High uptake in Mental Health Consultations as cases of anxiety and depression rise

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the COVID-19 pandemic triggered a 25% increase in the prevalence of anxiety and depression worldwide1.

One of the many reasons for this increase was stress caused by the social isolation as a result of the pandemic. This increase has put additional strain on already stretched NHS mental health services.

Step in, the Aviva DigiCare+ Workplace app  

2021 saw the app really come in to its own with more than 1,500 Mental Health Consultations taking place. Of these appointments, 72% were for anxiety (39%) and depression or low mood symptoms (33%).

Appointments were available, in most cases within 48 hours, offering speedy access to mental health professionals right when it's needed.

The Mental Health Consultation service offers quick access to tailored mental health advice from a qualified therapist. Insured employees get up to six consultations per year, which they can share between them and their immediate family.

Millennials are most likely to use the service 

The service was used by people of all age groups but the majority of those who booked were in the younger age groups with 59% of users aged between 16 and 35. This reflects findings from the WHO which highlighted that the pandemic has affected the mental health of young people and that they are disproportionally at risk of suicidal and self-harming behaviours1.

However, the 36-45 age group accounted for 27% of appointments, showing this age group clearly also requires mental health support in the workplace.  

Across the board, 57.5% of appointments were booked by women and 42.5% were booked by men. This also supports findings by WHO which indicated that women have been more severely impacted than men. . 

Providing access to mental health professionals when its needed most 

We’re proud the Aviva DigiCare+ Workplace app has been able to support customers with their mental health. Having quick and simple access to professionals can make a huge difference to individuals. That’s why when members book an appointment via the app, they can expect a consultation to take place in less than 48 hours.

And if users wish to access and share the outcomes and advice they receive in the consultation, this is stored in the clinical notes section of the app. 

We've had some great feedback from users

  • Almost 90% of feedback responders said the expert dealt with their query in full
  • 96% rated the expert a 4 (17%) or 5 (79%) out of 5
  • 92% of feedback responders said they would recommend the service to a friend or colleague

Additional mental health support available with all Aviva Group Protection products 

Clients and employees with an Aviva Group Protection policy can also benefit from the Wellbeing Library, whether they are insured on the policy or not.  There is a whole section dedicated to mental wellbeing and covers topics from burn-out to help reducing stress.

And if dealing with mental health concerns is something your clients need more support with, the Aviva Line Manager Toolkit: Mental Health offers video modules and downloadable materials aimed at helping line managers spot the warning signs of poor mental health.

It gives managers more confidence to have supportive conversations with team members, so they can address issues before they become more serious. The toolkit is also available to insured and uninsured line managers and can be accessed via the employer hub for the Group Protection product your client holds with us.

To find out more about the mental health support available with Aviva Group Protection products, please visit our website or speak to your usual Aviva contact.

The Aviva DigiCare+ Workplace app and services are provided by Square Health and is available to insured employees of an Aviva Group Income Protection or Group Critical Illness policy. 

This is a non-contractual benefit Aviva can change or withdraw at any time. It is available to employees who are permanent residents of Great Britain, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

The Mental Health Consultation service is not intended to replace NHS services but supplements existing support available.

1. World Health Organisation, COVID-19 pandemic triggers 25% increase in prevalence of anxiety and depression worldwide.
2. All data referencing usage of the mental health consultations via the Aviva DigiCare+ Workplace app, is provided by Square Health.