Projects / AI Innovation Challenge

Building an AI Driven Chatbot for PTSD Assessment Support

Project completed!

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Post-traumatic-stress-disorder (PTSD) is a global problem that affects millions of people. 32 Omdena Collaborators prototyped a machine learning driven chatbot to support under-resourced health-workers with PTSD assessment in war and refugee zones.

The problem

PTSD is affecting millions of people globally and can be triggered when an individual experiences a severely traumatic event. Instead of the trauma leveling off, it becomes a mental health condition. Symptoms include panic attacks, anxiety, uncontrollable thoughts, and more. Especially, in low-resource settings, such as war and refugee zones, PTSD is a significant problem. This is due to the lack of doctors and psychologists who can accurately assess and treat at-risk people. The result is that most people are not even aware of the possibility that they struggle with PTSD.

In the video below, Christoph von Toggenburg, who partnered up with Omdena as the CEO of Colour the World Foundation, describes the problem’s magnitude and his personal experience with PTSD. In 2009, he and his team got caught in an armed ambush in the Central African Republic.

The solution: A chatbot for PTSD assessment

The community focused on several research approaches and chatbot prototyping, which included:

  • Collaboratively obtaining patient datasets to enhance the project.
  • Utilizing MLFlow to organize a Machine Learning project and bolster the backend of the risk assessment chatbot.
  • Employing linear classifiers in NLP for PTSD risk evaluation.
  • Combining all tasks to create an intelligent, NLP and machine learning-powered chatbot.

For more information, visit our blog post linked below.

The impact

Christoph von Toggenburg, our challenge partner, personally experienced PTSD following an ambush on a truck he was traveling in during an emergency mission in the Central African Republic. Fortunately, he received effective treatment and now experiences minimal symptoms.

In response, Christoph initiated the BEATrauma project, which aims to support PTSD victims globally. The project envisions the development of a mobile app chatbot to engage users in conversation and evaluate their risk of PTSD. This is just one instance where AI can be employed to enhance mental health services and assist those in need.

We extend our gratitude to all community collaborators for their incredible contributions!

This project has been hosted with our friends at

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