Warwick is set to become the centre of an innovative mental health trial that uses Fitbit technology to improve workplace wellbeing.
Warwick is set to become the centre of an innovative mental health trial that uses Fitbit technology to improve workplace wellbeing. visualspace

Technology will track mental health in Warwick workplaces

WARWICK workers are set to become the focus of a first-of-its kind project that tracks employee stress levels to deliver information that can improve mental health and increase productivity in the workplace.

Partnering with Australian-founded company Medibio, Warwick headspace is getting ready to trial an innovative project that relies on technology to collect biometric data about workers.

Headspace community awareness and engagement officer Simon Goddard said participants would connect a program developed by Medibio to their Fitbit or other wearable device.

"They would wear the Fitbit for a couple of days and get a report into their blood pressure, resting blood pressure and other biometrics that indicate stress," Mr Goddard said.

Along with a quick online survey, Mr Goddard said the results would be used to triage participants into categories and deliver individualised treatment and support recommendations.

"The workplace can purchase anonymous reports that show the levels of stress in the workplace, so they can put strategies in place like mental health coaches and supervisors, getting staff off to mental health awareness and having support networks in place," he said.

Workers will be able to use their phones and a wearable device to track biometric data.
Workers will be able to use their phones and a wearable device to track biometric data. SOURCED

"They can then advertise you have a mentally healthy workplace." Warwick headspace is currently seeking expressions of interest from companies in the Southern Downs region to participate in the program next year.

While the study will focus on people of all ages, Mr Goddard hopes the study will help increase referrals of people aged 18-25 to the youth mental health service.

"Our thinking is that a lot of blokes particularly don't like talking about their mental health but if they use something like this to give them some objective feedback that might help spur them on a little bit," he said.

"We are doing very well with referrals to the 12- 8 year old group but not so well with the 18-25 year old group. We think the workplace may well be an opportunity to reach out to people needing help."

A Medibio spokesman said the technology had been developed over 20 years.

"Based on the connection between biological changes associated with psychiatric disease, circadian cycles, and the autonomic nervous system, our platform relies on cardiovascular and sleep data to provide insights into mental health," he said.

If you or anyone you know has been affected by this story, immediate help is available 24/7 - phone Lifeline on 131114 or beyondblue on 1300224636.



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