Healthy Moms

A chatbot for perinatal depression

Most people who suffer from depression and other common mental disorders don't get treatment.

Often because they can't. In many communities, there are few (if any) providers to pay, even if you could afford the bill. More than 3 billion of us live in a country where there is only 1 psychiatrist for every 200,000 people. Psychologists are in even shorter supply.

We're exploring how artificial intelligence can be used to expand access to treatment for perinatal depression.

Our team of researchers at Duke University, AI experts at X2AI, and partners in Kenya (including Jacaranda Health and the Africa Mental Health Research and Training Foundation) are adapting an evidence-based treatment called Thinking Healthy for automated delivery via mobile phone in Kenya.

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Healthy Moms is a free program that supports pregnant women and new moms through the ups and downs of having a baby.

Get it on Google Play

Or try on a mobile phone browser at

Meet Zuri!

Zuri is a personal health coach. She is available 24/7 to chat for free via Facebook Messenger and SMS (Kenya). Try our demo.

Our companion digital journal has 15 lessons that span pregnancy through the first year of a child's life.

The original Thinking Healthy program was designed to be delivered in-person by non-specialist health workers. Healthy Moms is different because there is no in-person component of the program. While our remote model has many potential advantages in terms of scalability and sustainability, there are also potential limitations. For instance, a remote-only approach makes it hard to replicate the "health calendars" in the original Thinking Healthy program.

Not wanting to lose this component, we decided to create a companion workbook and journal for participants. The reading and writing approach will not be a good fit with everyone, but we see this journal as a first attempt to create curriculum materials designed specifically for pregnant women and new moms.

We shared the paper version of this journal under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC 4.0). Green, E. P. and the Healthy Moms Team (2019). Healthy Moms: A Journal for Pregnant Women and New Mothers. doi: 10.17605/OSF.IO/4KPZ2. This journal has not been endorsed by any individuals or groups, including the World Health Organization. Editable Google Doc files are available upon request.

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