February 29, 2024

The Role of Artificial Intelligence within Mental Health

The man's head businessman with digital brain and the grid connections of neurons. The concept of artificial intelligence and the limitless possibilities of the mind

The Role of Artificial Intelligence within Mental Health


As Mental Health Awareness Month in May highlighted, it is important to acknowledge the significant number of individuals worldwide who are affected by mental illness. In the United States approximately 1 in 5 adults live with a mental illness, while 1 in 25 adults have a serious mental illness like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or major depression[1]. Similarly, in the United Kingdom, the statistics are also significant. This awareness emphasizes the importance of addressing and supporting mental health beyond this dedicated month. It highlights the significance of extensive research into the complex factors that contribute to mental illnesses, such as genetics, brain chemistry, brain structure, trauma, and comorbidities like heart disease. Due to the complex and individual nature of mental health illnesses, it is essential to incorporate AI into mental health Developing AI solutions can provide valuable support in various aspects of mental health, as discussed in this blog. Continue reading to explore how AI can enhance our understanding and approaches to mental health.

The Two Most Common Mental Health Issues: 


Anxiety Disorders – More than 18% of adults each year struggle with some type of anxiety disorder, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder (panic attacks), generalized anxiety disorder and specific phobias[2]  

Mood Disorders – Mood disorders, such as depression and bipolar depression, affect nearly 10% of adults each year and are characterized by difficulties in regulating one’s mood.[3] 

“Over 6 million men suffer from depression per year, but male depression often goes under diagnosed. More than 3 million men in the US have panic disorder, agoraphobia, or any other phobia. 2.3 million Americans are affected by bipolar disorder and an equal number of men and women develop the illness[4]   

Yet, in many cases, we’re still relying on individuals to take the initiative and seek treatment, despite the continuing stigma against asking for help for mental health struggles, add to this the mental health challenges Covid-19 brings and one is forced to ask: How will we ever meet this growing need? Interestingly Artificial Intelligence (AI) can help. AI and machine learning have the potential to revolutionise the way we diagnose and treat mental health conditions. In the future, algorithms may be our first line of defence against the mental health struggles that can be debilitating for so many people. 


Five Ways AI Can Help 


  1. Integrating Mental Health Care with Physical Health Care

Imagine a future where machine learning algorithms can alert doctors and surgeons that a patient is at risk of developing a serious mental health issue based on their existing medical records. One study has already had success predicting which of the patients who were brought into the hospital for self-injuries are likely to attempt suicide in the future[5]. 

  1. Reducing Bias & Human Error

Algorithms have already been proven to be successful at detecting signs of conditions like depression and post-traumatic stress disorder by analyzing speech patterns and facial expressions6. Mental and physical health providers could use these tools during patient intake meetings to serve as a backup. These meetings are usually very brief, and providers who are rushing from appointment to appointment might not notice when patients exhibit subtle signs of trouble[6]. 

  1. Flagging Early Warning Signs

Your smartphone could alert your doctor that you’re at risk of depression based on how fast you’re typing or how often you’re leaving your house. In one study, algorithms using language analysis were 100% accurate at identifying teens who were likely to develop psychosis. These tools already exist, and they’re incredibly powerful[7]. Language analysis can also be used to monitor patients who are already in treatment and alert a doctor when they take a turn for the worse. Most patients don’t see a doctor or therapist every day but answering a few daily questions online could help the app to detect early signs of trouble. 

Timely interventions are crucial in many areas of mental health, especially in the field of medication dependence. AI tools can provide invaluable support to human providers and patients between appointments, creating daily checkpoints that can catch a downturn before it turns into a dangerous spiral.  

  1. Support Available 24/7

Chatbots and apps are accessible no matter where you live. They’re a low-cost, affordable treatment option. They’re always awake and on call. And some people may feel more comfortable sharing their struggles with an anonymous chatbot than a human being. 

Of course, these tools are still new and experimental. But chatbots and other app-based tools for tracking and improving mood could be hugely beneficial, particularly for patients who would otherwise have trouble accessing care. There are already multiple smartphone-based tools that can walk patients through exercises based on cognitive behavioral therapy and other research-backed techniques for coping with symptoms. A chatbot could be a lifeline for a patient who’s struggling in the middle of the night. 

  1. Destigmatizing Mental Health 

Making mental health diagnosis and treatment more quantifiable and less subjective could ultimately help destigmatize these conditions and improve outcomes. There’s no blood test for mental health conditions, but a machine learning algorithm could become a kind of equivalent — a research-based, “objective” test that makes the need to seek treatment less about a patient’s subjective experience of distress and more about evidence-based data and medical best practices.  

Democratizing access to mental health treatment will almost certainly mainstream this kind of healthcare, too. The more people who seek treatment for mental health struggles or who know someone who has, the less mental health treatment will feel like a secret shame.  

“The treatment of physical health conditions have long benefited from advances of technology, with devices such as X-Ray and MRI scanners revolutionising treatment. Now, as AI and machine learning technology evolves, it is important that we integrate it into the treatment of mental health, so those patients too may benefit from the advancement of technology.” – Dr Valentin Tablan, Senior Vice President of AI at IESO[8]



As we explore the realm of mental health support, it is crucial to recognize the significant role that AI plays in this process. AI technology has emerged as a valuable tool, offering innovative solutions, and transforming the way we approach mental health care. From chatbots providing immediate support to machine learning algorithms aiding in early detection, AI is revolutionizing the landscape of mental health. 


However, it is important to remember that while AI can provide valuable assistance, human support remains an essential aspect of mental health care. There are numerous organizations dedicated to providing support and assistance to those in need. Whether it’s helplines, therapy services, or community resources, reaching out and seeking help is a courageous step towards better mental well-being. 


Here are some organizations dedicated to helping you:   



Remember, you are not alone, and there is support out there for you. 


About PatientMetRx® 

PatientMetRx® is an AI accelerated machine learning platform thathas turned the liberation of patient sentiment on its head through data science to create a single source of truth about feelings, attitudes, and behaviors. People describe their healthcare experiences through stories on social media, interviews, and research. PatientMetRx® uses advanced data science and technology including its own specialized LLM’s (Drug-GPT™) to structure signals at scale to make the complex simple. Tracking actionable insights and mapping across the patient journey comparing HCP and Patient Voices.  Keep your finger on the pulse by putting the Patient Voice at the center of strategies. If you’re wanting to stay ahead of the curve in this rapidly changing industry then  try it out today. 


[1]CDC, About Mental Health

[2] PineRest, Mental Health services

[3] PineRest, Mental Health services

[4] ADDA,  Men’s Mental Health  

[5]Forbes, (2020) ‘Five Ways AI Can Help Revolutionize Mental Healthcare’

[6]Forbes, (2020) ‘Five Ways AI Can Help Revolutionize Mental Healthcare’.

[7]Forbes, (2020) ‘Five Ways AI Can Help Revolutionize Mental Healthcare’.

[8]IESO, (2020) ‘World’s first AI-enabled mental health treatment platform goes live’.