The biggest problem still remains; here's a possible solution.

For the most part, COVID-19 has had a profound impact on the mental health and well-being of humans every where. The pandemic has caused people to experience symptoms of anxiety and depression at more than double the pre-pandemic rate, with recent ONS  data showing that nearly 50% of U.S. adults ages 18-29 have experienced symptoms of depression or anxiety within the last seven days. This uptick in mental health symptom experience, coupled with the behavioral health provider workforce shortage is prolonging the existence of a barrier in achieving equity in mental health care.

The biggest problem still remains; ease. It’s still difficult to get support at the right time, in an effective way that accommodates our busy, scaled lifestyles. 

Our mental health follows us wherever we go, including into the workplace. To support employee mental health and well-being, organisations are increasingly focused on creating a caring compassionate culture. Part of that process involves people managers supporting the mental health and well-being of their teams. That’s why we created Candle’s suite of tools exists, to help each of us be able to notice and respond to requests for support, know how to listen with clinical principles, and then how to advise and support through next steps – by connecting a team members with services and professional. By onboarding to something like Candle, the likelihood of team members receiving support early and effectively could increase significantly.   

Making early connections is key, yet for many, the challenge resides in finding timely, effective and affordable care. The road to receiving care can be a long one, with countless calls to in-network mental health providers to schedule an appointment only to learn that none are available, there’s a four- to six-month wait to be seen, and end up being referred back to your GP. For some, the solution ends up being a non-solution: sitting tight while challenges and conditions worsen. 

How do we address this so that more people who need help get it? The answer could be found in modern peer-to-peer support. We like to call it Human-to-Human support. 

This person-centered and community approach to mental health care is championed  by the NHS and through Candle, includes digital access to clinical listening and counselling training, making professional skills available to non professional responders. This step change paints an image of a very bright future – where EVERYONE could have access to an informal, normal and effective support channel – no matter the hour or need. 

Peer-to-Peer is only one solution to equity in mental health care for all, but it’s a good one – because it’s attainable and affordable. At it’s core access to mental health care in a low-stigma setting, with a provider a person already has a relationship with. 

Our vision and mission is to democratise clinical listing skills, to make counselling techniques a part of every humans skill set in order to build a future brightened by thriving teams and communities, who know how to help when its needed.