With mental-health-related expenses for turnover, absenteeism and presenteeism at an all-time high (£56 billion yearly), employers are re-examining their approach to providing mental wellbeing support. As contractual obligations for wellbeing products and services purchased during the pandemic expire, many organisations are in search of solutions better suited to the unique needs of their employee population.
After spending their wellbeing budgets on solutions with poor uptake and limited impact, HR leaders are particularly concerned about accessibility and evidence-base. Digital interventions have been shown to effectively diminish the symptoms of mental conditions (such as depression) in research published in the Lancet and PLOS Digital Health and have the potential to help resolve issues of access. However, very few have strong science to back them up.
So how can HR Leaders who want to replace their existing solutions ensure the next mental health solution they select has the strong evidence base they need? Here are three questions to ask.
1. Can you trust the team behind this solution?
When evaluating a current mental health solution or vetting a new provider, check into who is creating and curating content and services. Look for a strong team of in-house experts, a scientific advisory board and collaborations with leading educational, healthcare and industry institutions.
2. Are the scientific frameworks used trustworthy?
To address as many elements of mental wellbeing as possible and serve the broadest cohort of employees, solutions must be based on multiple well-established frameworks. Ideally they’ll include a wide range of activities and modalities, drawing from clinically validated therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Acceptance Commitment Therapy, and Positive Psychology.
3. Has it been clinically tested and independently reviewed?
Clinical trials and expert reviews protect your investment and help ensure proof of concept. For example, RCTs or randomised controlled trials published in peer-reviewed scientific publications indicate a solution’s effectiveness, showing the results of a specific intervention as compared to a control group. Evaluations by expert independent reviewers such as ORCHA (the reviewer used by NHSX) also serve as industry standard measures of quality evidence-base.
Finding the right mental health solution for your workforce isn’t easy—but it doesn’t have to be so hard, either. For more insight into how to evaluate evidence base and how to select evidence-based mental health and wellbeing support for your workforce download your free copy of our pocket guide to evaluating evidence base.