Cognitive behavioural therapy can help employees fight anxiety and depression

Many digital health start-ups are offering CBT as part of their online programme to their customers, comprising employers and health plans.

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While most Indian organisations are waking up to the importance of helping their staff stay fit through yoga, dance and meditation sessions, many international companies are subscribing to digital health service providers that offer programmes to help their customers manage their health issues, such as diabetes and obesity, which are a huge concern for coporate staff. Silicon Valley-based digital health start-up, Omada noticed that many of their customers were not just diabetic and obese but were also suffering from psychological disorders, such as depression and anxiety, which were aggravating their obesity and diabetes conditions.

This led to Omada introducing a programme focusing mainly on depression and anxiety, which would also allow existing customers to access an array of mental health devices. To make this possible, it tied up with Lantern, a mental health start-up. Omada’s programme used to connect customers — comprising the staff of corporates and subscribers of health plans— online with a coach, a peer group, and a clinical team of dietitians, physicians, and psychologists. As a result, customers were not only able to shed their extra weight but also reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease, and ended up feeling good overall. Now, the Company’s collaboration with Lantern will help customers, suffering from anxiety and depression, receive cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). This will assist the employees in modifying their responses to situations that are emotionally challenging.

Virta Health is yet another company that uses such digital health intervention consisting of a coach and peer group that together help patients reduce diabetes symptoms. These companies offer diet suggestions and exercise plans and are rather popular. Omada already has over two lakh enrolments.

It is high time Indian employers realised the need for such online physical and mental health management programmes.

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