Iona Mind’s mission is to deliver effective, desirable and affordable mental healthcare to everyone on the planet. They provide a single access point to mental health services and automate the assessment, treatment and referral of people with mild conditions such as anxiety and depression.
The co-founders Jonathan and Philip both met when studying for their degrees at Cambridge University. When working together at the university a friend of theirs sadly took their own life due to battling with mental health issues. Following this Jonathan began looking into how he could access mental health care and was shocked to find out that he would need to go to his GP to get an appointment and then be referred to a specialist, a process which in some circumstances can take up to nine months. He then began talking to clinicians and saw no reason as to why the wait had to be that long to receive help.
Jonathan then teamed up with Philip, who is a clinical expert and they began thinking of ways in which they can offer mental health support in the age of the internet. They spent time working to create a chat bot that you check in with every day. The bot asks you a range of questions in relation to your mental health and learns more about the user as they talk. Based on the information gathered it allows the chat bot to offer personalised recommendations and advice to help ease symptoms of anxiety and depression that the user may be feeling. The information collected can also be used by therapists so that they can investigate previous exercises that helped the user and integrate this into their sessions.
86% of users say that they feel better after checking in with Iona Mind for the first time. Going forward it has shown that regular users have been checking in with Iona for eight minutes everyday day on average. The popularity of Iona Mind continues to increase due to recently registering users from over 70 countries and over a million messages being sent through the application. This is a great subscription-based service and promises to help alleviate user’s mental health issues when in need.
Since the pandemic began, Iona Mind has not just seen an increase in the number of users, but also a spike in particular issues, demonstrating the power of its database for analysing mental health trends. Some of the key trends that they have noticed include increased health anxiety, increased mood disorders, more self-reflection and greater anxiety over job and relationship security. Insights such as this over a large database support Iona Mind with its ultimate goal of putting quality into healthcare and delivering it in a way that is desirable.
Twitter / Instagram: @iona_mind