ifeel: Providing Remote Emotional Support to Each Employee

ifeel developed a digital platform empowering companies to offer their employees access to emotional and mental health counseling within a secure and private environment, ensuring therapist-patient confidentiality.

The Background

Psychotherapy, a form of mental therapy involving attentive dialogue and interpretation, serves as a valuable treatment for crises, mental distress, and emotional challenges. Although stigmatized in its 19th-century inception, it evolved into a widely accepted and effective treatment throughout the 20th century. In the present day, individuals across diverse backgrounds recognize psychotherapy as a legitimate and empowering tool for navigating psychological and mental challenges.

Individuals seeking treatment often confront challenges, fears, and disruptive behavior patterns that impact their daily lives. Engaging in an open and continuous dialogue with a qualified therapist facilitates a deeper understanding of their emotions, fostering profound shifts in perception and interpretation of reality. This therapeutic process equips them to effectively navigate a spectrum of feelings, from insecurity to managing undesirable habits. Furthermore, therapy or counseling proves instrumental in addressing workplace challenges—ranging from tensions, conflicts, and interpersonal dynamics with superiors and colleagues, to issues like low motivation and barriers hindering professional development.

A Menomadin Foundation Impact investment: The online therapy platform ifeel.

A Menomadin Foundation Impact investment: The online therapy platform ifeel.

The Challenge

Despite the growing demand for mental health treatment and the array of available therapies, therapists, and approaches designed to alleviate mental distress, many individuals refrain from seeking the necessary help due to barriers that function as deterrents, discouraging access to this crucial support. Weekly clinic sessions prove less accessible for those residing in areas with limited caregiver availability, individuals navigating frequent commutes for work, those struggling to carve out free time amid work-family obligations, and individuals in places experiencing periods of restricted mobility due to a pandemic or war.

Another common reason to forgo treatment is financial. Face-to-face meetings with mental health professionals have become so expensive in recent years that therapy is often perceived as a luxury rather than an essential service. In fact, for people facing financial difficulties, psychological treatment is often unattainable.

Although “remote” psychological therapy services, conducted through online digital platforms, have been available for years and proven as effective as traditional face-to-face therapy, it was only during the COVID-19 pandemic that they gained acceptance in the mental health field, leading to a significant increase in prevalence. The frequent lockdowns and social distancing protocols, preventing people from leaving their homes, coupled with the heightened stress and distress experienced by many, have substantially boosted the demand for digital alternatives to emotional therapy, particularly for coping with stress, anxiety, and depression.

The Opportunity

The Israeli ifeel startup venture, a Menomadin Foundation impact investment, has developed a unique digital platform that bridges geographical and financial barriers and in fact makes psychotherapy accessible to many audiences.

Following the initial entry, the treatment commences with a brief questionnaire answered by the patient. After a few minutes, a human therapist enters the chat for an introductory conversation. From there, if necessary, the patient is assigned to the caregiver who will assist them moving forward. The treatment is conducted through chat conversations and can also be done completely anonymously. If a more in-depth treatment is necessary, the therapist and patient may decide to transition to video calls. The therapist can send the patient exercises and tasks through videos, audio recordings, and files to aid them. It is also possible to set reminders on the platform for completing exercises and answering the daily “How are you today” questionnaire. This way, individuals can feel supported, knowing there is someone by their side to help them navigate any difficulty or challenge.

By combining innovative artificial intelligence (AI) technology with a network of hundreds of qualified clinical psychologists worldwide, specializing in various treatment approaches, the platform provides a secure, cost-effective, and comfortable space for online therapy. It has proven highly effective in assisting individuals in coping with challenges such as stress, emotional disstress, sleep difficulties, anxiety, non-clinical depression, relationship problems, and challenges arising from difficulties in work-life balance. The combination of technology and professionals allows for a more holistic view of the patient compared to traditional treatment, enabling a more accurate analysis and evaluation of the challenges and difficulties faced by patients. This, in turn, facilitates focused and effective treatment.

The ifeel platform also features a ‘self-help’ section, accessible to the general public. Here, one can find a variety of information and emotion regulation exercises available 24/7.

In recent years, ifeel has gained recognition as a widely accepted mental health treatment platform among organizations and companies, which provide their employees with access to personal care in complete privacy. ifeel has been proven effective in boosting labor productivity and reducing absenteeism rates. The platform is currently available in 12 countries and operates in English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, and Hebrew. To date, thousands of organizations and companies worldwide have utilized the platform.

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