Taking care of your emotional wellbeing is as necessary as bodily well being, however in Asia, the subject is commonly stigmatized. Intellect, a Singapore-based startup, desires to make the concept of psychological well being extra approachable with an app that gives self-guided workout routines primarily based on cognitive behavorial remedy methods.
The firm develops shopper and enterprise variations of the app (for employers to supply as a profit) and now has customers in international locations together with Singapore, Indonesia, India and China.
Since its beta launch earlier this 12 months, co-founder and CEO Theodoric Chew says Intellect has signed up about 10,000 customers, in addition to 10 firms ranging in dimension from startups to giant companies. The startup plans to launch Mandarin and Bahasa Indonesian variations, and is at present working with researchers to develop localized variations of its workout routines, which embrace guided journaling, behavioral workout routines and “rescue periods” with brief audio clips about subjects like stress, low shallowness, emotional burnout and sleep points.
The firm has raised a pre-seed spherical that included Enterprise Singapore, a authorities company that helps entrepreneurship.
In the United States and Europe, there’s a rising roster of self-help apps that educate customers coping methods for frequent psychological well being points, together with Headspace, MoodKit, Moodnotes, Sanvello and Happify, to call a number of examples. But the house remains to be nascent in Asia.
Before launching Intellect, Chew was head of affiliate development and content material advertising at Voyagin, a journey reserving market that was acquired by Rakuten in 2015. He got interested within the psychological well being house due to his personal experiences.
“I’ve been to remedy fairly a bit for anxiousness and in Asia, there’s nonetheless loads of social stigma and there aren’t loads of instruments. Quite a lot of work is being completed within the U.S. and Europe, however in Asia, it’s nonetheless creating,” Chew instructed TechCrunch.
He added that “most individuals draw back whenever you point out psychological well being. We see loads of that in Asia, but when we body it in different methods, like learn how to work on private issues, like low shallowness or confidence, we see an enormous shift in folks opening up.”
Intellect was developed with suggestions from psychological healthcare professionals, however Chew emphasizes it’s not a substitute for skilled remedy. Instead, it’s meant to present folks an accessible option to deal with their psychological well being, particularly in cultures the place there’s nonetheless loads of stigma across the matter. The app’s workout routines deal with low temper and anxiousness, but in addition frequent office and interpersonal points, like creating assertiveness and dealing with criticism.
The enterprise model of the app may be personalized with workout routines tailor-made to folks in numerous industries. It is supposed for startups and different SMEs that don’t have the type of worker help applications (EAP) that larger firms can provide, which regularly embrace psychological well being sources, like help hotlines and referrals to psychological healthcare suppliers.
The shopper app normally expenses a flat month-to-month payment that provides limitless entry to all its options, however Intellect is making it free in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Eventually, the startup hopes to develop a community of psychological well being professionals that customers can connect with inside the app.
“The means we method that is that remedy just isn’t solely for clinically depressed folks, however for everybody,” mentioned Chew. “In three to 5 years, we wish to make remedy commonplace to deal with each day issues. We wish to deal with extra medical points as properly, however we imagine most individuals can profit from framing it as a option to deal with each day points utilizing CBT-based strategies.”