Wisdo aims to help people struggling with loneliness, social isolation | AspenTimes.com

Wisdo aims to help people struggling with loneliness, social isolation

Wisdo is a digital social health platform that helps connect individuals struggling with mental health issues.
Screenshot from Wisdo.com

Boaz Goan, CEO of Wisdo, knows first-hand the experience of loneliness and social isolation.

Before launching Wisdo — a social application dedicated to helping individuals struggling with mental-health issues — he was immersed in a deep grief following his father’s death. In his grief, he was consumed by feelings of loneliness and social isolation.

Goan struggled to connect with people who were in a similar position. He tried to use traditional social-media apps to connect with people struggling with grief and isolation, finding that the use of these apps just made him feel more alone.

“The social aspects, the financial aspects, the familial aspects — everything that surrounded that experience — felt fairly unstructured and increased the sense of feeling very much alone,” he said. “That feeling exacerbated when I went to where all of us go when we look for connections, which is traditional social networks and social media.”

This led Goan to launch Wisdo, a social application that goes the extra mile to help people get connected.

The app helps users facing specific struggles by connecting them with others undergoing the same challenges. In addition, the app helps users monitor their social health, using credited scales to measure loneliness and quality of life.

Wisdo offers digital support networks to their users, helping them connect with others facing similar challenges.
Courtesy photo

“All of these (screeners) will eventually create a social-health score, which we use to personalize the social-support network that we recommend that you rely on, to move towards a better place,” he said.

In addition, one of the app’s functions allows users to join groups where they can learn from professional social-health coaches through virtual live sessions.

“We have coaches who are specifically experts in social-skills-related coaching, such as developing sense of purpose, emotional resilience, self care,” said Goan.

The app’s social-network groups are moderated by trained professionals 24/7 to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their users.

In January 2022, Peer Assistant Services, a Colorado-based non-profit, conducted a pilot study to examine whether Wisdo was effective in helping Coloradans struggling with mental-health issues. The study was funded by Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing.

The study surveyed 815 Colorado residents who used the app over 90 days, finding the application was effective in reducing feelings of loneliness, depression, and anxiety.

“We saw an 18% reduction in loneliness, a 23% reduction in anxiety, and 19% reduction in alcohol consumption,” said Annie Klein, manager of communications and program outreach for Peer Assistant Services.

The study found that, of the 815 participants, 53% were severely lonely. The measurement is based on the accredited UCLA Loneliness Scale.

According to Klein, Wisdo is not meant to be used as a replacement for community but can be supplemental and beneficial to individuals struggling with mental-health issues.

“What we’re building with Wisdo is the ability to connect any of the users that have joined to resources in their communities,” she said. “So if you need a higher level of care, if you know the peer support isn’t really enough for what you’re you’re dealing with, we will connect you to resources in your community.”