The Licensed Trade Charity said it saw requests for support — in the form of practical advice, financial grants, and emorional support — grow by 300% in March.

Through CareFirst, which delivers its 24-hour Helpline, the group can offer the Woebot app, free of charge, for three months to people in the licensed trade.

This is a personal, emotional guide that will check in with users every day to see how they are doing. It will help track their mood, change their thinking, set goals, practice mindfulness, and gain insights into users’ patterns. The aim is to help users feel better in the moment by walking them through techniques proven to work, all in fun, brief, daily conversations.

The app has been adapted to give specific support during the Covid-19 crisis and will work with users daily to reduce stress, combat isolation, and help support with the symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Licensed Trade Charity chief executive, Jim Brewster said: “At a time when our sector balances huge emotional and economic pressures, it continues to pull together, collaborate, and support each other, I’m so pleased to be able to offer this tool, free of charge, to further support their mental wellbeing at this incredibly difficult time.”

Lesley Davidson, director of CareFirst, added: “When accessing Woebot through CareFirst, if the bot detects crisis language from the user, it will confirm with the user, and then provide resources, specifically directing them to one of our BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) accredited and employed counsellors.”

To download Woebot, visit the App Store or wherever you usually get your apps from, or follow the link on the Licensed Trade Charity website — you will need to use code cfgen to access the app free of charge for three months.

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