An international team of developers and psychologists from Israel, Ukraine, Russia and Germany have launched AVAMind, a chatbot providing self-help for people around the world
AVA chatbot can communicate in its user's native language: Ukrainian, Russian or English. By asking leading questions, it will help to identify specific problems and suggest techniques for dealing with anxiety, feelings of loss, psychosomatic symptoms (sleep problems, body tension and others).
"AVA works like a parachute and supports the users in a crisis and also over the long term, helping to feel "ground beneath your feet"," says behaviourist and AVAMind project founder Mikhail Zeldin. If the person is in an extremely critical state, the bot prompts for emergency phone numbers.
Alisa Davydova, psychologist and project volunteer: "With the start of full-scale war, all citizens of Ukraine are in a difficult psychological state. Many people find it difficult to seek help. This is due to shame, fear and beliefs such as 'someone is clearly worse off than me now'. And this is where the chatbot can especially help, because it is impersonal, and the fear of judgement is reduced to zero.
Speaking about the future of the project, the founders state that the anti-crisis chatbot to help in stressful and traumatic situations will be free and translated into other languages. There are plans to continue developing the bot and release an app.