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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Catholic Charities Offering Immediate, Easy Access to Mental Health Support through AI-Driven Pilot Texting Program

PHOENIX, Ariz. (September 1, 2021): Catholic Charities Community Services is making access to easy and immediate mental health support through an artificial intelligence (AI)-driven chatbot named Hope.

Catholic Charities is able to offer the service through a partnership between Catholic Charities USA and X2AI, which developed the technology for this digital behavioral change program that coaches people through tough times to build resilience by having text message conversations, similar to texting with a friend or coach.

At its most basic level, a chatbot is a computer program that stimulates and processes human conversation, either written or spoken, allowing humans to interact with digital devices as if they were communicating with a real person.

“X2AI’s unique technology will help individuals build resilience through tough times,” said Catholic Charities Community Services President and CEO Paul Mulligan. “At Catholic Charities, we consistently look for and use the most innovative solutions available to address the needs in the communities we serve as we walk alongside our clients to permanent solutions. We are glad to add this benefit for our clients.”

Individuals interested in accessing the service can text the code CCCSAZ to 1-202-949-7249 to start the chat. Mental health wellness tips and emotional support will be provided by Hope. If an individual’s texted keywords indicate they may be in a crisis and contemplating suicide, he or she would immediately be connected to a crisis counselor for personal help.

X2AI CEO and Founder Michiel Rauws said that in the past year, “X2AI has provided mental health support to hundreds of thousands of people, and de-escalated

thousands of suicidal crisis situations. We are honored to be able to partner with Catholic Charities USA to provide our service free of charge to many people in need.”

Built by clinical psychologists, the chatbot connects clients through AI-driven text conversations available in both English and Spanish 24 hours a day, 7-days a week. According to X2AI, research studies found that using the chatbot led to significantly reduced symptoms, on average by 28% for depression and 18% for anxiety.

For more information about Catholic Charities Community Services, visit http://www.CatholicCharitiesAz.org.

About Catholic Charities Community Services:

Founded in 1933, Catholic Charities provides care for the vulnerable of all faiths in central and northern Arizona through programs in foster care, early education, veteran services, refugee resettlement, and homeless outreach. Housing for Hope, a separate 501c3, is an affiliate of Catholic Charities and provides affordable housing. Learn more by visiting www.catholiccharitiesaz.org or www.housingforhopeAZ.org. Social connections include www.facebook.com/CatholicCharitiesAZ and twitter.com/CCArizona.

Contact:
Jean Christofferson
Catholic Charities Community Services
602-650-4847

Catholic Charities is committed to making reasonable accommodations to the special needs of individuals with disabilities meeting the eligibility requirements of all versions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) so these persons have access to available employment opportunities and services. To contact us if you are deaf or hard of hearing, please dial 7-1-1 to access the free telecommunications relay service.