Self-help app aiming to support employees

Self-help app aiming to support mental health

Businesses and employees struggling with mental health issues are being offered support from My Possible Self, a digital app-based self-help programme.

The innovative new app uses content from the Black Dog Institute in Australia, which is clinically proven to reduce stress, anxiety and mild-to-moderate depression in eight weeks.

Mental health issues cost the UK an estimated £70bn in lost productivity, benefit payments and healthcare expenditure, according to the OECD.

Prime Minister Theresa May has ordered employers to better support those with ill mental health and said that “more needs to be done”.

My Possible Self is designed to be used as an early intervention tool, preventing symptoms escalating into more serious health problems.

The app has been welcomed by mental health charities and campaigners.

David Smith, chief executive of Mind Humber and East Yorkshire, said: “It was an absolute delight to meet the team behind My Possible Self and see first-hand their passion and understanding about what might help people live happy and rewarding lives.

“Among the abundance of low quality and at times questionable apps, My Possible Self stands out as a product that not only offers stand-alone support but a useful complement to conventional face-to-face therapy.

Norman Lamb MP, a leading mental health campaigner and a former care minister, said: “My impression of My Possible Self was really positive. “Digital innovations in mental health care have massive potential, and this is an app that uses clinically proven forms of therapy. 

“I am confident that My Possible Self can help people to improve their mental wellbeing, come through difficult times, and improve their overall quality of life. 

“It could also help to reduce reliance on NHS services which we all know are under strain. “It is exactly the sort of preventive measure we should be looking at, supporting people who may be suffering from anxiety, stress or depression to self-manage and avoid a crisis.”

Joanne Wilkinson is the founder and chief executive of MPS and daughters Hana and Fleur are directors and designers of the app.

Joanne’s husband is the award-winning Yorkshire technology entrepreneur Peter Wilkinson, founder of technology companies including Planet Online, Freeserve, and Sports Internet.

Mrs Wilkinson said: “We are passionate about making a positive difference to the lives of people suffering from mental health problems, especially those in the workplace.

“We want to start a movement and look forward to corporates joining us on our journey.”