Should Employers Provide Mental Health Support For Individuals AND Their Families?

Young black family busy working in their kitchen

The explosion of mental health needs among children and young people in the UK has been well documented. In 2021, almost seven in ten school absences were due to mental health difficulties[i] and mental health referrals for children have surged by more than 50%[ii] since the start of the pandemic. Less visible is the amount of strain this puts on the family as a whole.

There’s a saying that a parent is only ever as happy as their unhappiest child and progressive employers understand that the health of an employee’s family often has as much of an impact on their staff as their own health. It is this insight that has spurred digital mental health solution provider SilverCloud Health to create a  new Family Bundle offering.

Dr Carolyn Lorian, Head of Clinical Transformation, SilverCloud Health explained:

“Employees are a company’s biggest asset and also their biggest investment. It goes without saying that companies must look after their wellbeing.”

Ken Cahill, CEO, SilverCloud Health added:

“The pandemic, coupled with global times of uncertainty, has put an immense amount of pressure on almost all families.”

Offering this type of personalised mental wellbeing support could be a welcome addition to the standard private health insurance offered by many.

Accessed online, the new Family Bundle has been designed by the digital scientists at SilverCloud Health and combines clinically proven programmes, content, interactive tools, and videos aimed at addressing family mental health.

Focus on the family

Leveraging SilverCloud Health’s internet-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (iCBT), the programmes are able to deliver mental health care and support at scale. The bundle comprises 6 programmes which are available for Health Plans and Insurers:

  • Space for Perinatal Wellbeing: focuses on those who are at risk of experiencing symptoms of depression and / or anxiety during pregnancy and up to a year post-partum.
  • Supporting an Anxious Child and Supporting an Anxious Teen: designed for caregivers of children (ages 5 -11) and teenagers (ages 12-18), looking to support their child in dealing with worry and anxiety, while learning helpful strategies to tackle their own anxiety.
  • Space from Anxiety for Teens: aims to help teens aged 15-18 learn to better understand their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours; has been proven effective in reducing anxiety symptoms.
  • Space from Low Mood for Teens: helps teens aged 15-18 relieve the symptoms of low mood and depression by encouraging users to develop more flexible ways of thinking.
  • Space from Low Mood & Anxiety for Teens: designed to relieve the symptoms of anxiety and depression for teens, ages 15-18.

SilverCloud Health aren’t the only supplier offering family support. Kooth is also seeing family bundles becoming a popular option with employers and it could be a trend set to grow.

What do you think? Should more employers be extending their mental health support to the families of their people?

I’d love to know your opinion. You can email me at [email protected].

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