Melbourne Startup CogniVocal Uses Voice AI To Teach Parents How To Support Their Children’s Mental Health

Melbourne Startup CogniVocal Uses Voice AI To Teach Parents How To Support Their Children’s Mental Health
B&T Magazine
Edited by B&T Magazine
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Melbourne based startup CogniVocal is using Voice AI to teach parents an approach to support their children’s mental health.

CogniVocal have released a free voice App called Emotion Coaching to teach parents a simple communication approach that they can apply to support their child’s emotional development.

Currently, 1 in 7 Australian children are estimated to have a mental health disorder, and this number would be larger still if we included children who don’t have an official diagnosis but do face significant challenges. These challenges can impact how children perform at school, how they get on with others and how they feel about themselves. Globally, mental disorders are the most significant contributors to disease burden in young people. Importantly, parents can play a crucial role in their children’s mental health.

CogniVocal is teaching parents a simple, evidence-based, communication approach called Emotion Coaching that they can apply to support their child’s mental health using Voice AI.

Many parents don’t seek support when their children are having mental health problems for a range of reasons. For some it is the difficult choice between long waiting times in the public health care system or the expense of treatment in the private system. For families who live in remote areas the time commitment to travel to appointments can be too great. Parents often also worry that they will be judged as “bad” parents if they seek professional mental health support for their child.

According to André Alcantara, CCO of CogniVocal, voice technology is different from other mobile Apps in that it is easy way to interact, low cost, can be accessed at anytime and anywhere, and most importantly is judgment-free.  Parents can learn Emotion Coaching by listening and talking directly to smart speakers such as, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistants and even on their mobile phones.

The startup is collaborating with Monash University and the Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health to evaluate and improve our Emotion Coaching Voice App.  Psychologists and parents from a Melbourne based child psychology clinic will test the feasibility of voice technology in supporting parents. The study is current accepting participants, and parents who live in Australia with primary-school-age children have a chance to apply, said Dr Sally Richmond Co-Founder of the Voice App.

Is known that half of all mental illnesses begin by the age of 14. “If we can intervene early applying voice technology to guide parents with the necessary knowledge to support their children’ emotional development, we can have a significant economic and societal impact, ” said the CogniVocal’s CTO, Dyung Ngo.

Parents can use the Voice App or apply for the study accessing: https://www.emotioncoaching.ai

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