In a bid to revolutionize mental health care for its patients, MyCHN in Greater Houston and Southern Houston has teamed up with the innovative AI tool Wysa. The partnership aims to provide additional support for individuals dealing with various mental health challenges, from daily stressors to crises.

Introducing Wysa

Wysa is a groundbreaking mental health platform that serves as a confidential and immediate support system via a mobile app. It offers a range of tools and resources, providing chat features, meditation, coping mechanisms and coaching at patients’ fingertips 24/7.

“It is an evidence-based data collection system. It is reported to give a positive experience, decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression, is very user-friendly and is very confidential,” Crisis Program Manager James Simmons said.

According to its website, Wysa has held over half a billion AI chat conversations with more than five million people about their mental health across 95 countries. Still, MyCHN has carefully vetted the tool to ensure it is right for the people it serves.

“A lot of us used the product and experienced it, just went through and tested just to make sure that the processes didn’t lead people down the wrong path,” CEO Mark Young said. “We had to be very careful that it all led to a positive result, and we found that it did.”

The Wysa app features:
  • Emotional support: Users can chat with Wysa around the clock in a safe and non-judgmental environment.
  • Self-help tools: Participating patients have full access to an evidence-based library of self-help content.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy: Wherever they are, patients can engage in CBT exercises with Wysa.
  • Mindfulness and relaxation techniques: Wysa teaches exercises like meditation, sleep exercises and yoga to reduce stress at home or in times of need on-the-go.
  • Mood tracking: Through continuous monitoring, users can gain insights into their emotional well-being.
Wysa is also equipped to help during mental health emergencies. If needed, Wysa can trigger contact with the MyCHN crisis line, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Helpline and local mobile crisis outreach teams. It also provides immediate resources and urges the patient to call in for a live assessment.

“It’s been built the right way with a big focus on patient safety,” Young said.

Meeting the need

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1 in 5 adults in the United States live with a mental illness.

“It’s a struggle across the country right now. There’s not enough providers, there’s not enough access to care. We knew we needed a tool to help,” Young said.

For MyCHN, teaming up with Wysa signifies progress in bolstering support for the increasing volume of people grappling with mental health challenges.

“This tool provides frontline access for people just to be able to cope, but it’s also [about] getting into the system of care,” Young said. “We felt like this was a great tool to help people stay engaged and get started until they can start really benefiting from the other services.”

Soft launch and future plans

At MyCHN, the app is currently soft launching in the Crisis and Behavioral Health department, but there are plans to expand the program to more patients.

“We are still working with Wysa on developments and enhancements, but we want to see where it starts now,” Simmons said.

Long term, MyCHN aims for the partnership to give patients a touchpoint for mental health services in between sessions with their provider.

“I want to see our patients utilizing this tool in tandem with their programming, because I do think that it will give them more of an immediate support whenever they need it,” Simmons said. “They’re going to feel more self-confident about being able to open up about what they are struggling with with our providers.”

As MyCHN takes strides to improve mental health care accessibility, the partnership with Wysa marks a significant step toward providing continuous support to individuals in need.

“From our executive team to our frontline workers, we always continuously find ways to meet the needs of our community and strive to provide access to care with new, innovative ways that help support [and] shape healthy communities,” Simmons said.

MyCHN has been serving the Greater Houston and Southern Houston community for 14 years. It currently has 14 clinic locations, 48 top providers and over 30,000 patients. Find out more about MyCHN and plan your visit at

The above story was produced by Multi-Platform Journalist Morgan O’Neal with Community Impact's Storytelling team with information solely provided by the local business as part of their "sponsored content" purchase through our advertising team.