The Intersection of AI Education and Mental Health

February 14, 2024

In the whirlwind of corporate life, where tasks stack up and deadlines loom, one essential aspect often remains overlooked: mental health. As Kathleen Pike, CEO of One Mind at Work, aptly puts it, "We can be really focused on high performance and productivity, but only if we keep track of and pay attention to the mental health and well-being of the workforce."

It's a truth underscored by staggering figures. According to the World Economic Forum, the global economy suffers a staggering $2.5 trillion annually due to poor mental health—a tab that threatens to swell to $6 trillion by 2030. Such a staggering toll not only draws attention but also demands action. Sheri Bronstein, CHRO of Bank of America, attests to the shifting tides as she notes a curious trend: graduates, perched on the precipice of professional life, inquire about mental health benefits during interviews at BOA. It's a testament to the new generation's call for change in the workplace.

Amidst the corporate chatter, one disheartening fact echoes loud and clear: only 1 in 4 companies boasts a mental health strategy. It's a sobering reality that signals a dire need for systemic change in how mental health is perceived and prioritised within organisational frameworks. As workplaces grapple with the relentless pace of technological advancements, the intersection of education and artificial intelligence offers a glimmer of hope. Through proactive initiatives, we believe that by leveraging AI's capabilities to enhance emotional intelligence, resilience, and work-life balance, organisations can pave the way for a more supportive and mentally healthy workplace culture.

The Open Study College findings at Mental Health Awareness Week

The potential psychological risks of AI without guidance

With new technology, it's not only about its capabilities but also about how we interact with it. Research from the National Library of Medicine has drawn connections between heightened social media usage and increased levels of anxiety and depression. While technology often offers advantages, our humanity means we may not always fully understand its impact on our minds. With the emergence of Artificial Intelligence, similar risks come into play with novel dynamics.

Anxiety: As AI systems become more prevalent in the workplace, individuals may experience feelings of anxiety stemming from uncertainty about how these systems operate and what outcomes to expect. The lack of understanding and control over AI functionalities can contribute to a sense of unease, amplifying concerns about job security and performance.

Addiction: The allure of AI-powered technology can lead to addictive behaviors, as individuals find themselves drawn to the convenience and efficiency offered by these systems. The incessant need to check devices and engage with AI-driven apps can disrupt work-life balance and erode social connections, fueling a cycle of dependency and withdrawal.

Social Isolation: Excessive reliance on AI interactions may inadvertently isolate individuals from meaningful human connections. Spending prolonged periods engaging with AI systems can diminish opportunities for face-to-face interactions, leading to a diminished sense of community and belonging in the workplace and beyond.

Depression: The perceived superiority of AI systems may evoke feelings of inadequacy and helplessness in some individuals, precipitating symptoms of depression and low self-esteem. The relentless pursuit of efficiency and perfection inherent in AI-driven environments can exacerbate existing mental health challenges, furthering the cycle of despair.

Paranoia: The rapid advancement of AI technology fuels apprehensions about safety, security, and the future of human autonomy. Fears of AI encroaching upon decision-making processes and usurping human roles can breed paranoia.

In the complex interplay between AI integration and human psychology, it is imperative to acknowledge and address the potential psychological impacts of AI without guidance. At Digital Bricks, we believe that with open dialogue, promoting digital literacy and foundational knowledge, and prioritising a human-centric approach, organisations can mitigate risks and thrive towards a more mentally healthy workforce that understands and appreciates the technology. We truly believe that without adequate hands-on interactive training, individuals can get lost in many of the conditions we mentioned.

It’s important to note that not everyone will experience these negative psychological impacts when using AI systems, and many people find AI to be helpful and beneficial. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks associated with technology use and to take steps to mitigate these risks when possible.

Mitigating mental health risks with AI Education

During our recent workshop with a marketing team in Amsterdam, at the beginning of the workshop, we had a simple raise of hands to decipher who has or is using AI tools like ChatGPT. It was very apparent that individuals were hesitant to acknowledge their use, perceiving it negatively. We see this as a glaring opportunity to reframe minds to understand that artificial intelligence is a tool, akin to a carpenter employing an electric saw. Through open dialogue, education, and cultural transformation, we can liberate teams to evolve in their roles.

Digital Bricks strategies to safeguarding mental health in the age of AI

First, it's important to set boundaries. In all of our sessions with teams, whether it be marketing, DevOps, or sales, we emphasise the importance of a human-centric approach, avoiding overuse to prevent addiction and reduce feelings of anxiety or depression.

Keeping up-to-date with the latest developments through a life-long learning approach is key to both continued success and satisfaction within roles. Training refreshers and new approaches to learning reduce feelings of helplessness or paranoia, and maintaining control over the tools you use promotes a healthier relationship with technology.

We believe it's necessary for lines of support to be available when learning and implementing new tools in workflows. Digital Bricks offers support to anybody following our online courses or taking part in a workshop. Our open communication and support network provides solace and guidance, promoting emotional resilience in the face of technological uncertainty.

Being mindful of the limitations and potential biases of AI systems is key; individuals should avoid relying solely on AI-generated information. At Digital Bricks, our methods develop critical thinking skills, and we promote learners to solve problems through analysing and seeking multiple sources for decision-making.

When harnessed correctly, AI drives unimaginable productivity. This increase allows individuals to allocate more time to projects they're passionate about. At Digital Bricks, we are strong believers that this results in job satisfaction and workplace happiness.

Last but certainly not least, AI ethics are more often than not overlooked, but when understood by employees, they can make a massive difference in their approach to AI. Teams that understand the ethical implications of artificial intelligence are more likely to treat it with respect, using the appropriate safeguards in place to protect privacy, autonomy, and other important values.

Our Conclusion

Through our meticulous approach to AI education, our goal is to cultivate resilience and empower individuals to navigate AI with confidence and clarity. We firmly believe that harnessing AI's transformative potential to drive productivity and efficiency is most effective when paired with a focus on workplace well-being.

If you are interested in our services, Book your free consultation here, or contact us at