The District of Columbia Housing Authority today announced it has partnered with Woebot Health to offer Woebot, a smartphone-based general wellness program for stress and low mood, to all of DCHA’s 800 employees and to a pilot group of 450 residents living in the authority’s affordable housing communities.
“Our community is facing many challenges this year, and we wanted to give them a free, private and supportive space to help them manage anxiety and stress,” said DCHA Executive Director Tyrone Garrett. “Woebot’s natural conversational style, accessibility and proven effectiveness make it an ideal tool to help our employees and customers understand and manage their thoughts and feelings.”
DCHA employees include administrative, facilities management and security personnel who help provide quality affordable housing to extremely low- through moderate-income households, foster sustainable communities, and cultivate opportunities for residents to improve their lives. The pilot will be offered to residents of the Woodland Terrace and Greenleaf family communities and is expected to be rolled out to a broader group of residents in the future.
Woebot Health CEO Michael Evers said that D.C., like many metropolitan areas, has been dealing with fallout from the coronavirus, both in terms of infections and the associated unemployment, and the need for easily-accessible emotional support is ever more urgent. “We’re impressed with DCHA’s progressive approach to support its community and honored to collaborate to deliver a proven solution to people, when and where they need it.”
Woebot, the first mental health conversational agent to be tested in a randomized control trial, is designed to be reflective and responsive by helping people to identify how they are feeling, and to provide personalized tools drawn from evidence-based psychotherapy approaches, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), to help them achieve better outcomes.