RUSH 19 Ignite Wellbeing Platform
Creative DirectorTerry Williams-Willcock
Design DirectorTerry Williams-Willcock
Team MembersTenzin Pooch, Adrian Van Nierop, Simon Thomas, Brendan Haddock, Jodie Catterall, Scott Kennedy, Maryna Babych, Gareth van Essen, Cameron Peet, Gabriel Lantin, Josh Baxter, Shrish Apte, Stephanie Robinson
The World Health Organisation predicts that mental illness will be the leading cause of disability and absence in the workplace by 2030 if it’s not proactively addressed. More than 50% of New Zealanders experience mental distress and/or addiction. But only 3% of the population have access to publicly funded specialist mental health services.
These issues are compounded by the He Ara Oranga, Mental Health and Addiction Inquiry of 2018 findings that the current mental health support models are too restrictive, expensive and put intense pressure on our public health system.
Particularly, workforces in New Zealand currently have few options available to them outside of the traditional Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) for proactively supporting their staff’s wellbeing. The workplace is an important community context, somewhere that can support people to address early mental health concerns.
It was clear employers need to play a role in delivering better support to their employees - and we set about reimagining the delivery of EAP in a modern, relevant way.
We started with an exploration sprint, to frame the problem, define objectives and explore the technical capabilities needed to achieve them. An online experience was visualised during our initial workshops, then validated through activities with potential users. These included HR & Safety Managers and general users, made up of diverse personas representative of Aotearoa’s workforce.
We developed a new brand identity and design system then prioritised the product roadmap, working towards an online platform that allowed a broad, digitally accessed EAP that includes education content, digital wellbeing tools and specialist support booking - then the COVID-19 pandemic hit five months into the project, and the country went into lockdown.
In response to the COVID-19 crisis, we decided to make the resources section of their platform available early, enabled by our agile squad’s ability to pivot. This agile approach helped thousands of people across New Zealand navigate uncertain times and better manage the wellbeing of themselves and their whānau and led the transformation of how EAP is delivered in Aotearoa.
This platform improves access to flexible, online support, to strengthen the wellbeing of New Zealanders, so whānau, workplaces and communities can thrive.