MarketWatch: Free workplace app to build resilience, wellbeing and mental strength

Leading Employee Assistance Program provider Access Wellbeing Services (formerly Centrecare Corporate) has launched a free, universal, preventative mobile app – RESILnZ™ – that helps West Australians build their resilience, wellbeing and mental strength through evidence-informed exercises and activities.

RESILnZ™ uses a range of features to build mental strength, including resilience exercises, mood monitoring, guided meditations, goal setting capabilities and podcast episodes. It also allows users to connect their Fitbit and Garmin watches to monitor the relationship between their heart-rate and mind.

The cost of mental illness in Australia is estimated to be $190 billion a year, equivalent to 12% of gross domestic product (GDP). Currently, 1 in 4 of our young people suffers from mental illness in any given year, and we lose 9 million working days from mental illness annually. It is a major issue for the Australian population, economy, and collective quality of life.

Access Wellbeing Services commissioned the development of the App as it believes the concept of resilience is built on the premise that most people will do well despite exposure to adversity and stress.

“I think we can all agree that the world is facing challenges of changing-international and national economic times, the threat of terrorism, the gap between poverty and wealth, and global climate challenges that call for resilience of the highest order,” says Tony Pietropiccolo, Director of Access Wellbeing Services.

“Unfortunately, the access to twenty-four-hour communication keeps these and other negative events at the forefront of our minds,” he added.

Whether a person develops psychological stress or a psychological injury at work depends on the balance between their exposure to stress and their coping resources. If the level of stress is too large for a person’s coping resources, they can run into trouble. Resilience and psychological strength, like physical strength, does not just “happen”- it must be trained, practised, and refined, and the RESILnZ™ app provides the perfect tool to help.

Access Wellbeing Services understands that wellbeing is multifaceted, rather than one-dimensional, and therefore resilience is just one of several elements. The RESILnZ ™ app has been designed to not only focus on the element of resilience but to include the physical, emotional, social and spiritual elements of wellbeing.

The app was built by Tonic Digital, a Perth-based consultancy specialising in data-driven digital marketing.

Tonic Digital Director, Brendan Collins, was excited by the opportunity to transition the knowledge of Access Wellbeing Services into a commercially viable product.

“Resilnz™ is the perfect blend of industry know-how and user-friendly technology where the various indicators of resilience provided the foundation to create a holistic mental health app for working West Australians,” he said.

Brendan said the strong engagement provided by fitness apps acted as inspiration for the development of Resilnz™. “Resilnz™ uses various metrics to drive valuable ongoing insights for the end-user about their mental health.

“Like Fitbit but for your mind, the app taps into self-improvement and can motivate the user to strengthen their wellbeing, allowing them to work and perform at their optimum,” he said.

“The app provides a safe personalised user experience which is reflective in the engagement communications used throughout the app including reminders, tips and resources that are issued to users based on their wellbeing score.”

RESILnZ™ focuses on the ninety plus percent of the work force that is fundamentally “well,” but at widely varying levels of fitness in each dimension of strength (emotional, social, physical, and spiritual).

The goal is to create a force of “optimally fit” individuals who can overcome stress-producing events and grow from these experiences. People who are optimally fit are more likely to pursue high levels of responsibility and to perform well under pressure; also, they have the decision-making skills and communication skills to be successful in life.

Additionally, when facing uncertainty and adversity, these same skills help these individuals to put the problems into an appropriate perspective, find meaning in their lives, reduce rumination and catastrophic thinking, and focus on finding solutions.

“Building resilience is one way we can all reduce our stress and risk of psychological injury at work and contribute to a more mentally healthy workplace,” Tony added.

It will always be important to treat mental health conditions but prevention is better than cure, and for the most part more cost effective,” he concluded.

RESILnZ™ recognises that developing human resilience is a life-long process. There is no “end state” for a person’s resilience; one can always improve. Therefore, the need to develop human resilience is enduring, and subsequently RESILnZ™ will continue to evolve to meet the resilience needs of individuals, workplaces and communities.

Resilnz™ is available for free download on iTunes, Google Play & Windows Store.

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