The Gen XY Lifestyle

Groundbreaking study shares major strides in Asian mental health landscape

By  |  0 Comments

In a milestone for mental health in Asia, the International Medical University, Malaysia’s largest medical university, has conducted the first large-scale study examining the effectiveness of digitally-guided mental health interventions.

The International Medical University (IMU) study, in partnership with ThoughtFull, a digital mental health company, showcased significant improvements in symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression across multiple occupational demographics.

For years, there has been a pressing need for culturally tailored mental health solutions in Asia. With 82 percent of Asian employees identified as having medium to high mental health risks, the demand for effective interventions is paramount.

Recognising this, IMU embarked on a comprehensive study that delved into the impact of ThoughtFull’s unique approach to mental health support, which combines daily bite-sized coaching via text with certified mental health professionals and self-guided tools.

mental wellness

The intervention group experienced a statistically significant decrease in depression and anxiety scores, showcasing the potency of ThoughtFull’s methodology. Corporate staff and females emerged as the groups with the most notable improvements. Corporate staff demonstrated a significant reduction in stress, depression, and anxiety, while females exhibited significant enhancements in depression and anxiety compared to their male counterparts.

Since founding Thoughtfull, we have been intentional in designing every aspect of our mental health solution for the nuanced Asian market, such as the design of algorithms to find the best-fit professional for the individual.

Joan Low, ThoughtFull CEO
mental wellness

The results of the study affirm this approach, demonstrating that companies investing in ThoughtFull are witnessing a utilisation rate more than tenfold the average, along with a remarkable 60 percent in cost savings compared to traditional Employee Assistance Plans.

Mobile apps are so widely used for many things and this study adds to the growing body of evidence on the benefits of intelligently designed digital tools in connecting users to mental health professionals and improving their mental wellbeing.

Professor Lim Kean Ghee led the project at IMU

This study is particularly noteworthy as it addresses a critical gap in research, which historically has predominantly focused on Western settings. For the first time, this research provides insights specific to Asian populations, showcasing the potential of digitally-driven mental health interventions.

This landmark study serves to add more information, context and colour for those seeking effective mental health solutions in Asia. As the demand for mental health support continues to rise, studies like this offer a blueprint for customised and effective interventions that can truly make a difference.

The full report can be found at:

Image By Freepik and by Image by benzoix