As we have just marked World Mental Health Awareness Month in October, the sobering statistics around anxiety, loneliness, depression, and other mental health issues are at the forefront of many people’s minds. The Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns have caused global disruptions and uncertainty, and these have exacerbated modern stress levels across South Africa and the rest of the world. Job losses, growing financial pressures, and an uncertain future have taken their toll on mental health across the country. Adults and teens alike have been affected by this, as many face growing isolation and uncertainty. A dedicated mental health support app aimed at teenagers – called Vive Teens – is now available to provide support for teens during these difficult times. Initially developed by Cortex Logic, Vive Teens, in partnership with Naspers’ Media24, has recently spun out to become a stand-alone company dedicated to focusing on mental health issues for teens. Vive Teens is a personal mental wellness companion in your pocket. Your Feel Better app. It is available 24/7. It gives you access to human counsellors, a personalized AI-driven chatbot, world-class content and advice. All in total privacy. It also rewards users for interacting with the companion and taking good care and ownership of their personal wellbeing.
Teenage mental wellness is one of the biggest single challenges facing the youth of today. This was exacerbated by Covid-19. Recent studies have found that 24% of South African youngsters surveyed between Grade 8 to Grade 11 had experienced feelings of depression, hopelessness and sadness, while a further 21% had attempted suicide at least once. Globally, and in South Africa, approximately 20% of teens have a mental health disorder, but the majority are either not detected or untreated. We know teenagers are spending significant time on their mobile phones. We all, including our teenagers, can easily become overwhelmed by the demands of everyday life. We all go through ups and downs because of it, but sometimes bouncing back from an extended low can be a real challenge. Figures released by SADAG (South African Depression and Anxiety Group) show an alarming upward trend in distress calls it receives on its hotline. Before the global Covid 19 pandemic, SADAG received around 600 calls a day. At the beginning of lockdown, this figure soared to 1200 calls per day, and now, 18 months later, SADAG receives over 2200 daily distress calls. The group’s dedicated Suicide Crisis Helpline has received over 75 000 calls since January 2021.
Vive Teens was launched in September 2021 at the “Revolutionising Teen Mental Health: Live Conversation” event hosted by Media24. The Vive Teens app was also recently introduced in the media through articles such as “AI-driven app helps teens with mental health support” and “Vive Teens: Mental Health Help Now Just A Download Away With Personalised Artificial Intelligence App“.
Vive Teens is a cutting edge AI-driven personal wellness companion that equips teenagers with world-class content, advice, self-discovery and human-led support systems to not only cope with the challenges that they face every day, but also contribute to the development of balanced, emotionally mature and well-prepared young adults.
Vive Teens’ features include:
Download today from Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
For more details see our website at viveyou.com
Dr Jacques Ludik, founder and CEO of Cortex Logic, was interviewed about Vive Teens on 28 October 2021 by SABC News. “As World Mental Health Awareness Month just wrapped, a new app targeting young people called Vive Teens is an ultra-personalized Artificial Intelligence App that aims to help curb the sobering statistics around anxiety, loneliness, depression, and other mental health issues that are at the forefront of many people’s minds. To tell us more about this, herewith Dr Jacques Ludik.“
SABC News video: https://youtu.be/zbewF8fdnwM
Vive Teens was launched on 2 September 2021 at Atlantic Film Studios as part of a Media24 LIVE conversation about teenagers mental health. The conversation was hosted by Danielle Weakley with panelist Edwin Kassier (CTO of Vive Teens and Lead Software Developer at Cortex Logic), Dhanusha Dhoorgalu (Content Creator and Influencer), and Kelly Jacobs (Registered Councillor).
Our mission is to democratize wellness support to all teenagers. This is very much part of our broader mission to use smart technology for social good and beneficial outcomes for humanity as well as our Massive Transformative Purpose: Shaping a Better Future in The Smart Technology Era as also described in Dr Jacques Ludik’s recent book “Democratizing Artificial Intelligence to Benefit Everyone: Shaping a Better Future in the Smart Technology Era“. So we want to democratize digital health and wellness care to benefit everyone, including our teenagers. We want to contribute to the development of balanced, emotionally mature and well-prepared young adults.
Societal pressures on our teenagers have increased to unprecedented levels and our children are doing their best to navigate it. As a parents, we do everything we can to help, but instead we’re left feeling helpless. They don’t feel like we understand their world and won’t talk to us about what they’re dealing with in fear of having their feelings waved aside.
Enter VIVE Teens.
An ultra-personalised wellness companion that will help your teenager navigate the everyday challenges of teenage life. Driven by Artificial Intelligence (AI) it works to educate your child and equip them with the self-help tools that they need to grow into well adapted young adults.
Parents, see https://viveyou.com/parents/ for more details on what you can do.
Your school is far more than an institution for academic learning. Teachers become counsellors and mentors as students struggle to cope with the everyday pressures of teenage life. Parents put their trust in your school to keep their kids safe while under your care. But what about keeping your students safe from themselves?
Meet VIVE Teens.
An ultra-personalised wellness companion that will help your students navigate the everyday challenges of teenage life. Driven by Artificial Intelligence (AI) it works to build a network of support around your students, while educating and equipping them with the self-help tools that they need to grow into well adapted young adults.
School representatives, see https://viveyou.com/schools/ for more details and next steps.
The VIVE story is one of how smart technologies can be used to assist teenagers to become healthier, happier, and balanced young adults. Through the use of ethical Artificial Intelligence (AI) and state-of-the-art privacy protocols, VIVE TEENS has been custom-built as a personal wellness companion for our teenagers. In partnership with MEDIA24 we are presenting our teenagers with world-class content within a real-time digital companion.
“Teenagers are the most misunderstood people on planet earth. They are treated like children but asked to behave like adults.”
– Dr Nitya Prakash
With the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become more apparent that the so-called “new normal” is becoming our new permanent reality. Virtual meetings, lockdowns, face masks and isolation are affecting adults and children alike. The ultimate impact will likely only be clear when our children are adults.
However, COVID-19 was only the tip of the iceberg and merely placed further emphasis on the very challenging times our children are already facing. Growing up in the “always-on” reality of the digital age is adding to the pressure and it’s become more challenging for our teens to deal with things like bullying, body shaming, self-harm, substance abuse, broken homes, and many more.
“Challenging behaviour occurs when the demands and expectations being placed upon a child outstrip the skills they have to respond.”
– Ross Greene
The question we wanted to answer is:
How do we utilize the marvels of modern technology in an ethical, private, and responsible way to benefit our children and steer them onto a successful path?
Cortex Logic is one of the leading Artificial Intelligence and Smart Technology companies in Africa, which was founded by Dr. Jacques Ludik in 2016.
During 2018/2019 Cortex Logic evaluated a number of international platforms in the health and wellness market with a specific focus on preventative care and ultra-personalised, technology driven interactions.
As a result, a proprietary wellness platform was built and launched during 2019 offering real-time engagement and advice to companies, individuals, and health insurers.
Parents are enraged by excessive use of smartphones amongst teens who seem to be glued to apps of which some might not have wholesome and trustworthy content and are not necessarily endorsed by parents.
What if we used the very technology that teenagers love, to educate, assist, and reward them through a personal wellness companion app that provides targeted content to help them address common psychological and social challenges that they face every day? Also, what if the app has real-time interactive capability that provides virtual companion chat as well as give teenagers access to counsellors and advice at the tip of their fingers?
VIVE created such a wellness companion app that interacts with a teenager in an ultra-personalised fashion within a private “space”.
Schools, parents, and teenagers have “app fatigue” as they are bombarded with numerous apps that communicate schedules, announcements, and other education-related information. Are these apps really assisting our teenagers and providing them with tools that equip them, or can it be that it simply creates more pressure? Time will tell.
As COVID-19 started taking effect and families stood in disbelief about the closure of schools, isolation from physical contact and related psychological and mental challenges, the dangers for teenagers were alarmingly clear.
As a result, VIVE TEENS was formed in early 2021 when Cortex Logic was given the brief to become the technology partner of the VIVE platform and application. Since then it was spun-out a separate company.
With the vast experience of Cortex Logic in building wellness platforms, we were in an excellent position to build VIVE TEENS by using the same technology stack as the foundational layer.
After extensive market research, which included feedback from small groups of teenagers and involving world class e-commerce and behaviour experts, the team of software developers and data scientists developed the VIVE TEENS platform.
Given the initial interest from parents and schools, VIVE decided to partner with MEDIA24 as content and social media partner to ensure that as many schools and teenagers as possible are reached in these very challenging times.
The VIVE STORY is now beginning.
For more details see our website at viveyou.com
Jacques Ludik Podcast: