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Case Studies & Research

How Employees Improved Their Mental Health with a New Digital CBT Program

Sean Hougan | October 31, 2019

Established in 1917, this organization represents 41,000 public employees in British Columbia. They are a leader in offering evidence-based solutions that assist members with their mental health and wellness. The organization offers a wide range of workshops, programs, and services for members to enhance the profession. A large part of their role is to support employees on short and long-term disability. This comes in the form of financial support, practical support, and emotional support.

Stigma and Access

Organizations are beginning to feel the effects of mental illness. 1 in 5 people will struggle with their mental health before they reach age 40 and mental illness has become the leading cause of disability worldwide.

The Director of the Income Security responsible for a 41,000 member organizations adds, “From our data, we know that nearly 50% of our members on disability are unable to work every year due to a mental health diagnosis.”

To address this, the organization sought out innovative digital solutions that would educate their people on mental health and strengthen their mental resilience using evidence-based practices. The Director of Income Security and his team predicted that if members had a tool that would help them become more resilient to the growing stressors in the profession, they could help reduce the costs associated with absenteeism, presenteeism and turnover.

Starling Improves Employee Mental Health

In 2013, Starling Minds became available to 41,000 professionals across Canada to help them build and strengthen their mental resilience in order to successfully manage growing stressors at work and at home. Today, Starling Minds helps this group of employees:

  • Become educated about mental health and scientifically-proven strategies for improving their own.
  • Access CBT support when they need it most from the privacy of their own homes.
  • Understand that they are not alone in a safe and secure place to learn and share with others like them in an online community.
  • Track and reflect on their mental health via regular assessments and digital applications such as thought balancing and mood tracking.
  • Set realistic goals for their professional and personal lives with a built-in goal setter.

Improved Mental Health

Built into Starling Minds is a reporting system. This allows the Director of Income Security to understand where employees sit on the mental health continuum. From their data they know that:

  • 86% of their people improve their mental health scores in the categories of depression, anxiety, and worry.
  • 18% of their people who start in unhealthy categories move up to the healthy end of the continuum.
  • 33% who were on disability moved up from the bottom or middle of the mental health continuum.
  • 47% on disability finish in healthy categories on the mental health continuum.
  • The Director of Income Security shares, “I know that the profession is not always easy and I think anyone will attest to the toll it can take—with Starling, our members feel understood and supported.”

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    Sean Hougan

    Sean is a passionate marketing professional who is even more passionate about mental health. She envisions a world wherein communities and societies work together to ensure that everyone has what they need for mental, emotional and physiological wellness.

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