United Ways of California Offers Affordable Mental Health Support Using Text Messaging

The Challenge

Provide mental health support through United Way's version of Tess

The Result

12,680 people have received mental health support
172% increase in access in 5 months
71.5 Helpfulness score

X2 has partnered with United Ways to deliver mental health support through Tess as part of multiple different initiatives, including United Way 211. Tess is a mental wellness chatbot, available 24/7 as a source of support and resources. Through United Way 211's stress program, Tess is made available to anyone who texts "stress" to 211-211.

Tess offers people a safe space to talk about various mental health concerns like anxiety, depression, stress, and grief. Tess is trained by clinical psychologists to deliver tools and healthy habits based on a variety of psychological modalities, in a way that is encouraging and easy to understand. Through our partnership, we have been able to support over 12,680 people, resulting in over 339,875 messages exchanged. 59 people experiencing a crisis were de-escalated by Tess or our call center. Had they gone with traditional therapy, it would have cost over $16,762,900 to achieve the same results.

When asked why they'd refer Tess to a friend, one chatter replied: "I felt so overwhelmed and depressed, and this has helped me feel less alone." Another chatter said: "You gave me good tips I have never heard of and that's rare because I am more interested in mental health than most. You didn't give some generic list I've seen before." Someone else responded: "My friend suffers from depression and this resource would be a primary source for them."

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