Prevention: The Future of Mental Health Care

headversity: The First Preventative Assistance Platform (PRE.A.P.)

People across the world are suffering from symptoms of burnout, with mental health trends revealing that 70% of the workforce has experienced burnout in the last year. The worst part is: you probably don’t find that statistic shocking, and at this point it seems like a trend people have hesitantly grown to accept. It’s clear that the widespread and damaging effects of burnout, stress, and overwhelm are revealing a fault in traditional forms of workforce mental health services. Should organizations accept trends in burnout that ultimately affect their bottom line? Or have we finally reached a turning point in how we approach mental health services? The answer to all these questions lies in prevention.

A societal shift

In recent years, studies have revealed growing needs for workforce mental health resources. This increase in demand is straining  capacity, with 60% of psychologists reporting they can no longer take on more patients. Ultimately, only 50% of Canadians experiencing a major depressive episode receive “adequate treatment.” This gap in care delivery results in a growing disparity in the system’s ability to provide prompt intervention. This means the need for society to increase accessibility to mental health services is not a singular event, but rather, our new normal.

EAP’s and therapy are no longer enough

Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) have been the most common workforce mental health solution since the 1970s. Today, more than 79% of employers work with an EAP. With utilization that sits well below 10% (as low as 1.8%), increasingly long times for employees to receive care, and stagnant innovation driven by a hyper competitive RFP (request for proposal) model that drives competitors to undercut one another to win business, it’s led to a major source of frustration for employers. Today, it’s not uncommon to hear HR discuss ‘blowing up’ their EAP.

Another reason EAPs are falling down: they’re a reactive and short-term solution to the root cause of the problem. Often, long wait times to receive help from EAP and therapy resources leaves individuals without the proper tools to proactively address their diminishing mental health before the crisis stage. It is vitally apparent that people can no longer wait to be connected to help – they require tools that they can easily access in real time.

The answer lives in prevention

An emerging category for mental health services is proactively equipping individuals with the tools they need to stay resilient in the face of adversity – or what we call a Preventative Assistance Platform (PRE.A.P.). Unlike an EAP, a PRE.A.P. helps employees self-navigate and build skills that don’t require waiting in a queue for care. Even more: A PRE.A.P. reaches 100% of employees and their families – it’s not just for those in crisis but designed to prevent crisis in the first place.  

The “why” behind a PRE.A.P.

So, why does every organization need a PRE.A.P. if they already have other mental health services like an EAP?

  • It’s on-demand – you don’t have to fill out any forms, go to HR to figure out how to receive help, or wait months for an appointment. You can get help the moment you need it.
  •  Just like physical healthcare, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. While a PRE.A.P. doesn’t completely eliminate the need for mental health crisis interventions, they are designed to greatly reduce them.
  • A PRE.A.P. puts therapy-grade tools in the palm of everyone’s hands, accessible to anyone, anytime, anywhere, in the flow of work and life.
  • One-touch crisis channeling. Your EAP or company resources need no longer be buried on the footer of your intranet or website; employees can get access to these resources at the tap of a finger or click of a mouse.
  • And the biggest “why”– employees who feel supported and mentally healthy are more productive and much more likely to stay, perform, and adapt to changes.

A PRE.A.P.’s ability to proactively provide individuals with the tools they need to remain resilient in the face of adversity and, in some cases, prevent people from reaching the crisis stage, shows the true power of prevention. The future of mental health lives upstream, before crisis.

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