BeWell: Learnings from Customer Discovery

Mental health struggles are at an all-time high due to the impacts of COVID-19. Whether it’s due to social isolation, financial burden, grief, or other factors, we continue to experience a mental health epidemic that needs to be addressed. Currently, the economic burden of mental health issues in Canada is roughly $50 billion annually, and at least half a million Canadians do not attend work each week because of their struggles with mental health.

In response to the uptick in mental health diagnoses, MEMOTEXT is working with the University of Saskatchewan and the Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) to develop a mental health navigator and resource promotion tool. Through early customer discover in the employer space, we have been able to get an understanding of the need for this tool in many workplace settings.

Currently, employers are making investments in several areas to help support employee mental health. This includes:

  • Presentations/webinars for wellness
  • Sending out wellness bulletins that include lists of resources for mental health/covid-19
  • Art therapy/dog therapy
  • Increasing mental health allowances for benefits packages

While these are all important additions, the unfortunate reality is that there is not a significant uptake of these resources, and as a result employee’s mental health continues to suffer. As a direct result of this, employers are faced with high rates of employee turnover and employee’s taking disability leave. According to a Mind Share partners’ survey, approximately 34% of employees left their role citing issues with their mental health. Within organizations in Canada, it has been found that 70% of all disability costs are due to mental health. This continuous effect does not get alleviated until employers invest in resources and prioritize the mental health of their employees, but as research shows 67% of employees with a mental illness report that it is challenging to access care

What are we looking for? As we continue to develop and validate this tool, we are looking to get a continued understanding of how a digital mental health intervention can support your employee population. How are you supporting employee mental health at the moment? What can you do better? Together we are confident that we can make effective change to help support and improve the management of mental health.