Technology of Japanese start-up featured by doctors (Series ＃28）
The First Part: cotree, Creating a Society Connected by Kindness
Peace of Mind Delivered through Online Counseling
Have you ever gone to counseling?
You have probably heard stories of people becoming depressed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, having mental health concerns after the pandemic, or having mental health problems due to anxiety about an unknown infection.
Some patients regularly attending outpatient clinics say, “I might get infected with COVID-19 when I go to the hospital.” “I want to postpone my visit to the hospital because I might get infected if I leave my house.” Of course, this may be fine if the patient’s condition is stable. Still, for some patients who need regular checkups or medication, the patient’s condition may worsen due to the postponement of a visit to the hospital. There have also been cases where patients have stopped going to the hospital, and as a result of running out of medication, their condition worsened, and they were urgently hospitalized.
During such an epidemic of emerging infectious diseases, I believe that not a few people suffer from mental health problems. Burnout syndrome due to extreme physical and psychological exhaustion was also reported among healthcare workers in Japan. However, even if a patient has a mental disorder, it has become difficult to see a doctor due to the COVID-19 pandemic and infection control measures. It has become harder than before to receive face-to-face counseling.
When a patient in a hospital or hospitalized has a mental disorder, they can ask a psychiatric nurse or a doctor to examine them. What should those not in the hospital or hospitalized do when they have a disorder? One option may be to use the consultation service*1 of each prefectural government. Alternatively, you may consider online counseling.
I will introduce “cotree,” an online counseling service developed by cotree Co., Ltd, which offers 24/7 counseling via videophone and text-based services. They are responding to the wishes of the person receiving counseling. Many counselors are clinical or certified public psychologists hired with particular emphasis on their work experience. The counseling is of high quality, and the satisfaction rate of those who have used the service is 93%. *2 In addition, since this service started in 2014, there have been more than 100,000 cases of using the service.
In addition to counseling for individuals, “cotree” also offers plans for corporations, organizations, and universities. In the corporate plan, the contents of questionnaires such as consultation and satisfaction levels are reported to the company in a form that does not identify individuals, and “cotree” provides employee feedback on their opinions of the company. They also offer optional services such as mental health training and coaching, in which a coach in charge provides individualized support tailored to personality traits. Many companies are using this service as part of their employee benefits. We often hear the term “Health and Productivity Management” used these days. The impression is that more and more companies are introducing such services to provide mental support for their employees.
It might be a good idea to take a counseling session from “cotree” rather than continue to push yourself when you feel a little mentally unwell. Also, since the counseling gift service was launched at the end of last year, it is possible to give a gift of “cotree” counseling to a struggling friend or family member.
In the second part of this article, I will introduce an interview with Ms. Keiko Nishioka, CEO of cotree Co., Ltd.
(To be continued to the next issue)
- cotree Co., Ltd Website https://cotree.co/
- Online Counseling “cotree” Website https://cotree.jp/
- Takahiro Matsuo, MD. et Al. “Prevalence of Health Care Worker Burnout During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic in Japan”
JAMA Netw Open. 2020 Aug 3;3(8):e2017271. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.17271. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2768947
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