How Yana’s Mental Health App Utilizes Generative AI to Enhance Its Chatbot


Yana’s Mental Health App Utilizes Generative AI to Enhance Its Chatbot, Andrea Campos, the founder and CEO of Yana, has a deeply personal connection to the mental health care app she created. Struggling with depression for years, Campos launched Yana in 2017 to provide emotional companionship through a chatbot, primarily for Spanish speakers. Since then, Yana has grown to serve 15 million users across Latin America and the U.S., recently expanding to offer support in English.

Embracing Generative AI

Initially, Yana’s chatbot did not use generative AI. Campos and her team relied on decision trees to design and safeguard the chatbot’s responses. However, the launch of ChatGPT in 2022 marked a turning point. The capabilities of generative AI were too significant to ignore. Campos realized that adopting this technology was not a matter of if, but when, to stay competitive and relevant.

Integrating generative AI posed challenges, especially given the rapid adoption across the tech industry. Fortunately, Yana had an edge: years of operation had amassed over 2 billion data points, invaluable for fine-tuning the AI model to meet the app’s specific needs. Tailoring the AI to provide appropriate mental health support was crucial, ensuring that responses were both safe and intelligent.

Challenges in Developing an AI Wellness Companion

Creating an effective AI wellness companion is no small feat. One of the foremost challenges was ensuring the chatbot provided safe and adequate responses to users’ emotional needs. The initial focus on Spanish-speaking users added complexity. Spanish, with its regional dialects, slang, and cultural nuances, posed difficulties because most AI models were predominantly trained in English. Understanding and responding to crisis signals in Spanish required meticulous attention to linguistic and cultural details.

Expanding to the U.S. Market

Entering the U.S. market was a strategic move despite the existing array of English-language AI companions. Most of these AI companions were either not designed for emotional support or were targeted at business applications. Campos and her team saw an opportunity to offer English-speaking users the same supportive tools that had already proven successful in Latin America. Additionally, with a significant Latino population in the U.S., Yana aimed to reach Spanish speakers who could benefit from its services.

The Future of Yana with Generative AI

Yana’s adoption of generative AI represents a significant evolution in its ability to provide mental health support. By leveraging advanced AI technology, Yana can offer more nuanced and empathetic interactions, enhancing the user experience. The company’s extensive database of user interactions allows for continuous improvement and personalization of the chatbot’s responses.

Commitment to Mental Health

Despite the technological advancements, Yana’s mission remains focused on providing emotional support and companionship. The use of generative AI is a tool to better achieve this goal, ensuring that users receive reliable and compassionate responses. As Yana continues to grow, its commitment to mental health and well-being is unwavering.


Yana’s journey from a simple chatbot to a sophisticated AI-driven mental health app highlights the transformative potential of generative AI. By embracing this technology, Yana has been able to expand its reach and improve its service, providing vital support to millions of users. As the app continues to evolve, its focus on tailored, culturally sensitive, and emotionally intelligent responses will remain at the forefront, ensuring it remains a valuable resource for mental health support in both Spanish and English-speaking communities.


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