The Warrior GMR Foundation and Clever Health have come together to address two of the most pressing issues facing active duty and veteran military warriors and gamers: anxiety and depression.
Tragically, every day 22 American veterans commit suicide. Studies show that gaming can help veterans cope with combat-induced trauma, alleviate stress, and help them to socialize and bond with others. According to the USO, about half of active military and veteran video gamers play video games to deal with military-related stress.
Concurrently, we are in the middle of a youth suicide epidemic. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for ages 15-34. 75% of high school and higher education students reported worsened mental health during the pandemic. Video games have also proven to help reduce stress and anxiety in the youth population, but games alone can’t solve this epidemic.
The Warrior GMR Foundation was created to help active and veteran military warriors and gamers, by connecting them with the resources and mentorship to cope with mental health challenges. As the organization began touching thousands of lives via their intergenerational, recreational gaming, and amateur esports competitions, people started reaching out for more help. Seeking a platform their gamers could access for greater mental health support, Warrior GMR Foundation connected with Clever Health.
Clever Health is a health tech startup based in Scottsdale, Arizona, that has developed an AI-driven smart app that offers 24/7/365 asynchronous virtual care, mental health chat support, and RX savings. The app allows the individual to engage with Bella confidentially and privately, the free mental health chatbot, who listens and intuitively responds to the user.
A recent study by Johns Hopkins found that 92% of users moved toward recovery using the same technology that Bella leverages. Feedback in testing with soldiers gave Clever Health the confidence the technology was working:
“Before I talked with you I felt like my world was coming down on me but after we talked and I did that exercise it helped me a lot.”
“You were able to help me when most ppl can’t.”
Bella shares coping mechanisms based on emotions expressed but does not, at any point, diagnose the user. Bella’s protocols are based on American Psychological Association’s PHQ-9 and GAD-7, which work especially well when combined with the anonymity Bella offers. In a recent study conducted by USC, service members reported twofold to fourfold more symptoms and higher interest in receiving care via anonymous virtual human interviewers than from standard assessments.
“This is a badly needed tool that has been missing for too long. Overcoming the mental health stigma is especially tough in the military, so the privacy and AI chatbot is a great option,” said Dr. John Drozd, Mental Health Committee Chairman of the Warrior GMR Foundation. “We know gamers really well and they tell us they like the personalized chatbot technology and the flexibility of when and how they want to interact. It seems to be a perfect fit,” said Josh Otero, Founder & Chairman of the Warrior GMR Foundation.
“We are excited to be helping such an important audience as the military and gamers. We love that the more they use our free tool, the more that can be donated back into the Warrior GMR Foundation to help others. We know this audience likes to win and values paying it forward just like we do,” said Jim Lewis of Clever Health.
The app will be launched to the military and gamer community at the national Warrior GMR Cup and Brain Health Summit on August 20-22, 2021, at The Jacquard Hotel, 222 Milwaukee St in Cherry Creek, Denver, CO 80206. Click here to download and use the app. If prompted, enter Group # 7045 and Member # 1010.