5 companies offering behavioral health solutions for employee mental health

What is behavioral healthcare?

Behavioral healthcare is all about looking at how our daily actions, habits and behaviors affect our physical health and mental health and the link between them all. It focuses on the individual as a whole person, albeit a complicated one, where there are lots of influences on our well-being. behavioral health recognises that the individual actions we take on a daily basis affect our overall physical and mental health, and seeks solutions that help us adjust them to create better all-round wellbeing.

The majority of visits to the doctor are about things related to behavioral health – for example, eating habits, exercise, smoking, drinking and stress management. Sometimes these develop into more serious behavioral health conditions such as eating disorders, substance misuse, and sex addiction. It’s been stated that this is a public health emergency.

So behavioral healthcare solutions are about the specific actions an individual can take to support their overall health, by changing small habits or adjusting routines.

📝 All articles on Wysa are reviewed by mental healthcare professionals before publication, who check that the content is thorough and accurate, and references the latest evidence-based research. Learn more. 

Behavioral health vs mental health

Although the terms behavioral health and mental health are often used interchangeably, they are different. Mental health refers to a psychological state, whereas behavioral health includes both physical and emotional well-being. Mental health services focus on the mind, and behavioral health services on the whole person.

Why do we need behavioral health solutions for employee mental health?

Smart employers know that to support employees to be at their best there needs to be a holistic all-round approach to health. 

The majority of employee mental health concerns sit somewhere between wellness needs which can be addressed through things such as meditation, and severe clinically diagnosed disorders that need professional intervention. behavioral healthcare solutions can help bridge that gap. 

The impact of mental health on businesses is huge. Mental ill health can affect concentration, productivity and absenteeism. The Centre For Mental Health estimate mental health problems cost businesses £34.9 billion a year. This means that mental health problems cost £1,300 for every employee in the UK economy. 

We know that mental health conditions contribute to the highest disease burden in the general population. Work-related stress is clearly linked to an increase in mood disorders in this population. Hence, addressing the mental health challenge for the world has to start from the world of work. Wysa has conducted research with insights drawn from the analysis of 150,000 conversations that 11,300 employees from 11 organizations and 60 countries had with Wysa’s AI chat platform, over thirteen months (July 2021-July 2022).

Over 33% of employees globally reported feeling ‘not okay’ at the start of the workday– and this number kept going up throughout the workday, reaching its peak at 40% towards the end of the workday. All in all, 75% of employees reported low to moderate energy on average throughout the day. During the workday, over a third of employees are expressing feelings of stress (36%) and sadness (38%).

The economic benefit of supporting employees with mental health issues is clear, with annual savings estimated at close to 30 million USD  with 50,000 employees.

Our latest research All Worked Up reveals that the scale of anxiety and depression sweeping America’s workforce is substantially higher than national population averages. 40% of employees show symptoms of moderate to severe depression and/or anxiety, around 4 times higher than average. And stigma and fear prevail. American workers revealed they are more likely to either blame physical illness for needing to take sick leave to get mental health relief or simply try to push through it and go to work, fuelling the trend of burnout happening across industries.

⚠️If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, help is at hand. Please visit this list of helplines and resources for different countries.

5 Companies that are providing behavioral health solutions for employee mental health

There are many virtual services and apps that can help with the treatment of common mental health issues and support. Expectations should be managed. Whilst some have crisis response support, others are more about small behavioral health management. For these tools to be effective they need to be engaged with regularly. 

1. Wysa

Wysa caters to the full spectrum of employees mental health needs by making them feel heard and supported without judging them. Given how much stigma there is around mental health in the workplace, having an anonymous AI penguin that asks just the right questions and never judges is super valuable to many employees and those who use it have seen 10 times more usage than employee assistance programs. A huge number of frequent users report benefit and have seen 40%+ improvement in self-reported symptoms of depression.

Wysa’s offering includes AI Guided Listening & Triaging, through an anonymous AI friend that listens, never judges, and guides individuals to the right resources. All members get access to the full Wysa Premium Self-Care Library which features over 150 evidence-based techniques to help across cohorts like anxiety, stress, self-esteem, relationships, mindfulness, sleep, and more. Employees can choose to engage with Wysa well-being coaches who are experienced global mental health professionals offering highly personalized coaching and therapy for the individual. While chatting, Wysa looks for signs that signal the need for more support, like SOS and self-harm. In these cases, Wysa will guide employees to other helpful resources. This could be to employee assistance program behavioral health providers or a crisis helpline.  

Employers can also see aggregated data to see the issues most affecting their employees, and set targets and outcomes for their organization and team members’ health.

2. Talkspace

Talkspace matches users with licensed therapists in their state. The telehealth employee assistance program enables patients to get therapy, medication, assessment, healthy living support, and self-help tools.

Nearly 3 million adults use the platform to help with issues such as anxiety, stress and substance disorders. The company cite a 50% recovery rate after 12 weeks use for those who engage, showing a strong impact and cost benefit. 

Private conversations take place through a secure app via mobile phones or desktops, and the flexible platform fits any schedule, as people can set up video therapy, exchange messages and monitor their progress. 

3. Calm

Calm offers audio content for sleep, meditation, and relaxation. As well as being free for patients it also partners with companies to help improve the well-being of employees. One of the key aspects of behavioural health is sleep, and being rested is shown to reduce stress and anxiety and improve productivity. As an app it’s great for convenience, and available to access at any time.

It features guided meditations and breathing exercises and bedtime stories for adults, often narrated by celebrities. The masterclasses are by experts and focus on topics such as peak performance and creativity.

Like Wysa, Calm also detailed insights and data analytics into an organization’s employee population which can help give an overview of the state of mental health in the organization.

4. Headspace for Work

The Headspace app focuses on science-backed meditation and mindfulness for individuals and employees. Their Headspace for Work solution employees accesses to hundreds of meditations and exercises that can help with things such as focus, reducing anxiety, sleep, stress, movement and self-care.  As well as having a library of over 500 meditations the app provides yoga exercises and music for sleep and focus. All of the meditations are under thirty minutes, making them ideal for behavioral health care as they are really convenient and can be done discretely, even at work with headphones. For managers and leaders, there are lots of employer resources and tools to help both raise awareness of the importance of mental health and support with helping people manage their wellbeing. 

5. Unmind

Unmind describes itself as a ‘cultural change’ platform for employee health. They aim to improve psychological well-being at work and create happier and more motivated employees who can live their lives well. They work with world-class experts to create tools and courses that aim to empower employees, support and train leaders to lead the way on mental health, and foster productive workplaces. Like many of the behavioral health solutions out there for employees, they allow leaders to access insight and data that can help them manage employee mental health and well-being. For them, it’s about having the knowledge and resources to create mentally well workplaces.

Mentally healthy workplaces rely on a whole-person approach to physical health and mental health. By putting in place behavioural health care options businesses are fostering an organisation that will be happier, healthier, more productive and better able to deliver. It’s good for employees, and it’s good for business. 

Photo by Kampus Production 

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