Written by 8:10 am AI, Medical, Uncategorized

### Enhancing Military Mental Health Through AI Coaching for Suicide Prevention

HomeTeam is a digital training tool that supports veterans through mental health challenges. The cr…

This narrative discusses death. Please call the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 or 1-800-273-TALK ( 8255 ) if you or someone you know is considering suicide.

The primary objective of artificial intelligence is to safeguard the lives of American soldiers.

Introduced just this week, HomeTeam, a new ReflexAI product, aims to combat veteran suicide.

The company highlights that 17 veterans lose their lives to suicide daily, reflecting the ongoing mental health crisis in the nation.

In an interview with Fox News Digital, Reflex AI’s co-founders, Sam Dorison and John Callery, shed light on the functionality of HomeTeam.

soldiers consoling eachother

Despite 92% of veterans being open to offering or receiving support from another veteran during a crisis, only 25% actually take this step, as per ReflexAI’s findings.

HomeTeam serves as a digital educational tool empowering veterans with the necessary skills and confidence to assist their peers dealing with mental health challenges, as explained by Callery based in San Diego.

The instructional modules within HomeTeam cover topics such as establishing security, addressing death, providing support, and accessing resources.


Dorison from New York points out that while veterans are aware of the mental health services provided by the VA, they may not fully understand how they can actively contribute to supporting their peers in a unique peer-support environment.

Callery emphasizes that HomeTeam’s mental health education program leverages an AI model.

Upon completing a module, trainees engage in practical exercises by interacting with Blake, an AI chatbot.

hometeam dashboard

The educational modules, displayed on HomeTeam’s interface, are segmented into sub-units to cater to veterans who may struggle with concentration, according to ReflexAI.

Blake, the AI chatbot, is programmed to communicate in the manner of a genuine British military veteran.

The demeanor of Blake has had a profound impact on a 35-year-old Marine veteran based in Colorado Springs who is grappling with various challenges affecting his mental well-being.

Callery explains that Blake is designed to come across as authentic, using a friendly and familiar tone, including casual language, based on valuable feedback received from veterans.

Users of HomeTeam are encouraged to engage with Blake through open-ended questions to prompt the chatbot to open up about its thoughts.

hometeam chat simulation

HomeTeam encourages users to assist the bot, Blake, in overcoming its own mental health obstacles through simulated conversations.

Dorison emphasizes that building trust and motivating someone to open up requires more than just casual conversation; it involves taking proactive steps and establishing a foundation.

The realistic design of the exercises, meant to be challenging, reflects the real-life scenario where multiple attempts may be necessary to make progress.

Each unit prompts users to engage in diverse conversations with Blake to explore different strategies.

Callery underscores that HomeTeam’s AI is conceptually designed to be highly adaptable and agile while maintaining conversational flow.

john callery

John Callery, the co-founder and general product and technology officer of ReflexAI, describes HomeTeam as a digital training tool that equips veterans with the skills and confidence to support their peers dealing with mental health issues.

Dorison highlights that HomeTeam’s design as relational AI aims to foster human connections.

He elaborates, “Just as you practice in every other aspect of military life, why not practice in the most crucial area—mental health support for your former comrades?”

“We believe that this AI is crucial in enhancing the skills needed to build stronger relationships and enhance the well-being of your peers.”

Callery adds, “Veterans were integral in the development of HomeTeam,” allowing the developers to tailor the content to meet user needs and experiences.

sam dorison

Sam Dorison, the CEO of ReflexAI, expresses a “special dedication” to the veteran community due to shared family ties with military members.

Drawing from their familial connections with military personnel, Dorison emphasizes, “We feel a deep commitment to the veteran community.”

The inception of HomeTeam stemmed from ReflexAI presenting suggestions to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to enhance crisis training for veterans.

Through extensive research involving soldiers, national surveys, focus groups, and individual discussions, ReflexAI honed in on the importance of peer support, given that soldiers typically turn to the VA, family, and fellow soldiers during crises.

Veteran therapy

Dorison and Callery established ReflexAI in 2022 after their involvement as pro bono issue advocates and executives at the Trevor Project, a nonprofit organization, following their discovery of gaps in veteran support services.

With the support of an all-encompassing base, an Air Force Veteran and his family confronted PTSD directly.

Organizations like Humorous Soldiers, Stack Up, and the Purple Heart Foundation, which have implemented HomeTeam’s training, have provided positive feedback.

On Veterans Day, HomeTeam was publicly launched for free, accessible to all organizations and individuals.

couple sitting together

Callery notes that HomeTeam’s guidance on fostering open conversations has proven beneficial not only for experienced servicemen but also for individuals in their everyday interpersonal relationships.

He emphasizes, “Anyone can benefit from signing up.” While the focus is on seasoned servicemen, the insights gained are universally applicable for aiding other veterans in daily interactions.

Dorison sets a goal for one million veterans to utilize HomeTeam within the first month, aiming ultimately to impact the lives of 10 million veterans.

Dr. Harvey Castro, a board-certified emergency medicine physician from Dallas, Texas, specializing in disaster medicine, commended the potential benefits of the HomeTeam platform in enhancing communication skills and recognizing warning signs for timely intervention.

Dr. Harvey Castro

Dr. Harvey Castro, an expert in artificial intelligence in healthcare based in Dallas, Texas, reviewed the advantages and drawbacks of the new platform.

Castro believes that the software can educate users on effective communication strategies and early identification of warning signs crucial for prompt intervention.

While acknowledging the flexibility of AI, Castro cautions that it may lack the personalized touch of traditional therapy, potentially oversimplifying mental health complexities.

He also raises concerns about data privacy and the digital literacy of users.

Castro concludes that Reflex AI’s HomeTeam application represents a significant advancement in leveraging AI for veteran mental health support, combining informative content with community engagement for promising outcomes.

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Last modified: February 15, 2024
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