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Corporates turn to mental health startups for employee wellness plans

Yatti Soni Bengaluru | Updated on July 21, 2021

Learning by doing Every employee at Reliance Health Insurance takes customer calls

Common issues were fatigue, burnout and extended work from home for employees

Pandemic has caused a significant spike in companies opting for emotional wellness and counselling session packages for their employees. This behavioural change is also reflected in the sharp sales spike noticed by mental health start-ups in their corporate plans.

Lightbox-backed Innerhour told BusinessLine that the number of organisations signed up with InnerHour has grown to eight times the pre-pandemic numbers. Even a B2C focused wellness platform has seen a significant uptick in corporate requests for mental health sessions for employees. The company claimed to have conducted wellness sessions for 100 companies in the last 10 months.

Founder of Mumbai-based mental health startup Trijog, Arushi Sethi also agreed that there has been a significant rise in corporate signing up for wellness plans. “We noticed a 100 per cent growth in the corporate queries for employee mental wellness programs,” Sethi added. Some of the corporate clients of Trijog’s employee wellness plan include BMW, Paytm Insider, and Hindustan Unilever Limited.

“Emotional wellness is now at the core whether it comes to preferences of new interviewees or engaging existing employees. The hybrid way of working has surfaced the need further by making this a must for any responsible organisation,” said Richa Singh, CEO of YourDOST, an emotional and mental wellness program. YourDost claims to have onboarded 200 new corporate clients in the past year and the engagement numbers of these plans have also doubled, according to the start-up’s observation.

Emotional health

Talking about the major themes that come up when organisations reach out to InnerHour for mental health support, Dr. Amit Malik, Psychiatrist, Founder and CEO InnerHour noted that fatigue and burnout feature in almost every conversation they have with corporate partners. Along with this, extended work from home is also said to be a common theme, added Dr. Malik. YourDOST’s Singh too said that fall in work-life balance is a top theme in such conversations, followed by relationship and marital troubles.

Emotional health of employees recovering from Covid, dealing with grief and loss, blurred work-life boundaries in the work from home context, and keeping employees connected, engaged and motivated in the extended and staggered remote work environment, were some of the conversation points noted by corporates seeking mental wellness support for employees.

According to a 2021 estimate of McKinsey & Company, the global wellness market is worth more than $1.5 trillion, with an annual growth of 5 to 10 per cent. The American management consulting firm has observed substantial growth in prioritization of wellness over the last two to three years, in the markets globally.

Published on July 20, 2021

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