War Paint for Men founder launches JAAQ – an online platform offering advice from leading mental health experts
The new online tool, Just Ask a Question (JAAQ) uses a combination of AI and voice recognition to answer hundreds of questions about mental health
Men’s makeup pioneer, Danny Gray has launched a mental health platform ahead of World Mental Health Day where you can ask a question and have it answered by experts via pre-recorded videos.
The new online tool is called Just Ask a Question (JAAQ) and it uses a combination of AI and voice recognition to answer hundreds of commonly asked questions about mental health, all at the click of a button.
So whether you want to know more about depression, psychosis, body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), or more, you can use the platform to ask your questions and get immediate information.
“Our vision for JAAQ is to change the world of mental health, one question at a time,” said Gray. “This is the first solution to provide information support to individuals and the people close to them from the very beginning of their journey; it is aimed at preventing them reaching that crisis stage.”
Gray, who previously appeared on Dragon’s Den, founded the makeup brand, War Paint for Men and recently opened the world’s first men’s makeup store. For more than 20 years, the entrepreneur has lived with body dysmorphic disorder and was inspired to create JAAQ after being regularly asked questions about the condition. He also noticed there was an ever-widening gap in support and information for those experiencing mental health issues.
The app isn’t a diagnostic tool, but its aim is to encourage more people to seek help for their mental health early on and the advice comes from world-leading professionals and people with experience, including celebrities who have had, or are living with a mental health condition.
This includes medical experts such as Dr Erin Turner, a Consultant Psychiatrist who specialises in the early intervention of psychosis; Professor Paul Gilbert OBE, a Clinical Psychologist; and Professor David Veale, a Consultant Psychiatrist.
Celebrities include actor David Harewood, who lives with psychosis, and former political strategist and now author and TV presenter, Alastair Campbell, who has depression.
Currently, the app focuses on expert information about depression, psychosis, and body dysmorphia, but the platform is rapidly developing and expanding to include more mental health conditions. The conditions Gray is focusing on next include OCD, anxiety, eating disorders and the impact racism can have on mental health.
You can choose between verbally asking the speaker your question, or typing your question into the app. You need to keep it short and clear to limit confusion and have a better chance of getting your question answered.
If a speaker doesn’t know the answer to the question the program will then offer you alternative, similar questions to try. There is also an In Crisis page which lists a host of support options for people who are struggling.
If you’re suffering from a mental illness JAAQ is also great for your family members or friends to learn and understand more about what you’re going through.
Mental health issues affect 1 in 4 people worldwide and in the UK 12.5% of men are suffering from one of the common mental health disorders. That’s why such valuable schemes like The Lions Barber Collective and JAAQ are vital in helping men get the support and help they need.
As well as using the app, there’s also the option to visit the JAAQ pod at Gray’s Warpaint store on Carnaby Street, London. It’s a first of its kind, immersive experience that’s totally free. Once in the pod, you can ask the experts on screen all your questions.
You can come along by yourself, or bring a friend or family member with you. There’s also a JAAQ van, that’s very similar to the pod, and which can visit schools, sporting events, and festivals, bringing mental health support across the UK.
“We’re really proud of this platform and hope it is able to offer vital information to some of the millions out there who are waiting for help or have questions to ask about a loved one,” added Gray.
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