Today we're ensuring no employee is left behind with the launch of Unmind Help: mental health crisis support within the Unmind platform. Unmind Help integrates the most important aspects of an EAP with our full spectrum of support, making Unmind an end-to-end solution for our clients.
Why we need proactive and preventative care
In 2012 I was a Clinical Psychologist working for the NHS. Each day I would meet the most incredible people who, for a myriad of reasons, had reached crisis point and needed intervention.
Each person had endless potential. They had dreams, aspirations, and desires that were being challenged by their declining mental health. Many were hiding their struggle from their employer, families, and friends.
I remember thinking how much more effective my help would have been if I could have met them earlier. If, rather than fixing a crisis, we could have given them the skills to navigate the problem when it was more manageable.
I searched the market and found no such service. The closest I could find were employee assistance programmes (EAPs) – three letters so familiar to HR and business leaders, yet so rarely used by their intended audience.
The problem with EAPs
On average an EAP is used by 2-4% of a workforce, and by then they’ve often reached a crisis point.
EAPs were designed decades ago and it shows. They're notoriously hard to navigate, use the most rudimentary technology, and can feel frustratingly transactional to the few who do use them. As a result, the acronym itself promotes stigma.
While it’s commendable to see businesses invest in employees, it's frustrating to think our mentality hasn’t shifted from rescue to prevention since then.
An EAP is a life ring you throw from the riverbank when someone is drowning. I wondered how much more we could achieve if instead we focused our resources on teaching people how to swim.
From that thought, Unmind was born with the belief that investing in preventative mental health support is more effective than reacting to emergency needs.
We launched in 2016 with an ambition to help as many organisations as possible and reduce the number of employees that would ever need an EAP.
Initially we provided evidenced-based content and measurement tools, designed by our Science team and validated by world-renowned institutions. It empowered you to learn more about your own wellbeing and track it over time.
Over the next six years we grew alongside pioneering organisations that shared our belief.
Companies like Uber, Major League Baseball, Nationwide, Disney, Standard Chartered, Mediacom, and British Airways have helped shape the vision of what modern workplaces should be – and ultimately what Unmind would become.
Our clients have provided constant feedback about the challenges their employees faced over the last few turbulent years. CEOs and CHROs I speak to share the urgent challenges of the nature of modern work, the human difficulties we all encounter every day and the need to drive productivity by embedding mental health in every facet of their businesses.
The more I spoke to CEOs and CHROs, the clearer it became that supporting employee mental health isn't just the right thing to do – it's the single best way to improve performance.
Through this partnership Unmind has now evolved into the complete workplace wellbeing platform for achieving high performance.
- Unmind Insights helps executive teams understand workplace wellbeing performance, what it's costing them, and what they can do to improve it.
- Unmind Exec helps executive teams unlock wellbeing as a strategic advantage through leadership development and the design of work.
- Unmind Manager helps leaders create psychologically safe environments where teams can perform at their best.
- Unmind Elevate helps people measure, understand and improve their mental health with world-class content.
- Unmind Talk helps people to access accredited practitioners around the globe, bookable in minutes.
We’re proud of the speed in which we’ve been able to provide more ways to help, but also acknowledge there’s still more help needed.
Looking at the market, EAPs are still failing to meet the needs of the modern workforce. Too many people are left on hold to a helpline, trying to jump through hoops and ending up not even qualifying for the care they need.
Too often they’re presented with a single reactive solution without the support of a comprehensive, evidence-backed platform to help them.
Today, I am pleased to announce that we’re expanding the Employee Help section of our platform by adding immediate access to crisis support through Unmind Help.
What Unmind Help offers
Built directly into the existing Unmind platform, Unmind Help means your people can:
- Speak to someone 24/7, wherever they are in the world.
- Access an evolving range of in-the-moment wellbeing support including financial and legal support.
- Get the support they need to manage critical incidents.
While our goal is still to encourage people to proactively care for their mental health, we know that sometimes emergencies happen and reactive care is needed.
We’re still teaching people to swim. Now the life ring is there too — just in case.
Unmind Help is rolling out to select clients this month. If you're not yet partnered with us, book a call to find out more.