They’re finding appy-ness

The Mentemia app is designed to help workplaces and individuals with their everyday mental wellbeing. Photo: MacKenzie Dyer/SunLive.

An app to encourage positive mental health habits is having spin-offs for added productivity in the workplace.

The Mentemia app has been driven by former All Black and mental health advocate Sir John Kirwan and a team of clinical advisors. It is also backed by Tauranga business adviser John Olsen who is on the board of directors.

John has experience leading teams of thousands of employees at a time and says he was drawn to Mentemia through his “personal and professional experience of trying to help people”.

“From a professional perspective, an app is a practical way to reach lots of people. It’s an on-demand resource, so people can address what they’re dealing with right away.

“Personally, I really like the worry map exercise – it calms my racing brain down when I'm awake at two o'clock in the morning thinking about the business problem.”

The worry map helps users define what their worry is and whether it’s within their control, before creating an action plan.

Once the activity is complete, an in-app balloon on a string pops up for users to ‘cut’, signifying letting the worry go.

“I use that one often. That’s what I love about the app, there's lots of different ways to interact with it: some people will use it frequently, and others will interact with one or two tools or resources that really work for them.”

The app provides specific resources for dealing with COVID-19.

“Stress, anxiety and worry are dialled up during uncertain times like COVID-19,” says Sir John Kirwan.

“Lockdown was and is again a catalyst for many people and businesses to begin using the app, as people are wanting advice about how best to cope and thrive during these times.”

The need is evident in the amount of downloads, which total more than 65,000 since the app’s April release.

“There is more awareness about the importance of mental wellbeing since COVID. This is true for both individuals and companies wanting to help support their workers’ mental wellbeing.

“The alert levels may have changed, but managing your approach to stress, anxiety and your overall wellbeing requires daily practise, similar to brushing your teeth twice a day for your dental health.

“I have a daily mental health plan. I do a few little things every day, and now I'm thriving. That’s where Mentemia comes in. It’s like having a personalised mental health coach in your pocket.”

Mentemia is free to download from major app stores.

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