Companies combat mental illness with mobile apps

Reporter: Therese O'Shea
Published: Updated:

(CONSUMER REORTS) — One in four people are diagnosed with mental illness, which can cause productivity in the workplace to suffer. However, companies are now trying to help employees by offering telemental health options.

Telemental health includes mobile apps like Ginger, Castlight and TalkSpace. While these apps don’t diagnose mental illness, it can detect a pattern or a risk and connect people to the help they need.

Eric Lucas, founder of the Oxygen Plan, helps deliver a stress number to app users and offers ways to lower that number.

Luckily, bosses aren’t given private details on individual employees, but only see the bigger picture, according to Lucas.

Paul Gionfriddo, president and CEO of Mental Health America, believes telemental health is beneficial for both employers and employees.

“It can be much more effective at identifying people early and getting them into services, care, supports, and treatment at a time when they can most easily recover,” Gionfriddo said.

Research conducted by Mental Health America has shown that these apps are as effective as a regular appointment with a mental health professional and costs the same or even less.


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