Transcript: Mental Health Index Overview

May 2020

Good morning, my name is Louis Gagnon, and I am the CEO of Total Brain.

  •  I am here today to talk about… yes, a pandemic, but another pandemic… not quite COVID-19 but the impact that COVID-19 has on what was already considered a global crisis which is: our mental health.
  • Since COVID, we have been subjected to unprecedented levels of grief, worry, fear and uncertainty.  Not surprisingly, our mental health and conditions are affected.
  • We believe that they are affected enough that it is time to measure and monitor the situation so that we can make better decisions as individuals and organizations.
  • So we have decided, in partnership with One Mind at Work to launch an Index called the mental Health Index – Workers Edition.
  •  That Index is using neuroscientific assessments that people take when they come to Total Brain. This is not survey data, it is neuroscientific data that is more clinical by nature – and so the index takes 500 of them, a sample of the universe of assessments that we have each week, and it is a sample that we believe is representative of the workers population using our applications every day.
  •  At a high-level, the Index shows dramatic increase in stress, depressive mood, anxiety and even cognition.
  • I’ll give you the details on those findings in a minute but for now, let me introduce you to my partner, Garen Staglin, the Chairman of the Board of One Mind at Work, who helped us create the Index that we are presenting to you this morning.

Thank you, Louis.

  • One Mind at Work is delighted to take part in the creation of this Index. Workers spend half of their life at work and, as we now know more than ever before, those workers are the ones who keep us alive, fed, sheltered, cleaned and functioning as a society.
  • Unfortunately, this pandemic is making it harder for everyone. In the best case, workers are taking health risks and their jobs are being redefined to accommodate a new undefined world.  In the worst case, workers are furloughed or simply let go …  in all cases, stress is reaching new heights.

Yes, that’s right, Garren. Data shows that:

  1. The average working American is experiencing a 38% increase in stress since February. The people aged 40-59 are hardest hit. We are talking about a stress level increase of 52% in that case.
  2. Anxiety levels are up 54%.  It’s a whopping 83% for people aged 40-59.
  3. The number of workers at risk of depression has more than doubled since February.
  4. And not surprisingly, the higher risk of mental conditions seems to take a toll on our cognition.  Indeed, our data shows that workers are prone to be making more mistakes and they are taking 15% more time to complete standard tasks that we give them in our assessments.
    • Consider what a 15% loss in productivity across the nation’s entire workforce means for U.S. businesses, for the economy, for society as a whole?
    • Imagine how your company would be impacted if key employees were twice as anxious, less focused, more negative, making more errors and taking more time on critical projects.
    • Think about the impact on creativity, analysis, strategy and collaboration…

Absolutely, Garren.

  • As a society, our brain is THE most important asset we have.  It is now imperative that we understand and monitor its capacity and the risk that such capacity gets impaired over time.
  • But more importantly, it is imperative that we DO something about it – as individuals, as families, as groups, as organizations.
  • The Index has one simple goal:  help us all DO something about our mental health. Understand and DO.
  • We invite you to explore the Index in more details on our website; expected to be on a monthly cadence as we hope that you will be able to use this data for programmatic purposes to make decisions about your people.
  • And so, until then, I thank you all for your attention and Garren and I wish you health and peace. Thank you.
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