A Yorkshire-based mental health platform created to support employees has launched a crowdfunding campaign to keep its online training free of charge.
Launched in 2018 by Sheffield-based entrepreneur Harry Bliss, Champion Health offers evidence-based workplace health programmes tailored to every organisation, offering a range of solutions from online employee health assessments and company reports to digital and in-person wellbeing services.
The coronavirus pandemic saw the company make its online mental health training free of charge to reach more employees struggling during this difficult period. Since then they have signed up over 350 companies supporting more than 5000 employees on the course.
Founder of Champion Health, Harry Bliss comments: “We anticipated that the uncertainty and social isolation as a result of the pandemic was going to impact our nation's mental health, and so we knew it was important to make our course freely available in response to this.”
The ONS has revealed that 47% of the UK are experiencing high levels of anxiety and the Mental Health Foundation expect an estimated half a million more people will experience a mental health problem in the next year as a direct result of the pandemic.
The training explores how to optimise mental wellbeing, spot warning signs of poor mental health and support others in need. It also helps to build resilience, improve productivity and practice self-care, all of which are vital skills in maintaining good mental health at difficult times.
Emma Fallon, Trainer at Honda UK Manufacturing, completed the training and said:“During Mental Health Awareness week, I reached out to Champion Health to try their Mental Health Awareness course, which is free to all at the time of this pandemic. Champion Health responded very quickly, and I was amazed at the kindness and support that followed. They provided an instant access code, not just for myself but for all my colleagues at Honda to use if they wish.
“The course was easy to follow, informative, interesting, and beneficial. It is clear Champion Health’s intentions to save/improve lives and support others are genuine, by making this important information about mental health readily available to all.”
Harry continues: “We’ve had an incredible response so far, with 96% of users gaining a greater understanding of their own mental wellbeing after completing. However, we didn't quite anticipate how long the pandemic would last and how far-reaching the effects on our daily lives would be.
“This is why we now need help to keep it free. We have financed the course on our own for the last two months, allowing thousands of people to access the life-changing and life-saving training for free. But unfortunately, as a small start-up, we can’t do this for much longer.
“By keeping our training free, we can reach thousands of more people at this critical time and give them the skills to cope as we adjust to a different and unfamiliar way of life. Most importantly, we hope this will reduce the risk of a national mental health crisis.”
The company aims to raise £15,000 which will help to train over 7,000 more people.