New Mental Health App, Built With and for the NHS, Widens Accessibility to All UK Public and Private Sector Companies


A new mental health app, built with the NHS, for the NHS is widening accessibility to all UK public and private sector companies.

Protection insurance leader, LifeSearch, is the first adopter.

After four years in the making, working in conjunction with the NHS Walton Centre, a specialist Neurological Trust, and co-created with NHS staff at all levels – including frontline staff throughout the pandemic – the mental health workforce resilience and wellbeing app ShinyMind today announces its launch into the wider public and private sector, with protection insurance leader LifeSearch representing the first adopter.

ShinyMind represents the only workforce mental health app to have received NHS ‘Proven Innovation’ status. To achieve this status, the App has achieved the kind of impact and evidence-base scrutiny and rigour that a piece of medical equipment would go through for approval for use in the NHS.

ShinyMind believes the app will revolutionise workforce mental health (MH) resilience and wellbeing by empowering people – through interactive personal resources – to learn more about themselves, grow and thrive. LifeSearch says that the app fits perfectly with its strong cultural values in terms of democratising essential support and helping people flourish by providing the tools, trust and respect we all need.

The app aims to become a “companion for life” and it’s through the combination of learning and personal empowerment tools that “stickiness” is achieved, according to LifeSearch, where already just under 40% of the organisation’s people are active users.


Cultural Evolution


LifeSearch have long been committed to colleague care. The company’s intranet wellness platform uses gamification to record and boost Searchers’ daily mood scores, while a Listening Ears service offers 15 trained mental health first aiders to LifeSearchers in need.

With unprecedented flux throughout the last 18 months, and 500 Searchers working remotely, the company largely credits its culture of care for keeping morale high and absenteeism low, while maintaining an enviable record in talent retention. The addition of ShinyMind ensures support can continue out of hours and on the user’s own terms.

Proprietary LifeSearch data gathered for the Health, Wealth & Happiness Report found that 39% of UK adults, rising to 45% of women, say their mental health is worse now than it was prior to March 2020. Moving into an uncertain future, LifeSearch believe colleague care should be every organisation’s priority one.

LifeSearch are also an investor in ShinyMind, supporting the growth of the app in its strategy to reach more public and private sector companies.



Retention & Results


ShinyMind boasts a Net Promoter Score (NPS) score of over 70% and a retention rate after 30 days of over 60% based on trials with over 2,500 NHS frontline staff, many of whom are working under the toughest of conditions; in A&E departments and Intensive Care. The vast majority (97%) claimed the app made them more resilient and a further 96% felt less stressed.

ShinyMind says that unlike many MH apps, which tend to offer either one-size-fits-all mindfulness and meditation activities, or are built upon just one approach to Psychotherapy (generally a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy approach), ShinyMind provides a much more personalised experience.

Rebecca Howard, Founder and CEO of ShinyMind and a leadership Psychotherapist and behavioural change expert, comments: “The majority of mental health apps are CBT-based but this represents just one approach to psychotherapy. In order to provide a resource which works for as many of us as possible, we haven’t tied ourselves to one approach; instead, we have blended elements from different psychotherapeutic approaches. Why? Because everyone is different with very different needs.”

“Through a wide breadth of everyday interactive activities, this multi-modality of different approaches is reflected in ShinyMind, to help people find something that works for them. Equally, mindfulness and meditation activities don’t work for everyone. For those – the majority – who can’t always understand and steer their own thoughts, guided meditation is better suited. This is also provided via the app.”

“This is the ShinyMind difference, as is the fact that users are encouraged to personalise the app and ‘put themselves into it’ so there’s some graft involved, but then from that you get the gold in terms of the learning. It’s this that makes it so ‘sticky’ unlike many other apps, where average usage after 30 days is under 10%. You put so much of yourself into ShinyMind, that to delete it would be like deleting a big piece of your life.”

“We felt that LifeSearch matched our vision for empowerment of people, instead of making people put up their hands for help – something that most simply don’t want to do and arguably shouldn’t be asked to do. They have some really wonderful values around people and genuinely want to offer the best support. Teamwork is also really important to them and the app helps support that through the positivity posts. It’s great to see that just under 40% of the organisation are already active users of the ShinyMind app and we’re looking forward to watching that grow over time.”

LifeSearch Founder and CEO Tom Baigrie said: “ShinyMind proved itself inside the NHS in the most extreme conditions imaginable so it’s a very welcome addition to our network of support services. We know that when individuals are happier and more contented, business reaps the rewards in performance and retention, as well as reduced absenteeism.”

“Our Searchers are talking with people about some really personal, sensitive and sometimes deeply upsetting things when discussing life cover for example. Having in place ShinyMind is about helping them put on their own oxygen masks first, so that they’re better placed to help customers as well as themselves.”

“Prior to the pandemic there was a focus on workplace wellness, but the 2020/ 2021 experience has really opened up the conversation and put mental health at the top of the agenda. Now more than ever employers have a duty to prioritise colleague care so individuals feel safe, heard, and protected so that, together, we can accelerate the national recovery.”