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Ecosystem of strong research centers positions Ireland as a global leader in Workplace Wellness

Before the COVID outbreak, Workplace Wellness was already a $40 billion industry. The demand for Workplace Wellness initiatives traditionally were built upon an organic demand from consumers for enhanced support around their own individual wellbeing. Businesses are responding to this demand for increased support around individual employees for increased health, wellness, contentment, and better performance, which ultimately increases benefits enterprises via tax breaks, lower insurance costs, and healthier, happier, and more productive employees. Workplace Wellness was already on the minds of key stakeholders across corporate and employee wellbeing leadership functions, but due to the pandemic, employee wellness is being invested in more heavily than ever before.

Research shows that we are all being impacted in terms of our physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing by the COVID pandemic. The increase in stressors, isolation, and a lack of physical movement is taking its toll. This toll is impacting folks of both genders, with women being even more heavily impacted.

COVID and women’s health

As more research into the emotional and mental impact of COVID-19 becomes available, evidence is suggesting that the stress from the pandemic is having a strong impact on women.

  • A Total Brain survey shows that 83% of women men are reporting a significant increase in depression.
  • A recent Kaiser poll shows that 53% of women who responded report a significant negative impact on their mental health.

Aoife O’Leary, San Francisco VP of Digital Technologies, for Enterprise Ireland, explained that Ireland has been at the forefront of developing holistic tools for enterprises seeking to support their employees’ overall wellbeing – inclusive of emotional mental, and physical wellness. O’Leary says there is an array of benefits to employers for investing in such services, even prior to the pandemic.

“We’re very proud to support an innovative and talented set of Irish companies that are working to meet the challenge of workplace wellness,” added O’Leary. “The pandemic itself represents a health risk, but the stress, isolation, and difficulties resulting from a reduced workforce, or new work from home requirements greatly impact employee health as well.”

Irish companies making an impact in the wellness sector

KeepAppy

Enterprise Ireland wellness client KeepAppy, is on a mission to make mental health care accessible for all. KeepAppy was founded in response to the founder’s personal experiences with suicide and mental illness. According to KeepAppy, mental illness affects 1 in 4 people around the globe, yet most struggle to know how to maintain or manage their mood on a daily basis. KeepAppy offers users a wide variety of features that act as equipment.

Zevo Health

Zevo’s Wellbeing Score cuts through the vast amount of health and fitness data available to give users a concise look at their health status. The Wellbeing Score given provides a metric to measure physical and psychological health. The score is scientifically calculated based on the results of a survey taken directly in-app. This score allows the user to reflect on which wellbeing areas of their life are currently thriving and what areas they might need to work on improving. The Zevo Health app makes it easy and fun to create, share, and take part in company wellbeing challenges. These challenges can be done on an individual or team basis that help you stay on track and motivated.

The use of gamification encourages engagement among employees and with some friendly competition, motivates them to work together on a common goal. Challenges are successful when a supportive, positive climate of fun and camaraderie helps people to adopt or maintain a healthy way of living.

Pulse Learning — I Am Here

Established in 1999, PulseLearning is a world-class, award-winning team of experts providing Learning Solutions to Clients globally across all sectors including Technology, Science, Healthcare, Pharma, Finance, Retail, Hospitality, Automotive, Defense, and Education. By providing individualized, customized learning solutions, a business can meet their business and growth requirements.

In 2019 PulseLearning launched I Am Here, an award-winning, evidence-based Mental Health, and Wellbeing solution focused on the workplace. I Am Here is the fastest-growing Mental Health and Wellbeing solution in the world and has been launched to over 350,000 people across the globe. PulseLearning recognizes that people want to compassionately connect with their fellow team members and signpost them to the help or support they may need.

Enterprise Ireland Health and Wellness Research

As with many of the health sciences, research is critical. Ireland’s research ecosystem around wellness is incredibly strong. From Enterprise Ireland and government-supported organizations to universities and private institutions, there is a wealth of information available.

How good is the health of the population as a whole? How responsive is the health system and how satisfied are citizens with it? How well is the burden of financing a health system shared within the population?  These are all questions at the core of the Enterprise Ireland Health and Wellness research cluster; supporter of the NUI Galway Whitaker Institute.

With a multidisciplinary team from psychology, sociology, economics, law, nursing, and health promotion, the Health and Well-Being cluster examines ways of improving population health and well-being and reducing inequalities in health throughout life.

The Centre for Mental Health & Community Research

Formerly known as the Mental Health and Social Research Unit, the Center for Mental Health & Community Research was established in Maynooth University in 2008 by Founder/Director, Professor Sinead McGilloway. The Center conducts high quality, interdisciplinary, community-engaged research on innovative and often large-scale health services and social care research programs and projects across a number of practice- and policy-relevant subject areas of national and international importance. The center also offers a stimulating learning environment for, and leadership in, the training/mentoring of doctoral/other postgraduate students and early career researchers.

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