Exploring how marketers can use AI-assisted data analytics to identify and address mental health concerns before they reach the dangerous point of unavoidability
Mental health is a topic that cannot be overlooked. It is a critical component of overall well-being, yet it is often overlooked and stigmatised. Mental health refers to a person's emotional, psychological, and social well-being and It plays a crucial role in how people go about their daily lives. Despite the significant impacts of mental health issues, many people do not receive adequate treatment. This is due to a variety of factors, from stigma and lack of access to care, to insufficient mental health resources. As a result, mental health issues can go undiagnosed and untreated for too long, allowing the impacts on individuals to gain momentum and create an even greater problem. For example, anxiety and depression can lead to substance abuse. Similarly, untreated PTSD can lead to social isolation, relationship difficulties, and even suicide.
With the rise of mental health issues and the need for effective treatments, the demand for utilising the newest technology to tackle ill-mental health is skyrocketing. Fortunately, we live in a time where technological advances are happening at an unprecedented pace, and one of the areas where innovation can make a real difference is AI-assisted data analytics.
So, what can AI do?
Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is a rapidly growing field that involves the use of computer algorithms to perform tasks that typically require human intelligence, such as perception, learning, problem-solving, and decision-making. AI has stormed into numerous different industries, redefining and revolutionising them as it goes, with some of the most significantly impacted being, healthcare, finance, and marketing. In recent years, AI has become increasingly sophisticated, boasting the ability to analyse vast amounts of data quickly and accurately. The results can provide valuable insights and predictions that can help businesses make informed decisions and improve their results.
In the field of mental health, AI has enormous potential and a vast range of use cases. Advancements in AI have revealed plethora of innovative and effective solutions to the current challenges with mental health support. The most significant of which stems from data analysis; data from various sources, including social media, wearables, electronic health records, patterns in speech, facial expressions, and other behavioural cues, can provide insights into individuals' mental health status and detect early signs of mental health issues.
Marketers can use the AI-assisted data analytics and reports to help identify specific individuals who may be at risk of developing mental health issues and provide them with targeted interventions before the issues become an unavoidable problem. By analysing digital behaviour patterns, AI algorithms can identify individuals who are exhibiting signs of stress, anxiety, or other mental health concerns. For example, marketers can use social media monitoring tools to analyse individuals' posts and identify patterns that may indicate mental health concerns, such as, analysing the sentiment of posts, frequency of posts, and specific keywords or phrases that may be indicative of mental health issues. Once potential mental health concerns have been identified, AI algorithms can automatically send targeted information to individuals' phones, providing them with key information on where to find help and support. This information can include links to mental health resources, self-help tools, and online support communities. By providing this information in a timely and personalised manner, marketers can help prevent mental health issues from escalating, disrupting the snowball effect by intercepting individual and providing support at just the right time. This can be particularly beneficial for young teens who may be more likely to seek help and support online than through traditional channels.
AI or therapist?
The use of AI-assisted data analytics to aid mental health cases is still in its early stages, but the potential for this technology to have a positive impact on society is significant. As AI algorithms become more sophisticated and data sets become more robust, the effectiveness of this approach is likely to increase, holding the potential to intercept mental health issues even more accurately and offer support to many more people. For example, a study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research found that using machine learning algorithms (AI) to analyse social media data could accurately predict depression in individuals with an accuracy rate of 70-80%, and this is set to increase within the next few years.
In addition to improving mental health outcomes, the use of AI-assisted data analytics can also help reduce the stigma associated with seeking support. As AI intervenes through digital channels, individuals can receive the help and support they need in a discreet and confidential manner, without fear of judgment, embarrassment, or interaction with others.
Overall, the use of AI-assisted data analytics to aid mental health has the potential to significantly improve mental health levels across the board. With further research and development, we can expect to see these technologies become an increasingly important tool in the fight against mental health issues. However, just to note, it is vital that marketers must use caution when using AI. Mental health is a sensitive and complex issue, and the use of AI must be done ethically, and with the intention of helping and supporting people only.
To summarise, we hope that AI can continue to develop, expand and improve, to ultimately become a catalyst for reducing the number of mental health issues across the globe, where individuals can find the help they need, at a time that counts.