to a private, secure one-on-one chatroom, where they can text their thoughts and feelings to their ThoughtFull Professional at any time – whether it is in the early morning before a big presentation, or late at night when they feel most alone. Their assigned ThoughtFull Professional will check in with them daily from Monday to Friday to help them work towards their goals . These ‘bite-sized’ asynchronous coaching sessions are designed to reduce the intimidation factor and encourage consistent engagement at the users’ own pace by replicating the spontaneity of a friendly, casual “ThoughtFullChat”.
ThoughtFullChat is a complement to ThoughtFull Education, launched in 2018, that provides uniquely designed mental wellness programmes for corporate and educational organisations. In the wake of the pandemic, more companies in Asia are eschewing traditional, more passive initiatives in favour of specialised tools for proactive preventative care. ThoughtFullChat shifts the dialogue from just awareness to action by helping users transition seamlessly from learning about mental wellness to actively taking the next steps to engage with their mental health with professional guidance.
“ThoughtFull’s vision is to make mental health as aspirational as physical health. In some regions, engaging with one’s mental wellness via regular coaching and therapy is as common as physically exercising on a consistent basis. In Asia however, this is not universal practice yet; which is why ThoughtFull takes an end-to-end preventative approach to educate, activate, and empower individuals to proactively engage with their mental health. 86.1% of users have noticed positive changes since using ThoughtFullChat’s app. This is a significant milestone in not only breaking the stigma around mental health, but in empowering users to build positive habits for their mental health and general wellness”. said Joan Low, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of ThoughtFull.
Since testing of the ThoughtFullChat app began in Q3 2019, users have reported noticeable improvements in their happiness and stress levels, their ability to cope with stressors and handle emotions, as well as their quality of sleep. These encouraging results, coupled with movement restrictions and new stressors introduced by the pandemic, have further accelerated the demand for ThoughtFullChat’s services from both the user and professional spheres. As a result, ThoughtFullChat was rolled out earlier than scheduled for both corporate and consumer clients.
“At AIA, we recognise that the mental and physical aspects of health are interlinked which is why we launched mental health benefits in 2019 as a part of AIA’s medical insurance coverage. The Covid-19 pandemic has placed mental health and wellness under sharper
focus as people try to cope with the threat of the illness, prolonged uncertainties as well as changes to ways of living and working. Our partnership with ThoughtFull has enabled us to empower our employees with the right knowledge, tools and professional coaching support to strengthen our resilience as individuals and as an organisation so that we emerge from this even stronger,” said Ben Ng, CEO of AIA Malaysia.
ThoughtFullChat currently has professionals in six cities that speak up to five Asian languages, and it aims to continue growing its network as it expands its services to a wider market. ThoughtFull also intends to introduce existing bite-sized learning content onto the ThoughtFullChat app to complement the coach-led program and encourage self-driven learning for continuous growth. Consumer subscription packages begin at SGD169/month and come in monthly, quarterly and half-yearly options, while enterprise clients may contact ThoughtFull directly for corporate pricing.