The ONS study mentioned above found that the number of people taking time off increased by nearly half a million between 2019 and 2022, and separately the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) found that last year 60% of people with poor health health absences were more related to mental than physical problems.
This shows that, according to Rethinkly, we are in the midst of “arguably the worst mental health crisis in decades.” In an effort to address this, Rethinkly is making some bold claims about its new platform, suggesting it will “transform the way managers, therapists, life coaches and others can solve work and mental health challenges, leveraging of real-world experiences, in the context of virtual freedom.”
It also claims that it “uses a combination of real-world, academia and case studies insights, leading to one of the most advanced tools for addressing communication problems worldwide.”
By creating a virtual world, Rethinkly seeks to eradicate “all real-world references” in order to instill neutrality. Employees can then create avatars of themselves that can emote for them, which the company says can provide “enough detachment for reflection and transparent communication.”
This separation from reality seems to be key, as the virtual world allows people to communicate and express themselves in ways that they wouldn’t be comfortable with in the real world.
Images are also used extensively in Rethinkly, to help people express themselves in ways they can’t or won’t with words. The NHS has also used the platform to help patients who find it difficult or impossible to communicate with words as well.
Rethinkly also says that the software can be used “under expert direction – which can be appropriate for particularly complex issues, including the mental health industry,” and that “users can learn how to use the software in minutes,” so everyone can get benefit from it.
Rethinkly also notes that VR is also being explored in this context, perhaps pointing to its possible future integration with the technology.
And if justification were needed for companies to address the mental health of their employees, Andrew Jackson, co-founder of Rethinkly, notes that “there is an immediate payback, both financially and data shows that spending £1 on them £5 in return, and in growth by unlocking innovation and creativity.”
This was originally published on 9th of March 2023. For the full article click here: