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Dr Nick Prior Mental Fitness Mental Illness

Preventing Mental Illness Through Improved Mental Fitness

In TechLeaderTalks, Health and Well Being by Scott

Related to UN SDG:
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Technology With Purpose Leader Interviews: 

Helping Develop Resilience through Mental Fitness

We want to build that resilience which is really just a kind of bank of happiness and positivity to actually prevent mental illness

Dr Nicholas Prior

Co-Founder, Minderful
Dr Prior joins me to talk about the importance of mental fitness, his personal story and how that drove him to co-create Minderful to develop personalised mental fitness programmes for all of us.
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My Thoughts on the Conversation

“Fitness” vs “health” is something that I’ve heard quite a bit of recently, in the interview with Josh Clemente he talked about metabolic fitness vs metabolic health, in other white-paper work I was looking at mental health vs mental fitness, too.

So it was very interesting to hear Dr Nick Prior talk about his focus on mental fitness as a way to both help manage, and prevent the development of more serious mental illnesses. Nick likened today’s increased awareness and focus on mental health issues back to the increased focus on physical movement, exercise and health in the ‘90s. Back then the catalyst was the rapid expansion of availability of fast-food, conflated with the changes to more sedentary working lives. Nowadays, the agent of change is a combination of already struggling health care systems, social media influences and of course the pandemic.

Whilst the focus on employee mental health and wellbeing had already taken big steps in pre-pandemic times, often mental and wellbeing support was considered a nice-to-have, or a perk. With the change in working behaviours and the stresses of our ultra-modern day lives, this is now mandatory. As an example, the UK bank, Natwest, doubled its employee wellness budget last year, Nick said.

Nick shared that the cost of mental health related absenteeism and presenteeism (at work physically but unproductive mentally) in the UK alone is around £20bn a year. Actually, the cost of an unproductive workforce is a topic I touched on in a client’s article, here “The Hidden Cost of a Disengaged Workforce” whist doing the research I found the numbers astonishing, yet both easy to relate to from my personal experience.

With Minderful, Nick and his team aim to help people take a proactive approach to building resilience through improved mental fitness, in an effort to help alleviate or manage more serious mental health conditions. As mentioned in the interview, I found their website and blog articles surprisingly calming and pleasing to use (and now, thanks to his explanation, I understand why). I am really looking forward to trying out their app, too.

We covered a lot more in the interview too, including; the similarities/differences between Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and the current surge in purpose-driven momentum, the bottom line impact for investing in employee wellbeing, the resource constraints of the current health care systems and how the peak of this constraint on physical illness that we see today will be eclipsed in a few years by mental illnesses, and a lot more. So stop reading this and watch the video. I hope you enjoy it. 

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Scott is an Independent Technology Analyst, Content Writer and Connector of interesting people. Scott is a technologist at heart, with a history of technology innovation and marketing leadership roles. As the founder of this website and several other businesses, he is passionate about helping technology companies communicate their relevance and awesomeness in a way that engages and excites everybody. Get in touch with Scott here or connect with him on LinkedIn. Learn Scott's tips for content marketing, download his free template here..