Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and Information for Healthcare Professionals

What is ChatPal?

ChatPal is a multilingual chatbot app that has been designed to promote good mental health of citizens in rural areas across Europe. The chatbot is focused around positive psychology and can converse in English, Swedish, Finnish and Scottish Gaelic. ChatPal can’t make a diagnosis, but instead it provides tools to help promote mental wellbeing.The ChatPal chatbot service is intended to be part of a blended approach for mental health care, with a focus on complementing existing face-to-face services, but not replacing them. This video provides an overview of the ChatPal project.

You can also find out more information on the project website here:

What does it do?

ChatPal helps you learn about mental wellbeing, and go through exercises to help you feel better. Key aspects of ChatPal include:

  • Measure your own wellbeing
  • ChatPal promotes positive behaviour change across all areas of your life
  • Use evidence based exercises and concepts from the exciting area of positive psychology.
  • Promotes goal setting to help keep you motivated and help you progress 
  • Discover hints and tips to help you make better decisions and take that first step towards positive mental wellbeing 
  • Provides you with a platform to reflect on your mental and physical health



What features are available in ChatPal?

The table below shows all of the features that are available in Chatpal, under each of the menu and sub-menu items.


Main MenuSub-menusDescription
● Engagement
● Relationships
● Meaning
● Accomplishment
● Health
Information on how to maintain positive emotions and good physical health, develop relationships, increase engagement as well as engendering a sense of accomplishment and meaning

ACTIVITIES FOR A BETTER YOUPeaceful mind● Treat yourself like a friend
● Soothing Touch
● Relax
● Hope Box
● Mindful Sounds
● Mindful Steps
● Exercise on self compassion

● Exercise on self compassion

● Guide on how to relax and different techniques for relaxation.

● Write down things that give ‘hope’.

● Walkthrough of a simple mindfulness exercise without analysing emotions or thoughts too deeply.

● Walkthrough of short mindfulness exercise
Learning and Achieving Goals● Growth Mindset
● Goal Setting
● Positive Activity Goal
● Goal Quality Check
● Wheel of Life
● Teaching that more can be gained through having a growth, rather than fixed mindset

● Introduce SMART goal setting technique (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and resourced, Time Limited)

● Set a positive goal for the day ● Check that goal is SMART

 ● Reflecting on different aspects of life, then setting goals for any specific areas to improve.
New Perspectives● Values
● The Sailboat Metaphor
● Self Reflection Journal
● Gratitude Journal
● Guide to help users consider what is important to them

● Metaphor addressing human functioning from a holistic perspective

● Enhance self-esteem with positive self reflection based on prompts

● Write ‘gratitude statements’ and view them at any time
Information about Mental Health● WHO Wellbeing Scale

● Mood Logging

● How to Help Someone

 ● Tips to Manage Loneliness

● Local Support

● 5 Ways to Wellbeing
● 5-item scale to measure wellbeing, from World Health Organisation

● User rates their mood and can visualise graphs of their mood overall and across days of the week

● Advice on how to support someone who needs help/ is struggling with their mental health

● Suggestions on things to do to mitigate feelings of loneliness

● Advice on how to find local mental health support, including numbers for local crisis helplines

● Introduce the 5 ways to wellbeing by using digital storytelling and suggest other conversations/ exercises.
THOUGHTS DIARY Dependent on previous activities completedStores your previous written entries with ChatPal. You can also use this as a diary or notebook by choosing “add a thought”.
MY EXERCISESDependent on previous exercises completedStores previously completed exercises so you can get back to them



Who is it for?

ChatPal can be used by anyone over the age of 18. Although ChatPal promotes good mental wellbeing, we don’t recommend it for those with severe mental ill health. If you are experiencing a crisis situation then ChatPal can provide links to local helplines for those living in the UK, Ireland, Sweden and Finland.

Where can I find it?

Chatpal is available on both Apple and Android. Android devices:

How was it developed?

ChatPal has been developed through collaboration with mental health care professionals and potential users in the general population. The features and content have been informed by workshops with both groups to gather information on what people need and want from a chatbot. Mental health professionals were also surveyed to explore attitudes towards prescribing chatbots. Multi-disciplinary teams, including technologists and mental health experts from industry and academia have been involved in developing and signing off ChatPal content. The chatbot will be trialled across Northern Ireland, Scotland, Finland, Sweden and Ireland in late 2021-2022.

Does ChatPal store personal information?

ChatPal will ask for your first name/nickname, age and gender. All other data collected and stored by the app is anonymous, including your app usage data and surveys. We use these anonymous data to explore how you get value and benefit from using it, and we may use this to make improvements in the future. In order to get your thoughts and opinions, the app has inbuilt anonymous measurement of your app usage and responses to questions within it (e.g. how are you feeling?).

Is the information collected by the app secure?

Data collected by ChatPal is safely stored in a relational database. We use a service called RDS from Amazon Web Services (AWS) to achieve this. Various security measures, such as virtual private cloud, have been implemented to protect stored data from unauthorised access.

Information for healthcare professionals

What is the best way to recommend digital health apps?

In the UK, a recent study found that health apps were most likely to be prescribed to patients if they had an NHS stamp of approval or if they were recommended by health care providers . Text messages and emails from reputable sources that link to the app are the best way to prescribe digital interventions such as ChatPal. The UK based organisation ORCHA , who provide services to help to deliver quality assured apps, recommend this approach. ORCHA have a Digital Health App Library in which health professionals can safely find, compare and recommend assessed apps to service users or specific groups by email or text. NHS Digital also found that sending text messages to patients was the most effective method in getting downloads of their NHS app.

How should healthcare professionals recommend ChatPal?

The best way to promote Chatpal is making it as easy as possible to download the app, as sometimes searching on the app store can bring back multiple apps with similar names. The two best options for recommending Chatpal include the use of marketing material and directly messaging clients.

  1. Marketing material
  • Create marketing material, such as a poster or flyer with information on the ChatPal app (who it is for, what it does etc) 
  • The marketing material should also contain a QR code that people can scan to get the app from the Google Play or Apple Store 2. Messaging clients 
  • Use an email or text messaging service to contact clients who have already consented to be contacted in this way, by their healthcare provider. 
  • Send a message to clients informing them of ChatPal and include a direct link to download the app on the Google Play or Apple Store

2. Marketing material

  • Use an email or text messaging service to contact clients who have already consented to be contacted in this way, by their healthcare provider. 
  • Send a message to clients informing them of ChatPal and include a direct link to download the app on the Google Play or Apple Store