National Eating Disorders Association phases out human helpline, pivots to chatbot

The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) is phasing out its human-operated helpline and transitioning to a chatbot called Tessa.

Driving the news: NEDA’s decision sparked concerns among volunteers who believe that the loss of personal connection could isolate those seeking help.
* The shift to chatbot is part of a broader trend of mental health organizations turning to AI and chatbots to handle increased demand.
* Some studies show that Tessa can improve users’ body image, but there are concerns about it missing red flags and reinforcing harmful behavior.

The backstory: NEDA helpline experienced a significant increase in demand during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the number of calls and messages more than doubling.
* Staff felt overwhelmed and under-supported, raising concerns about volunteers’ ability to handle crisis situations.

The big picture: Tessa’s creators aim to provide accessible, evidence-based treatment tools for the large percentage of people with eating disorders who do not receive formal help.
* The chatbot is a rule-based system and cannot generate unique answers, limiting its ability to ~~”go off the rails.”~~

View original article on NPR

This summary was created by an AI system. The use of this summary is subject to our Terms of Service.

Contact us about this post






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *