It would be an understatement to say that the past year has been a tough one. With social connections wearing thin post-pandemic and the cost of living crisis, it’s no surprise that the nation’s mental health is declining at a rapid rate.
But, there is good news. JAAQ, a revolutionary social media platform, launched this week in a bid to help the millions of people suffering from mental health conditions.
Dubbed ‘the Netflix of mental health’, JAAQ works by providing interactive answers to over 50,000 questions on over 50 topics and is set to revolutionise the way people access and share information about mental health.
JAAQ’s free, online platform uses new voice recognition and AI to give users a safe space where anyone can ask world leading doctors, experts and people with lived experience, questions on topics including anxiety, depression, learning difficulties, suicide and OCD – at any time, day or night, without judgement.
We caught up with founder Danny Gray to find out more.
Can you share any personal experiences with your own mental health?
“I’ve been living with Body Dysmorphia Disorder (BDD) since the age of 12, following being severely bullied at primary school about my ears. This has really had a big impact on my life, but I never knew there was a name for it. BDD causes you to compulsively obsess over your defects and flaws in your appearance. My BDD really peaked when I was 27, and my mental health hit an all-time low.
“I was so obsessed with my hairline that I decided to get a hair transplant – even though I didn’t need one and I wasn’t even balding.
“My own personal struggles lead me to innovate a game-changing resource called JAAQ for others to reach out and speak about their mental health, just like I eventually did.”
Why is there an increasing need for more mental health support in the UK?
“The NHS is currently in a crisis – waiting lists are between 3-6 months if not longer and more and more people each and every day are feeling as though they don’t have the support.
“When you get access to a GP, it can be too focused on discussing your mental health experiences and asking questions about their current situation rather than actually getting help. JAAQ will completely change this for so many people, by providing trusted advice from leading mental health experts and people with lived experiences at any time you need it, for free. The power of JAAQ provides an instant response, so people can get the right answers, exactly when they need them. By the time an NHS appointment is available, they are well-equipped with enough information to get the help they need.”
What makes JAAQ different from other online therapy services?
“JAAQ revolutionises the way people access and share information about mental health. By using AI, users are able to have 1-1 conversations with the world’s leading experts, including Prof. Paul Gilbert and Prof. Janet Treasure, as well as people with lived experiences, including Alastair Campbell, David Harewood and Jake Humphrey. My vision with the platform is to make it so easy and so lifelike that it feels like a conversation, and the fact you can do it from your laptop, phone or tablet makes it so much less daunting.
“There are over 50 topics on the platform ranging from anxiety, depression, learning difficulties, suicide and OCD, creating a safe and informative space for everyone’s questions to be answered at any time, day or night, without judgement and with the right answers.”
What impact are you hoping JAAQ will have on the UK’s mental health?
“My ambition for JAAQ is huge. I want to improve the mental health of over 1 billion people and I truly think we can and that goes beyond the UK.. I’m incredibly excited to see the impact JAAQ has on our users, whether that be those who are personally struggling or providing advice to their support systems like families and friends who are at crisis point.”
Want to try JAAQ out for yourself? Click here to explore how the platform can help.