How Bournemouth-based Well Good is using AI to improve mental health at work

Wednesday June 30, 2021

With studies showing that mental health at work is an increasingly serious problem, Bournemouth company Well Good have developed an innovative product designed to tackle this key issue.

Whilst the discussion around mental health is undoubtedly gaining traction in the public consciousness, thanks to high profile wellness campaigns and celebrity figures who have shared their own experiences, the effect of the mental health crisis on work is perhaps less well understood. 

In fact, work-related mental health issues such as anxiety, stress, and depression, are having a powerful negative impact on key business markers. In 2019-2020, 17.9 million working days were lost as a result of these conditions, and productivity, profits and workplace culture can all be damaged by poor mental health. That’s in addition to the effects on the individuals concerned. 

Indeed, the founders of Well Good have experienced mental health problems themselves, and it was this personal understanding of the issues that inspired them to set up their brand. As a result, founder Dan Willis explained: “Our goal is to enable businesses to create the future of work – open workplaces that are unburdened by health, performance and financial concerns that are increasingly associated with poor workplace culture.” 

The Covid Effect

Well Good discovered that the Covid crisis had a particularly negative effect on employee well-being, with their own study finding that instances of stress, anxiety and depression were all substantially higher than before the pandemic hit. Of the 3097 people questioned, 64% reported feelings of depression whilst 57% were experiencing anxiety. 

Bournemouth based Well Good’s Chief Psychology Officer, Professor Kavita Vedhara, commented on the findings, saying “The emotional toll early on in the pandemic appears to have been significant in the UK. This is perhaps not surprising as people were required to rapidly and unexpectedly respond to a range of challenges. What is crucial now is to examine if these very high levels of distress are persisting over time.”

How Well Good Is Tackling The Problem

The company has collaborated with mental health charity Mind, health practitioners and academics in the development of a framework to help businesses tackle the problem of poor mental health at work. Using artificial intelligence (AI) technology, the innovative product aims to improve a business’s performance by analysing factors such as employee data, culture and operations. 

Part of Well Good’s campaign is designed to help create more sustainable working environments that actively support employees, not just in Bournemouth and Dorset, but across the UK. With a number of organisations already signed up to the pilot scheme, the future of tackling mental health in the workplace looks bright. And, with the benefits of creating a supportive workplace shown to include increased productivity and reduce costs, it makes sense for everyone to get onboard.

Preventing People Problems

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