Nearly half of British workers are logging on to mobile apps to monitor stress and boost their mental health, a new study has found.
A survey from Accenture of over 2,000 workers found that four in 10 people are using technology such as apps, wearables and online services to manage stress, improve sleep and boost mental well-being.
The number, the survey found, is even greater – 46% – among those who have already experienced mental health issues.
Accenture said this openness to using a range of technologies is happening as a significant proportion of people report mental health challenges. Over half of workers said they are either experiencing mental health issues now or have had such issues in the past.
Most workers, 77%, believed that people should take proactive steps to manage their mental health with 57% declaring that apps and online technologies are going to become the first option many people use to do so.
The majority – 72% – have used or would use online counselling services or helplines, 69% said the same for meditation or relaxation apps and 67% for online chatrooms and support groups.
In addition, 52% would use a chatbot powered by artificial intelligence to support their mental wellbeing, and 55% believed that virtual reality can be helpful in managing mental health issues.
Two-thirds of workers who have used technology to support their mental health said their choice of technology was based on recommendations from healthcare professionals.
However, one in three workers are willing to use technology to support their mental health without any professional guidance, and three in four would consider using tech without knowing how well it was tested.
“As the range of technology for mental health expands, organisations can support their employees by providing them with access to tools that have been tested and found to be most effective,” said Barbara Harvey, a managing director at Accenture and mental health lead for the company’s business in the UK.
“However, technology will only ever be part of the solution – there’s no substitute for people talking and supporting each other. It’s all part of creating a truly human workplace where everyone feels safe to open up about mental health.”
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