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
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you know one of my favorite mantras is the bravest thing you can do is ask for help and sadly a lot of these mental illnesses make it even harder to ask for help
hello and welcome i'm very excited today to be joined by dr nick prior from minderful um nick it's very exciting to have you here thank you very much um for coming along today it would be great um to learn a bit more about what minderful is and um and your journey as to how you how he came up with this concept and what you do today so perhaps if you would like to just um introduce yourself first of all and tell us a little bit about about what you do yeah thanks very much scott it's great it's great to be here and um yeah so i think i'll probably start with the journey but to give you a quick summary i'm a doctor who's now specializing in mental health working for the nhs um i also have a diagnosis of bipolar that i've lived with for over a decade now and partly because of those two things really i find myself with minderful trying to kind of create a bigger impact and to kind of help people in their kind of daily lives with looking after their minds and it's really been that kind of journey of kind of self-discovery sounds a bit cliche but you know with of hitting a few failures quitting a few jobs um almost dropping out of university that have led me to kind of want to do something to help people kind of like me but probably kind of five ten years younger and and that's really the kind of what drives me to find some solutions for this kind of really what is now kind of mental health pandemic and i think what minderful is really trying to do is trying to get there before um the illness it's trying to be proactive it's trying to be positive and it's trying to get people to realize that mental fitness is just as important as physical fitness just as what happened in the 90s when the motivation to look after your physical health got pushed up mainly because of the change in which the way in which we lived so it worked so we'd go from working on a outside moving around to living a sedentary lifestyle and then the combination of cheap fast food meant that people became very unhealthy that meant that people had to be proactive and i think we're at that point now that tipping point where sadly people's minds are being stressed so much whether it's to do with social media uh the change in our kind of communities the rapid change in technology and the loss of kind of some of the structure and um that we used to have has meant that we are seeing this point now where one in six people will present to their gp at some point in their lives with mental health problem and so we want to kind of get there stop that from happening and also at the same time build that resilience which is really just a kind of bank of happiness and positivity to actually prevent mental illness yeah very interesting so there was some work i was working on a while ago um looking at the role of emotional measurement within virtual reality to help improve um many things very from kind of mental health point of view but also from physical health as well and there was a startling um statistic i found kind of march march april last year in the us the number of severe mental health problems rose by 700 percent in just two months and i guess you know when you started this journey i would imagine that you hadn't you you couldn't anticipate the rapid increase in severity and kind of i guess some number of cases that we would see over the next 12 months so how has that kind of impacted your work yeah i suppose kind of in a very selfish way it's been quite fortuitous for us like with covid has has been that tipping point i think that has um really put mental health into the kind of public domain to the point where we're seeing people realize this isn't just an a kind of bonus or icing on the cake this is something that is necessary and important to for us and and this is showing probably most in the kind of b2b space where we're seeing a lot of businesses big corporates realizing that they have to offer a well-being offering it used to be discretionary and hr budgets would never quite find the money when when asked for it but now we're seeing a lot of these companies kind of have to offer it and i remember my my wife works for l'oreal and it was during the first lockdown and i was telling her i bet in the next couple of weeks you're going to be sent an email through with an offering and um then there one came through with the next day so yeah i think it it is we've been um quite lucky in that regard i think a lot of it you know when you're setting up a business whether it's tech or anything it's about timing and it's about why now and i think um but then in stringo the mental health space does tend to get quite crowded because it is a very it's kind of often quite a passion project you get a lot of individuals thinking they can change the world which is very very positive but equally it means there's quite a lot of kind of low quality badly poorly invested kind of um businesses out there so it feels very crowded but when actually when you try and look at the quality of the products out there there isn't really much out there well you touch on a couple of very interesting points that i want to explore um so we'll come back to the well-being in the workplace because the workplace is not what it used to be anymore um nor's well-being um but just more on the personal side you talk about these passion projects um and it can be it be it can be quite difficult to take that leap of faith to do things that you are passionate about um and you know you can have people turn to you and kind of look look at you strangely it's like wouldn't it be nice if we could all do things we are so passionate about but we have to have you know a job tell me how did you experience that in your life in this move yes a good question and really for i think um certainly i think whenever you try and do something new like oh you know you say to your friends or family i'm going to try and set up a new business um uh there's a lot of raised eyebrows and i think from my point of view it kind of took i just had to prove you have to prove a certain um stick ability and um and um that it's not just a whimsical idea and i think after kind of around six months uh people started to change their that their view on what i was doing it wasn't just a pet project i'd also say that what really helps is is actually you know to add i mean credibility is a big word but you know if you can get other people to get involved with you so there's two other co-founders of minderful and um and it just it means you can have a much more balanced um skill set and actually suddenly what's just an idea in someone's head becomes a much more credible kind of business model with a nice product with a kind of consumer edge to it because i was setting out with two other guys james and ed and you know i'm very much the kind of product uh kind of the not the product but the the actual kind of idea like how do we create good science into this product um and a bit of a kind of and then james is an advertising background and he's like well how do we make this product delightful and actually people want to use it and then ed is well how do we actually make this product scalable and and get it out the door and i think having those suddenly getting a few more people involved makes it much more credible but equally i think what i'd say in answer to that last to that question is that it depends what you're trying to do like if you're trying to um set up a whole new business and stuff like that that requires a certain leap of faith and a big commitment but equally what i would say to most people is that you can you can reframe most of your job roles and any um career path to actually be um of kind of social impact so whether that's kind of taking a lead on well-being in the workspace whether that's taking a lead on recycling in the workspace i think that i don't like these a lot of people like to put that excuse out there you know it's all right for some you've got the space you've got the the backing but actually i think there isn't if you're well and you're upbeat and you're passionate about something you can apply it in many different ways
yeah i think there's um you only have to look around and see the kind of increase in the number of people who are talking about you know purpose-driven about um passion about um well tech for purpose is an example of that i suppose to feel like this is there is a wave there is a certain momentum that is that is coming right now um so yeah i i still still think there's a certain reluctance and um if i look back through my career um the there was a wave like this that was um you know um corporate uh responsibilities um so um when you were working within the corporations those responsibilities seemed a little bit like lip service uh we have to do them because the shareholders are asking for it and we will make sure that we track you four times a year um but this move towards purpose-driven uh towards well-being as well seems seems bigger than that yeah yeah i mean i think i'm a little bit cynical still i think probably it's all about well actually what the shareholder is asking for now like suddenly it's got to a tipping point where the shareholders will get will have a problem if there isn't a well-being offering and you can't you can't be seen to be a dinosaur left behind not looking after your employees because you know your brand will suffer i think going back to more to the personal so i think there is also you know that capitalist view of the world where it's dog eat dog and actually as soon as there's any soft kind of umness there then that's got to be a loss in the in the end profit line and i think probably um it's trying to demonstrate that actually one not only is it um good just full stop but also it's probably good overall for the profit line as well
there was some research and if i can dig it out maybe i'll stick a link in at the bottom underneath here but there was some research that shows that those uh organizations that um invest in the well-being of their um staff and employees um can actually outperform on on the bottom line anyways do you think what do you think of that is that yeah i think i think that's i um i've seen some kind of quite anecdotal and small bits of research showing that um and i think it for me it makes perfect sense but equally i think the other problem from an investment point of view is that it's probably you know two or three year long kind of wait for that return and um and people are quite short-term as like in their outlook so but i think for whatever reasons covid's um the prevalence of mental health and you know we start the costs across even just the uk alone um in terms of absenteeism and presenterism due to mental health is over 20 billion like so it's a big number and it's only getting bigger and i think that all basically a lot of factors are aligning to mean that whether it's kind of um to do with the um actual performance of the workforce or whether it's to do with the profit of the company or whether it's to do with how the kind of overall emphasis culturally on well-being and looking after ourselves things are lining up and we have we've seen lots of companies for example natwest one just only a few months ago doubled its its budget for the well-being and and it so it's and i i speak to a lot of people in this space and there's a really um brilliant guy called nigel jones who used to be the well-being partner at link laters or he was head of well-being but a senior partner at lincoln and he had been campaigning for kind of 10 20 years and just getting nowhere it was all lip service no one would actually do anything and he is saying he's starting to see things kind of really change the last year yeah i think i mean from from what i've seen the people i've spoken to you have multiple angles where this kind of pays in you have like you said the absenteeism the presentism you have the um the effect of disengagement within a workforce i did an article on that as well which can cost you some of those hidden costs but then you also have the kind of talent piece as well you want to keep your people working well you want to keep them there and you want to attract people and keep them there because all of that has cost and impacts your performance in your bottom line so yeah this is all changed but the thing i want to come back to um that you mentioned earlier on that role of the employer um now with with covid things have changed you know significantly pretty much everywhere you look um and one of the things that is coming up a lot in these conversations is that when you when we were all working in offices those of us who work in offices there was the the heating the lighting the air the environment was carefully managed to give us optimum safe working environments but now we work from home um you know we could be working in a in a little dungeon of an office where we don't get enough light we don't get enough air and it's pretty cold um so there's the there's a physical side of things which i think employers are going to have to really embrace figure out how they deal with that but then there is that mental health as well isn't there how do you see that role evolving yeah i mean you're right there is a physical health point side but i i actually think the mental health side is much bigger i mean at the end of the day why are we um working for home now more is to do with the blunt tool of dealing with kobe which is effectively let's stop us socializing face to face and fundamentally we are um innately um very um interactive species we rely on the tribe we rely on those interactions to kind of bounce off each other to get motivated to dissipate stress often and i think a lot of people are finding the first lock down there was the novelty um of working from home there was obviously the stress of covid but there was the novelty of working from home you know only maybe falling out of bed ten minutes before nine and finding you've you've saved a couple of hours to use the commute you've saved some money because you're not the commute a lot of things were kind of really stacking up where people were saying god this could be it forever but i really feel the narrative is changing and people have found as um the monotony and the constant cycle of just being on site in one place with the same two or three people is really affecting people's not only their mental health but also just gen more general things like motivation and feeling more stressed drinking more alcohol i think the shock to the system is only just starting to to feed free from a mental health point of view and that's why if you look at all the curves you're going to see like the actual physical health implications of covid will will kind of die down in the next year or two but the mental health will peak in a year or two yeah yeah i see that too i mean we just um we have uh three small children and uh we were very worried about the the mental development as well as mental health of telling them to keep away from people it's not a good thing to tell developing minds that humans are scary and should be kept away from so these things i think there's a long there's a very long tail on this and from the uk point of view um from what i've experienced it hasn't been very well equipped from the kind of um health service point of view of dealing with mental health i mean it has evolved but i think there was a study i read that in 2019 11 000 mental health nurses were lost due to budget cuts um so what do you how do you see the role of technology picking up some of that gap and it's not even a small gap anymore it's an enormous gap yeah i think well you've started exactly the right points so fundamentally uh we are really under resourced in terms of staffing and you know that takes years and years to kind of build up that gap and actually the costs of we're seeing this across the whole of healthcare actually but mental health is just one example but the the costs are getting aspire are spiraling across the west um because we're living longer we're living more unhealthy lives et cetera et cetera and actually you know and as a proportion of gdp the co you know the nhs um has only gone up over the last kind of 20 years if you look at the overall trends so we're going to see that actually um the government i think isn't going to be able to provide absolutely everything and actually innovative small new businesses are going to have to kind of fill the gap even if maybe they're actually end up being funded or you know by the nhs but i don't think the nhs is going to be you know it's a massive firm off of a of a tanker kind of moving along um and it's going to be very difficult to find that innovation through the nhs so i think companies like minderful and other kind of talking therapy ones like iso and there's a whole range of brilliant um companies coming out now and i think we're going to have to fill that gap and we're also going to have to really focus focus on prevention um if you you know we've seen a lot of public health um kind of spokesman recently but the public health people love to always say prevention is better than cure and i think that mantra is going to be running through like how we we tackle and all health problems going forward um and i think that's well what i i love about mindfulness is that we can be positive we're not targeting people who are ill we're targeting people who are struggling maybe or but equally are just then living their normal lives but wanting to kind of look after their minds and um it might be worth here just saying briefly just what our approach to mental health and kind of please please do that'd be great this is next on the list you know tell me more about what it is the science behind it how it all works so let's do that now so yeah i'll um yeah i'll quickly give you an overview but basically we're trying to create uh assist a product um that basically after being used for three to six months to a year will have turned out a very personalized mental fitness routine for the user so we know that the brain is very complex it's got nine billion neuronal connections in the frontal cortex no mind is the same as any other there's no one-size-fits-all solution there's no silver bullets we need to find something that works for an individual so we've kind of gone um really down that line and said right well we need to create um a kind of product that allows people to discover what works for their mind so we've done a kind of front end of the app which is just really a positive scrolling experience where we've identified hundreds of ideas um that are good for the mind people can scroll through those ideas very easily click on one listen to a two-minute audio saying why it's good for the mind and what we'll be doing next if you want to integrate this into your routine and if they want to then they can say right i'll put it into my routine at which point they'll get a drip feed of content for a month that's just prompting them to start trying to get that into their routine and um the other thing to say is that we don't you know we think you know headspace has done a wonderful job of kind of getting meditation out there to millions of people who wouldn't done otherwise but at the end of the day you know meditation is only one part of your mental fitness you can't meditation isn't going to cure all your problems you need to find increments across the board so what we want to do is allow people to kind of collect um probably five to ten different things that become their routine and we support them to integrate that and um the other thing is you know on the headspace thing is also like for example khan is a another a big highly well-being um competitor and they my co-founder james always likes to say well what if i don't want to feel calm all the time you know and and i think that's a big thing for us is kind of offering that broad approach so that people can find something that works throughout their lives not just at certain moments very interesting and i have to say the one that um caught my attention as i was scrolling through this positive scrolling experience yeah now you mention it um i totally get it as i scroll through your website i found it very kind of welcoming it wasn't intimidating it was very easy to understand and it was a positive experience to scroll through um it was very simple to understand it but one jumped out at me and that was being mindful with half a pint you don't find that on a headspace or calm i'm sure no and i think um you know we've obviously got to be casual but equally we are that's what allows us we're targeting a a well audience we're not targeting people and um we you know there aren't yeah we don't want to be too we we found the well-being space as a whole can be a bit too um you know whale noises kind of candles uh yogis gurus whatever and actually a lot of and and this is interesting when you find look at carmen headspace they they're very good at retaining people once they get there but they don't get a great conversion so they only get once they get people on onto that they only get four percent who are actually conferred and for me that makes sense because actually they're targeting a very niche audience um because they're offering a very specific offering whereas we we want to be that more rounded one where we can be a bit cheeky we can be a bit more real i suppose that's very interesting so um there's two more angles i want to explore one is kind of what the tech is and why how digital can help and the other thing is more on the kind of medical side and you you span both roles which is really interesting so let's come back to digital in a second but talk about the medical side um there has been i have heard it said in interviews that um one of the challenges in the kind of med tech health tech space right now is there's so many startups who who want to come in and do something good and their intention is good but there's so much risk that that brings because well the medical space is very well regulated and there's all these things that you should you should not be doing and there's risk of losing data or you know what is the intended use and how can things be abused or misused um either intentionally or accidentally how do you how do you look at that do you should should there be regulation around this kind of um uh technology this kind of application you're working on yes so i mean i think uh fundamentally yeah it's it's very personal data we're trying to engage with people in their in their their kind of daily routines which and they actually might kind of be giving away information that they wouldn't normally give to some of their loved ones so i think even though it's not an illness space it's still a very um kind of sensitive um space so i think well fundamentally is you know it's always the anonymized um kind of rule versus kind of giving out any actual individual data um and i think we i think what is you are touching on a really important point because when you're starting up as an early business business you don't have the funding or the infrastructure to to actually put in place necessarily rigorous enough um kind of structures to protect people's data and we're actually very careful on that point i mean our our um founding chairman who really came in a few months ago is um he's an advisor to the world health organization and ofcom um on ethical um use of data and and communications and stuff so he we have to find that line between yes we need to keep moving forwards but also be sensible um but i think ethical um tech and um is really important for us so at the end of the day what are we trying to do we're trying to create positive behavioral change um gambling companies are trying to create negative behavioral change but they're the same principles that they're trying to apply that like we're trying to use clever behavioral science and make a lovely pretty um product to get people to do something so we are very careful with how we so one of our big but one of the big problems i mentioned earlier on with mental health is is this addiction to social media and the dopamine rush so we're very careful about making sure we we don't want to create an app that's so addictive that people come back to it multiple times a day we're also very focused on creating our initial tagline in the first couple of months of setting up mindful a year ago was the app to get our apps we want to create an app that gets people doing things in the real world and gets them out of the digital world which sounds a bit perverse for an app to say that but actually it can work if you get the right balance um so it's yeah it's in the it's hugely in our minds i think to be perfectly frank we probably you know are um we have to find that line between you know actually getting something out the door and not but we are very careful with at the moment we don't use any um so for example our data on our website for example is all anonymized and actually and we and we don't know anything just because we decided it's not worth even going down that route where we can just track individuals um specifically of course you can uh all these kind of getting them to take certain boxes and stuff like that but i think at the moment we just want to see how people are interacting with the product we don't um and we've got a good enough interaction with our target audience so we don't need to be knowing exactly how people are following through each use of the app and if that makes any sense yeah it does it does um it's a it's an area of interest that i think is only for me growing the more i hear about this it's just growing even more um so um from the kind of technology point of view from the digital point of view um again in other interviews i've heard people heard doctors say that um plus the face-to-face is is invaluable digital can sometimes actually be more effective um so tell me more about kind of what you're aiming to achieve with you know it's digital distribution and digital reach yeah so i think i'll answer this lesson from mindful because we don't really do face-to-faces with clinicians for that but um yeah really interesting at the moment i'm hearing more and more psychologists saying that actually um video calls they find they can engage more with their patients there seems to be a bit more confidence you know the user might be in their own room they don't feel quite the same like um hierarchy they might feel in face to face so they're seeing some big like positives and there's another really interesting one is the ieso which is a big um cbt provider across the country they don't even do they just do instant messenger uh and that creates even less of a you know people can can write in in a message much more candidly and much more openly than they can even um face to face on zoo and they and that what's powerful about that is that they've then got all the data in in written in words directly from each session and they've done over they've got over a million sessions of cbt now and they're starting to be able to from my opinion they're doing loads of stuff with the data which is of value but the most interesting one for me is uh they're starting to think that they can phenotype different types of depression because they've got so many cases they can start to see that actually and and once you can do that then you might be able to start actually applying specific types of therapy to specific types of depression which are more effective than what we've got at the moment so there's really interesting stuff out there and i think overall i'd say that psychologists have been surprised at how much they can do there is a still an old school um grouping probably more the psychoanalysis side of things who really struggle to accept that so but i think the data is really starting to show that it is affected so yeah i think we've talked quite a bit about what's happened in the last couple of years and how things have changed for you and for mindful um let's think forward maybe two five years um so what do you expect to see what do you want to change and when it comes to these magical united nations um sdgs um sustainable development goals that we're aiming to achieve by 2030 what do you see there i'd love to know your thoughts yeah so i think you know we could i could um i'll come to the more kind of peripheral ones but i'll start with the core ones where i think it's relevant to to what mindful is doing in mental health but i think um you know obviously good health comes in there and i think it's goes back to what i said a bit before but what we're finding is is that the intensive costs of of new medicine and the you know the rising um life expectancies and the increasingly unhealthy lifestyles we leave means that we need to find kind of cheap ways of kind of preventing a lot of illness and i think tech is the obvious way to do that it creates this opportunity for scalability and virality and for getting what is technically um not that expensive to create a beautiful lovely app with wonderful content that just hits that just nails that behavioral change and that you know that might end up costing you a million two million pounds but if you can get that out to hundreds of millions of people that suddenly means that this is very accessible and very cheap resource um i think on the good jobs and economic growth um isn't is relevant also i think we're we're targeting b2c uh we personally feel that people's mental fitness is very personal and that the kind of job environment isn't the right place for that to be led from but equally we would be focusing on work-life balance with some of our ideas and how we're helping people improve their mental fitness making them kind of more aware of some light touch cbt um light touch psychology understanding failure understanding vulnerability these type of things will actually help people make better decisions in the workplace um and then as i suppose economic growth you know if you've got a healthier population that's only gonna improve economic growth in terms of um some of the other ones i think you know a lot of what we are preaching in terms of kind of is this biopsychosocial model so people's mental health is very broad it involves biological factors psychological factors social factors and a big one for us that we've noticed is this loss of community and covert has obviously had a big impact on that but i think we would hope to correct um help support people to kind of make those steps like call grandma go to the local gardening club go to the local walk club meet a friend in your local community those are the type of things we're going to be trying to help people do and achieve um yeah and i think you know there are others here quality education fundamentally what are we trying to do we're trying to educate people to make better decisions for themselves um so i think what we'll be touching on a lot of these and um but primarily um i think it's really the kind of good the good health obviously makes the most sense but um even life and land i'm not quite sure what that goal stands for but i think one of our core attributes or core pillars of mental fitness is nature it's something that we think is so important that it's one of only six of our core pillars because we think getting people outside into the into the greens seeing people seeing something external growing seeing something outside of their own inner terminal can be so powerful so yeah there's loads of things here i think that we can kind of help with and support yeah i think that nature thing is so important okay when i'm having a bad day the hardest thing i want to do the hardest thing i find is to get out of my seat and take myself into a new environment whenever i do it's the most powerful thing i could ever do it really is just getting outside is even if it's raining or snowing or whatever so powerful yeah and i love that example of whether it you know i think the weather can be such a powerful thing and actually it's weird we have it at our fingertips we can see what the weather's going to be doing in two hours i often think one of my favorite things to try and get people to change is actually making the most of each day's weather so you know that one bit of that one hour of opening up and it being a beautiful crisp blue sky like we we very rarely make that our plan our day around but actually why don't i just don't you know why don't we interesting indeed yeah so if if any of our viewers want to kind of get some inspiration about how they can how they can help some of the issues you've been talking about maybe they've got their own challenges that they're trying to deal with where would you point them what advice would you give them yeah so i think um specifically around mental health um when we're probably not the service service for you if you're acutely unwell and but what we are is there for you when you're in that process of recovery and well enough to engage with these things you know if you're really depressed or really anxious trying to create a new habit is really stressful that you can often exacerbate the situation so if you're feeling ill enough to think you need help ask for help and and that's with professionals you know one of my favorite mantras is the bravest thing you can do is ask for help um and sadly a lot of these mental illnesses make it even harder to ask for help so when you're depressed you don't think you deserve help when you're anxious you're too scared to ask for help and when you're psychotic you don't think you need help so if you think you need help just go go for it okay and and i i would say there are some brilliant resources online every gp practice now has a kind of community well-being and first access point for people with mental health problems so i that would be my first point of call
okay excellent well thank you very much um for everything you've shared with us today um i will we'll wrap this up but there's always at the end i always like to ask one question and um you don't have to answer but it's it's over to you it's not a difficult one at all but it can it can catch you off guard the question is just simply is there anything that you'd wish i'd ask you today that i haven't and anything else that you want to share um
i think yeah i think the only thing i would no i think i've enjoyed the conversation very much it's kind of and it's been quite kind of um varied across the kind of mental fitness and mental health i think um overall um i suppose i would i think it's always important to say that i did mention it very briefly that um that i do um have a diagnosis of of bipolar and i think probably the last thing i'd say is is that um being able to talk openly whether it's something kind of that sounds quite serious like bipolar or if it's something stressful and this feeds into the kind of asking for help but it is always better to over communicate than to under communicate and um i see it all the time and because one by the time you're um really ill it gets so much more difficult to manage you know so i would you know err on the side of caution speak to a loved one get a sense check of where you are just with someone else other than just in your own mind that would probably be my last point okay that's brilliant thank you i'll uh keep that there and we'll leave it there i'll just say for anybody who's watching if you've enjoyed this um please don't forget to like and subscribe to the youtube channel there's plenty more videos there that hopefully will inspire and interest you and on that dr nick pryor thank you very much for your time i'll make sure i stick some links in to the projects that you're working on for mindful and i'll just leave you there thank you so much great to chat scott thank you
Watch More Tech With Purpose Interviews
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.
Find out more about Minderful and register for updates about the app http://minderful.com
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