It’s likely most of us can relate to facing a mental health issue at work. Be it stress, anxiety or depression, mental health conditions are normal and can strike at different stages of our lives. In any given week, across the UK one in six of us will be facing a mental health condition in the workplace. You apply this company-wide and businesses can face large costs due to employee absence.
Whilst businesses are taking the relevant steps to implement mental health support at work. Mental Health First Aiders, Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) and private mental health care are all fantastic ideas to integrate, albeit also costly to many SMEs and start-ups. This leaves us wondering if the cost is heading in the right direction.
The Issue Companies Are Facing
A study performed by Workplace Intelligence and Oracle discovered 7 in 10 employees declared 2020 being their most stressful year at work. Whilst a pandemic affects employees at every level, executives in the C-Suite are experiencing the highest levels of anxiety amongst us all. Coupled with pre-existing mental health conditions this can amount to high-levels of burnout.
There is a high degree of uncertainty looming over many of us right now. It’s a situation unfamiliar and unknown to us. However due to stigmatisation and lack of education surrounding mental health, people are afraid to open up to other humans. We’re afraid we’ll be judged, ridiculed or cause damage to our career. Employees often express they wish to be treated like a human, however many mental health support systems in place are often outdated or have a clinical approach that dehumanises the experience.
How Technology Can Help
It’s a given, digital disruption is the biggest threat to humankind when it comes to feeling the need to always be “on”. 2020 has shown us we can quite literally perform any task on either a mobile, tablet or desktop. However, as we begin to digitally evolve and we integrate more tools into our everyday lives, why can’t our mental health needs be met in the same way?
Workplace-specific support needn’t be done through a physical person or by investing in hefty courses to educate staff. Instead, support can be delivered to your employees’ hands, 24/7 at a fraction of the cost.
In the same study conducted by Workplace Intelligence and Oracle, 68% of employees admitted they prefer to talk to a robot (bot) or an app as opposed to a human. Whilst 82% of people say AI is better than humans when it comes to providing mental health support.
Businesses who prefer to build a happy and healthy environment would need to take a holistic approach in supporting the wellbeing of their staff. Rather than slandering technology for what it can’t do, workplaces can begin to embrace what it can do.
Technology Is Available 24/7
You’re currently in therapy, you’re overloaded with deadlines at work and you’re left feeling pretty stressed and overwhelmed. Your next therapy session isn’t for another six days. What do you do? Well, you have to wait. To which, you might be feeling better by the time you next speak with your therapist. Not only can this cause you to forget what may have happened, but you’re also not able to address the issue at the moment. With technology at our fingertips, we can log and track emotions and thoughts as they happen. And support them in real-time.
Technology is Non-Judgemental
We can trawl through the internet looking for articles and resources that might help but these can be outdated or often not tailored to our specific needs. Technology doesn’t care about your gender, race or class. All answers are non-biased and vetted by healthcare professionals from all walks off life with zero judgement. This harbours a breeding ground for individuals to be honest about how they feel; which enables them to tackle the issue head-on.
It Helps Employees to Thrive
Think of mental health technology as the sympathetic ear you need in a real-life therapist. The only difference is the information is kept entirely private removing any room for judgement. An environment that feels safe and protected opens avenues for employees to talk openly in the same way they would in therapy.
Tech partnerships in mental health not only promotes the importance of our mental health but it also empowers your employees. Embracing what technology can do for our wellbeing improved employee satisfaction providing the opportunity for individuals to thrive.
Can We Help?
Our mission at Everymind is to destigmatise the conversations around mental health. We’re doing that by providing a tailored app for your employees to use 24/7 to help them look after and track their mental health. Our intuitive tool provides you with data and insights as their employer to advise you on how to better support your employees. We’re currently running a free trial to all new clients if you enquire before 1st January 2021. For more information, head here.