February 22, 2024

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Digital Platforms for Mental Health and Wellbeing Support SMEs in New Zealand

Small-business owners who have been stressed out now have free access to mental health and wellbeing support. Through the Digital Boost initiative, a digital mental health and wellbeing website is providing 24/7 mental health and wellbeing support to small business owners across Aotearoa to assist the small business community. According to the CEO and co-founder of a mental health app, the ongoing effect of COVID-19 on New Zealanders’ mental health has resulted in increased mental health distress.

App user-data, which provides a real-time pulse on the mental health status of the country, reflects New Zealand’s population demographics. The lockdowns in 2020 showed the proportion of those with severe mental health distress including suicidal thoughts increased 8 times and the public system is collapsing under the demand.

The platform employs artificial intelligence (AI) to assist users in identifying their mental health issues. It then connects them with personalised resources and allows them to book online appointments with mental health professionals. According to the CEO, the platform’s success thus far can be attributed to volunteers who assist with everything from marketing to sales.

During previous lockdowns, we saw that financial concern was the number one concern for our users. This will be prevalent again within small business owners now that we are in another prolonged lockdown period.

Support is provided online or via text messages by a digital wellbeing assistant. The app offered free mental health resources and assisted users in locating therapists and counsellors. It also created a personalised wellbeing plan for users to track moods, set personal goals, and manage anxiety and depression.

An education centre dedicated to the mental health of business owners and supporting their ability to develop digital skills to help their business thrive even during lockdowns for the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE) is committed to the mental health of business owners and supporting their ability to develop digital skills to help their business thrive even during lockdowns. To support small business owners and their employees, Digital Boost is currently collaborating with the mental health platform to provide free online mental wellbeing support to all 35,000 Digital Boost subscribers. The education centre is ecstatic that the platform, as a small tech-enabled social enterprise, is now able to support so many other New Zealand-owned businesses.

OpenGov Asia had reported that The Digital Boost programme is an excellent example of the public and private sectors working together for New Zealand small businesses. Industry Leaders, small business owners and MBIE have designed this programme to meet the needs of the country’s SMEs. This is more pertinent as New Zealand, and indeed, the world is looking to come out of the pandemic more resilient and future-focused. Adapting to a digital world that is increasingly going online, contactless and remote will be key.

Management experts estimated that in eight weeks, the pandemic accelerated the business adoption of digital tools and services by the equivalent of five years. Research and data indicate that small businesses that leverage digital tools have a distinct competitive advantage in the digital age.

Since its launch, the platform has provided a private virtual wellbeing assistant to assist New Zealanders in gaining access to mental health support and empowering all Kiwis to proactively maintain their wellbeing through personalised wellbeing lessons and tools. “With the devastating news of another Level 4 lockdown, this has left many feeling overwhelmed and anxious for the future. We want to let small business owners know our mental health platform can support them through these difficult times, they don’t need to suffer through it alone,” said the CEO.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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