London-based Fika, a platform that seeks to advertise ‘psychological health’ has raised £1.2 million in funding to develop its mannequin as a proactive psychological wellness device for companies and their staff. The funding was led by Rising Stars, with a syndicate of ten UK and US-based angel buyers, together with Biogen board member Brian Posner and NCFE CEO David Gallagher, who will each be part of Fika’s board.
Why Fika is totally different
The worker help programme (EAP) market is crowded, and rising consciousness of psychological well being has led to the creation of a number of psychological well being and wellbeing platforms. Fika, nonetheless, takes a special strategy.
Conventional EAP programmes give attention to restoration. In follow, staff will use them solely after struggling an opposed occasion. The results of this are huge. Co-founder Nick Bennett informed UKTN it meant that many individuals didn’t get the assistance they want. “The EAP methods are in place for then they’ve hit the underside, and also you solely get, on common, 8-10% utilization,” he mentioned. The consequence is that poor psychological well being has an enormous enterprise price. As a substitute, Fika’s mission is to present ‘psychological health’ the identical degree of consciousness as ‘bodily health’.
A picture search can rapidly reveal the distinction, says Bennett, “in case you search bodily well being, you see individuals in the park smiling, glad faces. However in case you put in psychological well being,” he defined, “you get outlines of abilities, or pictures with phrases like ‘despair.’”
Fika goals to advertise psychological health as a optimistic and proactive exercise for everyone.
Fika affords a coaching platform, based mostly round psychological health, that may combine with a firm’s present coaching programme. So, proper from employees induction, employees are taught how you can take care of their psychological well being in the identical manner they’re taught and inspired to take care of their bodily well being.
Gareth Fryer, Fika’s different co-founder, factors out the appreciable discrepancy between bodily and psychological well being within the office. “For many years, we’ve educated individuals how you can elevate bins. Why aren’t we coaching individuals how to handle their psychological hundreds?”
The idea is straightforward. As a substitute of ready for an issue to manifest, staff might be taught how you can monitor and preserve their psychological well being. Whether or not it’s a graduate affected by imposter syndrome of their first days, or a seasoned worker susceptible to burnout from years of stress and deadlines.
Fika has onboarded over seventy new purchasers this 12 months, together with retailer DFS, who’re working with them to analysis to optimistic impression it’s having. DFS are within the strategy of implementing Fika into its organisation, utilizing the each day coaching to enhance psychological resilience amongst its employees and, the place needed, creating individualised pathways to assist employees. The path has been extremely profitable, with a excessive take up by employees and optimistic early impacts.
A sensible origin
Each Bennett and Fryer got here to the venture with related lived experiences. Bennett realised the significance of psychological health coaching and training when a life-long good friend took their very own life.
Except for the grief he suffered, he was additionally left with questions. “It was a tough time for me to attempt to perceive what I did unsuitable, what was unsuitable with the system, was there some extent I may need modified issues,” he recalled. “And that was the start of my journey to grasp psychological well being and realise that we’ve missed the health ingredient of psychological well being.”
Fryer’s expertise got here after receiving two most cancers diagnoses in his life. The primary at college and the second after beginning Fika, however he realised the most important distinction between the 2 was his psychological health. “The second was by the worst, however I coped with it higher as a result of I had improved my psychological health.
Benefiting each worker
The platform is for everybody. Fryer explains, “we’re focusing on the 80% of folks that don’t know they want it. We’re uneducated about our psychological well being, and the one manner you repair it’s with formalised coaching.” Fika was intentionally launched within the training sector, so they might display an evidence-based strategy with a sensible software.
And the sensible facet is necessary. With hundreds of self-help and psychological well being books being joined by platforms like Headspace and Calm, the problem is that most individuals merely don’t use them.
“There’s about 100 optimistic psychological methods you should utilize to handle your wellbeing,” says Fryer. “The issue will not be that they don’t exist, it’s that no-one makes use of them. We’ve created a brief five-minute train framework that enables individuals to coach and perceive these abilities.”
The success is all the way down to the comfort, when everybody has entry to these programs of their pockets, they will profit from them. It’s a system that Fryer and Bennett hope will make psychological health commonplace, well-regarded and understood as bodily health.