Video Interview from thebroker and The Ingage Institute with Florence von Guten


30.04.2024 / The third video interview from the collaboration between thebroker and The INGAGE Institute with psychologist Florence von Gunten, founder and CEO of “YLAH”, is about mental health issues.

Mental health is the state of the psyche or the health of the brain. You can be more or less mentally healthy or ill. Worldwide, around a third to almost half of all people are affected by a mental disorder at some point in their lives. This is when you experience a certain severity of symptoms over a certain period of time. One of the biggest risks is stress. A high level of stress causes people to develop more symptoms and depends on the person and their predisposition. For some people, for example, a high level of stress manifests itself in anxiety and for others more in depressive symptoms, which can vary.

Are burnouts a mental risk and how do you recognize them?

Burnout can be caused by high levels of stress, especially in the work environment, to the extent that you feel depressed, anxious and burnt out. You are exhausted in your ability to perform. There are various simple tests on the Internet to find out whether you are suffering from burnout. Florence von Gunten would not rely on these. A specialist is needed to make a diagnosis.

If you feel bad over a longer period of two weeks or more, you should first consult your family doctor. A specialist should be consulted at the latest when you feel that your social behavior is also restricted, your family relationships and your ability to work are impaired.

What can be done to prevent burnout?

Mental health problems are mainly caused by high levels of stress. So anything that is done to reduce stress levels is good and helps to prevent mental disorders. For some people, this can be yoga, jogging or going out. For others, it’s reading a book on the sofa. Everyone should try to find out for themselves what is good for them and helps to reduce stress. This should be practiced frequently, especially in times of stress or high workloads.

Mental health problems cause high insurance costs

By reducing stress and preventing mental disorders, long-term and serious mental illnesses can be avoided, which cause high costs in the health insurance system. Prevention can save costs. There are several studies that prove that if work were done on prevention, a lot of money could be saved

Transformations in psychotherapy

An important part of psychotherapy is to understand the problems that people have. Therapy means thinking about one’s own behavior, thinking and feelings and first trying to understand what the problem is. Based on this, you can then consider which interventions are appropriate. In other words, which interventions can be used to start interrupting certain ways that lead to a bad feeling or a bad experience.

It’s hard work because it means you have to change in your daily life, which is never easy. You have to be open to trying new things. Whether it’s starting to be more physically active or changing certain things. It takes time and effort.

How does “YLAH” work?

“YLAH” takes place in the patient’s daily life, i.e. between sessions. For example, exercises are taught on how to rethink in a more positive way. It can also be observation exercises: What happens to your thoughts, feelings, body reactions when you are in a conflict situation? These reflections can help you to experience a lower level of stress in a conflict. This in turn makes you better able to expand your ideas and find a constructive solution. It is important to apply it in daily life and give yourself the opportunity to practice a lot.

What impact does social media have?

There is a lot of evidence that social media causes some of the stress we experience in everyday life. Because, for example, it triggers mechanisms such as social comparison, which can lower our self-esteem and cause a lot of stress.

Florence von Guten: Founder of the start-up “YLAH”

Florence von Gunten is the founder and CEO of “YLAH – Blended Psychotherapy”. YLAH is developing medical software that can be used in psychotherapy or health coaching. The specialist uses this software together with the patient. It is a mixed (blended) setting consisting of on-site sessions and online psychotherapy and also promotes the use of the therapy between sessions. Therapy therefore not only takes place during the therapy session, but the therapist can also download certain exercises, questionnaires and journals to the patient’s cell phone via the app.

Business model and future

The business model of “YLAH” is B2B. This means that the start-up sells its solution to psychiatric-psychotherapeutic institutions in order to offer it to their patients. There are offers in the inpatient and outpatient sectors. In the outpatient sector, joint practices as well as individual therapists are addressed. “YLAH” is convinced of this new methodology, which has proven its greater effectiveness and cost efficiency in various studies.

Compared to other apps, “YLAH” is intended for clinical use, i.e. for patients who have been diagnosed with a disease. With “YLAH”, the patient receives guidance and support from a professional.  In this niche of blended psychotherapy as medical device software, the start-up is the first provider in Switzerland.

Goals of “YLAH” for the coming months

The main goal is to certify the product as a medical device. The development of the software has been completed. The most important milestone in Q2 is registration with Swiss doctors. Once achieved, “YLAH” will be free for the Swiss and European market, as all applications to date have been in the context of research and pilot trials.

Binci Heeb