A NEW programme developed in Yorkshire is to be rolled out to large corporates to help employees deal with mental health issues.
My Possible Self is designed to be used as an early intervention tool to prevent symptoms escalating into more serious health problems and has been developed by members of the Wilkinson family, which owns technology firm Inhealthcare.
Taking the form of a mobile phone app, My Possible Self, uses content from the world-renowned Black Dog Institute in Australia which is clinically proven to reduce stress, anxiety and mild-to-moderate depression in eight weeks.
My Possible Self is engaging with companies to discuss how the programme can help employees with stress, anxiety and mild-to-moderate depression.
The app has been welcomed by mental health charities and campaigners and developers say it could also complement talking therapies.
Joanne Wilkinson is the founder and chief executive of MPS and daughters Hana and Fleur are directors and designers of the app.
Ms Wilkinson founded My Possible Self in 2009 and in 2013, she won the not-for-profit category in the Forward Ladies businesswoman of the year awards. Her husband is the Yorkshire technology entrepreneur Peter Wilkinson.
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.”
The app has been welcomed by mental health campaigners who praised both the product and the commitment to improving mental health of employees at large-scale employers.
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.
“My Possible Self stands out within an increasingly crowded marketplace as a quality product, well thought out with clear value to individuals, employers and healthcare providers.”
Liberal Democrat MP Norman Lamb, both a 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.”