May 29, 2024
Health

6 Mental Health Apps For Work, To Try In 2024


Poor mental health is a serious crisis facing Americans, and U.S. employers need to urgently figure out—and prioritize—a solution.

More than 50 million Americans face mental health problems every year, according to a recent study by USA Today.

Anxiety tops the list as the most-reported mental health concern, which is understandable, due to the state of the economy and the unstable nature of the workforce. Sweeping layoffs, combined with the rising cost of living, uncertainty about one’s job, accumulating debts, and concern regarding international crises and events such as the war in Ukraine and the Israel/Palestine conflict, are driving millions of Americans into anxiety and depression, with the latter coming out as the second-most reported mental illness.

But unfortunately, more than half of this number—a shocking 28 million Americans—do not receive treatment to support their mental health.

Among the reasons for this, cost was the most commonly cited factor.

Other than affordability, some of the other causes for these people not receiving the help they need to support their mental health, include:

  • Not knowing where to get help
  • Believing they can handle it on their own
  • Insufficient time to focus on their mental health

Mental Health At Work

The shocking findings of this study highlight, more than ever before, the grave responsibility resting on employers.

Interestingly, low-income mothers suffering depression were found to be at greater risk of absenteeism at work, according to a 2023 peer-reviewed medical study, while flexible working policies and granting greater autonomy over work (such as part-time hours, remote working, and stopping the practice of micromanagement) were demonstrated to positively impact workplace productivity and performance.

As a leader or manager, any one of your team members could be part of the 50 million suffering with their mental health, or even worse, the 28 million who are not receiving mental health support.

It falls on you to actively support them, through having a strong mental health and wellbeing strategy, mental health focus days, and incorporating daily practices throughout your processes and work routines to ensure that all employees feel supported, regardless of their condition. You need to create a psychologically safe space so that team members can feel free to speak out and do not suffer in silence, and this includes paying attention to pay policies and flexible working arrangements.

Other than these solutions, encouraging the usage of mental health apps is one way of providing mental health support, as they place the power of enabling wellbeing in your team members’ fingertips—literally. They help with removing the “lack of time” barrier to supporting one’s mental health.

However, it’s essential to remember that empowering your employees with mental health apps is not a substitute for actual therapy or professional advice, but it can help them in coping with minor issues and complementing the support they receive from a mental health professional.

Mental Health Apps

  1. Headspace—this is one of the most popular apps for meditation, sleep, and stress-reduction.
  2. BetterHelp Therapy—with this app, you can access video calls and live chat with a personal therapist, after completing some basic questions.
  3. Insight Timer—free app that provides access to a library of thousands of guided meditations, live events, courses, and calm music. Some of the features are not free.
  4. Calm—for guided meditations and sleep stories.
  5. Mindshift—this is an evidence-based CBT therapy app to help manage anxiety.
  6. UCLA Mindful App—provides mindfulness exercises from the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center.

How To Encourage Employees To Use Mental Health Apps

Encouraging and supporting employee mental health benefits you in the long run as their employer. It boosts productivity, reduces sick days, and contributes to an overall positive work environment.

Here are some effective strategies you can use to engage your team members and motivating them to use mental health apps:

1. Host Training Sessions

You can host workshops or training sessions to educate employees about the importance of taking care of their mental health and the benefits of using mental health apps, pulling in external experts, or using in-house trainers. Use this as an opportunity to inform them and even do a walkthrough of the features and functionalities of different apps that are available.

2. Offer Subsidized Subscriptions

Discounts, subsidized subscriptions, and even including a subscription as part of your benefits package, in addition to EAP (employee assistance programs) can help with removing any financial barriers your employees might be facing when seeking mental health support.

3. Personalized 1-2-1 Support With Manager

Weekly or monthly performance reviews and appraisals are excellent occasions to not only discuss the physical, external performance of an employee, but also to check in with them on how they are feeling about their workload (especially in high-stress, high-pressure roles), and what support they might need from you or the company.

You can use this as an opportunity to offer personalized recommendations for mental health apps and activities that would suit their lifestyle and goals, while reinforcing the existing support that is available through EAP and other offerings.

Show your employees that you genuinely care about them, through making their wellbeing your priority. As Simon Sinek once said, “Our employees are human beings, not just functionaries.”



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