A new Canadian startup has entered the field of mental health.
The Centre for Interactive Mental Health Solutions, founded by Kasra Zokaei, is dedicated to making effective mental health services accessible to people around the world.
CIMHS has launched its first online interacive therapy program. The eight-session program, called Bliss, tackles depression. Users can complete the fully guided program, which is based on clinical psychology research and is confidential, on their own.
“Recent research has shown that we can effectively help those suffering from medium to mild case of mental illness by delivering psychotherapies through computers,” explains Zokaei, who was on the team of Waterloo’s J2Play, an Extreme Ventures-backed startup. “To that end we have launched CIMHS, a web application that delivers computerize psychotherapies online, which we call Interactive Therapy.”
According to Zokaei, the current approaches to mental health don’t have the capacity to help all those in need—a problem that is further complicated due to regional disparities in service availability, lack of trained professionals, cost, and stigma associated with seeking help. He believes we need “radical new approaches to solve this debilitating societal challenge” and is confident that interactive therapy—known as Computerize Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or Computer-Assisted Therapy in academic circles—is the solution.
“One in five Canadians will experience mental illness in their lifetime. We are dealing with a problem of unprecedented scope,” Zokaei affirms. “The next chapter of the mental health movement is about empowering individuals through technology, and providing them with the tools that can help them improve their mental health.”
And that’s where CIMHS comes in.