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UNiDAYS gives millions of students free mental health checks for World Mental Health Day

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Over 70 companies globally – including UNiDAYS and Entrepreneur First – are rolling out AI-powered mental health checks to staff, students and founders tomorrow, to better understand and support mental health on World Mental Health Day.

The “Mental Wellness Check” tech has been created by thymia: a UK startup developing video game-inspired tools which can spot signs of mental ill-health. The AI-powered Wellness Check involves completing a 30 second-reading activity, which the thymia tool then analyses to give users an instant overview of their mental health status.

The technology is being rolled out for free after research released earlier this month found that UK workers are taking more sick days than ever before, with the rise in part attributed to heightened “stress” and “mental ill-health” among staff. Meanwhile, over half of UK students self-reported a mental health issue in 2022. Organisations including Entrepreneur First, Syndi and Preventx will be rolling out the technology to staff; whilst UNiDAYS will be giving its community of over 28 million students complimentary access to thymia on World Mental Health Day.

How does the “Mental Health Check” technology work?

  1. Users complete a thirty-second reading activity
  2. The tool uses AI to analyse the voice recording, including the pitch and pace of speech
  3. The user sees their own scores live, giving an instant overview of their mental wellbeing status
  4. For employers: once all staff in an organisation have completed their check, the company receives a “Mental Wellness Pulse” report with summary scores for their workforce’s stress, burnout, tiredness, distress and confidence levels, so they can address it

The “Mental Wellness Check” tool has been designed to help users better understand their wellbeing and spot changes in their mental health over time, so they can seek timely support through their employer or health provider if they spot any changes. Studies show that early intervention can significantly improve mental health outcomes. 

The technology also provides employers with anonymised insights to help them invest in the right wellbeing solutions for their teams, as well as track trends and provide suitable interventions if indicators flag any common issues, for example, if staff are experiencing high levels of stress or burnout.

Over 28 million students at UNiDAYS will have access to thymia’s Mental Wellness Check tool on World Mental Health Day via the UNiDAYS app. Entrepreneur First’s current cohort of founders and global team will also be able to access the tool on the day.

Jonny Clifford, General Manager for London, Entrepreneur First, comments: 

“Starting a company is intense and requires a lot of hard work, however, over the last decade of working with founders, we’ve seen how mental well-being is fundamental to success. This World Mental Health Day, we’re proud to be partnering with thymia, one of our alumni companies, to provide AI-driven mental wellness checks to our founders in residence and employees. We’re delighted to be on the front lines of this initiative, leveraging transformative AI technology to make a real impact on mental health.”

Alex Smith, Head of Wellbeing, Earning and Learning at UNiDAYS, comments:

“As Head of Wellbeing, Earning, and Learning at UNiDAYS, I am profoundly moved by the impact our partnership with thymia is set to make on students worldwide for World Mental Health Day. In a world where young minds are facing unprecedented challenges, we are extending a lifeline to every student on the planet. Through UNiDAYS, students globally can click through to thymia’s powerful mental wellbeing assessment tool, gaining invaluable insights into their mental health. This initiative goes beyond borders, and it’s a testament to our shared commitment to making a meaningful difference in the lives of students everywhere. Together, we are breaking down barriers and ensuring that no student feels alone on their journey to mental wellbeing.”

Dr Emilia Molimpakis, neuroscientist and CEO and co-founder at thymia, comments:

“We are really excited to make thymia Mental Wellness Checks more widely available for World Mental Health Day – especially since this year’s theme is mental health is a universal human right so that many more companies and their employees can get a better handle on their mental health. It’s critical that we keep a close eye on our mental health – just as we do our physical health – and seek help quickly if we notice any changes. Employers also have a responsibility to pay closer attention to the mental health of their employees. After all, many of us spend the majority of our weeks at work, and work can play a big role in stress, anxiety and mental strain. By making mental health more easily measurable, and supporting employers to invest in the right interventions, we hope to improve mental health outcomes and reduce stigma surrounding mental health at work.”

From today, companies can sign up on thymia’s website to obtain complimentary access to thymia’s online Mental Wellness Check tool for their employees, communities or users. Companies will get a unique URL to share with their people, who simply need to follow the URL to access the tech. 

When signing up to access thymia’s free Mental Wellness Checks this month, companies will also be given bespoke tools and resources to engage their teams in World Mental Health Day activities, including posters, Slack and email templates, social posts and guidance on implementing effective mental health support at work, including how to access a range of wellbeing and health support through Support Room.

The tool will be available for use for free on World Mental Health Day (10th October) and companies can sign up here to get involved. 

Thymia’s AI models have been developed using over 170,000 minutes of voice data collected from almost 6,000 individuals: the largest dataset of its kind globally.

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