How can tech help improve employee mental health?

How can tech help improve employee mental health?

Twitch has come under scrutiny for not doing enough to support the mental health of its streamers. A report on the popular streaming platform by the BBC reveals that streamers are encouraged to spend an unhealthy amount of time online, which significantly damages their mental health.

In England alone, one in four people will experience a mental health problem. This can range from anxiety and depression to distress and anger – symptoms that can be exacerbated in a stressful working environment. In fact, a survey by health insurance provider BHSF found that 40% of workplace absence is due to mental health issues.

But, with work being such an integral part of our lives – and the prospect of a four-day working week still looking more like a pipe dream – it is important that employees receive the tools they need to tackle the everyday challenges of office life, especially during a time when COVID has greatly deteriorated people’s mental health.

For many small to medium businesses, investing in workplace benefits or a dedicated HR team can be costly, so a simple and cost-effective way to help employees manage their mental health is through mobile apps and digital tools.

The pioneering Calm for Business app is currently offered by more than 1,000 employers. From the app, employees can practice mindfulness, tap into relaxation and meditation exercises, and learn sleep improvement techniques.

Talkspace is another company that offers online therapy, coaching resources, and exercises. For employees wanting a human touch, you can also connect with a therapist or counselor for text or video sessions.

A recent survey by the NHS, published in BMJ, found that women are at a higher risk of developing mental health disorders than men. One startup hoping to lend busy women a hand is Clementine, which has designed an app containing tools to reduce stress and anxiety through sleep sessions, courses, and inspiring reminders.

Ultimately, employers stand to gain a lot by helping foster an environment where staff feel able to talk openly about mental health. By showing greater understanding, education, and action, employees will feel valued and reinvigorated in the workplace.

So what are they waiting for?

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