Thank you to TD Bank Group for helping us to make our
Stress Coach Chatbot a reality!
"You're building your own story, and every chapter shapes who you are becoming. Believe in yourself and your ability to cope with stress. You're more resilient than you know. Keep shining, keep growing, and keep being uniquely you!" - Eva Fialho
In a step towards greater accessibility and improved long-term healthcare outcomes for adolescents, we have been adapting one of our vital evidence-based programs, Stress Lessons, into a youth-friendly chatbot that will be accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This chatbot will live on our website and provide education and prevention-based support in real time to help youth discover what is challenging them and learn how to manage the stressors that come with their challenges. We are thankful to TD for providing us with funding to make the development of this chatbot possible!
Behind the scenes
We would also like to acknowledge our team behind the scenes that has helped to develop this chatbot. We are thankful to our developers, Massively.ai, and to Dr. Chantal Regis Ph.D, C.Psych and member of our 4-17 Years Committee, and Eva Fialho, a psychology graduate student, for their work on the content adaptation for the chatbot. We asked them a few questions about the project and here is what they’d like to share.
Meet Dr. Chantal
Dr. Chantal Regis is a Registered Psychologist with a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Guelph. Her areas of practice include children and adolescents and she provides therapeutic and assessment services in several private practice clinics in the Greater Toronto Area. Dr. Regis previously worked as a staff psychologist at the Peterborough Regional Heath Service, and Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Services, adolescent outpatient clinics. Her therapeutic orientation is integrative including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), psychodynamic informed play therapy, and dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) modalities. Her research interests are in the area of women's health including disordered eating and premenstrual syndromes.
Based on your experience as a Child and Adolescent Clinical Psychologist, how are young people managing their stress these days?
“In my experience, young people today have a lot of awareness about stress as a concept, and the impact stress can have on one’s life. Young people don’t always choose the best way to manage stress, but that’s okay! They seem to know that stress is real and needs to be managed. Adolescence is a time to learn about new things, make mistakes, and learn from those mistakes. I think young people today show a willingness to try managing stress and share that knowledge with others through social media and talking about their experiences with friends.”
Why might Stress Coach chatbots like the one we’re developing be useful to teens?
Stress Coach chatbots have the potential to be an excellent resource for young people looking for reliable information. There is a lot of disinformation on the internet. Resources from agencies like SMSKPC that work with psychologists and use research-based information are always needed. Also, in the absence of a trusted caring adult – say at 3 AM on a school night- a chatbot has the potential to be an on-demand source of helpful stress-coping strategies. I’m excited to see how the technology develops in this area!”
“Hello, my name is Eva and I am the Stress Lessons Content Adapter with the primary focus of adapting the content of the Stress Lessons Grade 9-12 program guide into the Chatbot Q&A formatting. I have worked with Strong Minds Strong Kids, Psychology Canada for almost 3 years holding various positions and roles including, Placement Student, Summer Student, Office Administrator, and currently, Training Lead Support.”
What is Stress Lessons: Tools for Resilience?
“Stress Lessons: Tools for Resiliency is a comprehensive program designed to enhance the well-being of teens by providing a platform for promoting dialogue, learning, and resilience within the framework of the curriculum. The program's activities empower teens to develop problem-solving skills and construct a toolbox of psychologically sound strategies, enabling them to enhance their resilience when navigating life's challenges. To adapt this content for the chatbot, I distilled the key principles of Stress Lessons to craft personalized, supportive, and actionable responses that align with the program's objectives, tailored to individual conversations and the unique needs of each user.”
What can a teen expect when they use the chatbot?
“When youth use the chatbot, they can expect to find a supportive and informative resource tailored to their needs in today's dynamic and stress-filled world. Geared toward youth and anyone invested in fostering resilience among teens, the chatbot offers a range of features to aid in stress management and emotional growth.
- It presents 'Stress Flows' that interactively guide youth through the Stress Lessons, introducing stress management strategies and emotional resilience skills in teachable moments.
- The 'Questions' section provides a space for teens to engage with personalized guidance, addressing their questions about stress and resiliency.
- If youth simply want to do some activities to build their stress management skills they can go to the ‘Practice’ section.
- We also included an ‘Additional Resources’ section if they need further assistance.”
Is the chatbot designed for prevention or intervention?
“The chatbot is designed for prevention, focusing on equipping teenagers with tools and strategies to build resilience and manage stress before challenges become overwhelming. However, the chatbot is also attuned to addressing heightened challenges if a teen is experiencing difficulties and emphasizes the importance of seeking additional help.”
In today's changing world, young people are facing heightened challenges across many aspects of their daily lives, and their physical and mental health has never been more pressing. Through the TD Ready Commitment, our corporate citizenship platform, we are proud to support innovative solutions like Stress Coach that help foster resiliency, improve overall adolescent health and well-being, and create opportunities for youth to reach their full potential.” - Robyn Small, Senior Manager, Philanthropy, TD Bank Group
The Stress Lessons chatbot is now in its testing stages and we are currently working with a youth advisory council to provide us with feedback. Stay tuned.
Thank you to our Sponsor