S1E112: How do mental health apps work?

  • 6 Sep 2023

Gain insights into the usage of mental health apps, and whether or not to embrace them.

Synopsis: Every first and third Wednesday of the month, The Straits Times helps you make sense of health matters that affect you.

Mental health applications have grown in popularity over the years, with more employers turning to such apps to help improve their employees’ mental well-being. 

They typically offer online guides and mental health information and can link users up with a counsellor or coach, if needed. 

But, just how useful are these apps? Who’s using the apps? And are they safe to use? To find out more, ST senior health correspondent Joyce Teo speaks to Dr Oliver Suendermann, the clinical director of Intellect, a Singapore headquartered-company that has been growing speedily since it was founded in 2019. It has expanded into the region and now serves three million users.

Dr Suendermann, a permanent resident, sheds light on their users’ needs, what they offer - mostly coaches - and discusses what people can look out for before they use a mental health app.

Highlights (click/tap above):

0:38 What’s typical in a mental health app?

5:30 The Intellect mental health platform is staffed by mostly coaches, not psychologists

13:28 Three things to look out for before using a mental health app

Produced by: Joyce Teo (joyceteo@sph.com.sg), Ernest Luis, Paxton Pang and Eden Soh

Edited by: Eden Soh

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