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Discovery Vitality to reward members who attend to their mental health

By Karishma Dipa Time of article published May 23, 2021

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The Covid-19 pandemic might have placed more attention on the importance of mental health, but experts still believe not enough is being done to improve the struggles of the mind.

In a bid to address this, Discovery Vitality has established their Vitality Mental Wellbeing programme.

This campaign seeks to reward their members with Discovery Miles for taking proactive steps towards their mental health and overall well-being.

This includes, among others, those who track their mindful minutes and sleep goals on partner apps, including Headspace, Calm, The Mindfulness App and buddhify, in the Vitality Active Rewards platform.

Dr Seranne Motilal, a clinical wellness specialist at Discovery Vitality, told The Saturday Star this week that mental health might be an integral part of health and well-being but despite impressive strides made in improving life expectancy and physical health over the past few decades, there was still scant evidence that people are happier or experiencing lower levels of mental illness.

“Physical and mental health are two sides of the same coin and this relationship is perhaps best captured in the old maxim ‘a healthy body in a healthy mind’,” Motilal explained.

She added that there was a high and increasing burden on mental health conditions and that global prevalence studies indicated that on average one in five adults (17.6%) experience a common mental disorder within the previous 12 months and 29.2% across their lifetime.

“Depression, for instance, has been positioned as the single highest cause of disability worldwide and given the significant prevalence and impact of mental health, it is a crucial time to pay more attention to mental health and well-being services.”

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The Vitality Mental Wellbeing programme was then officially kicked off earlier this month and Motilal is of the view that it can be of much assistance to a member’s mental health and well-being.

“The Vitality mental well-being programme helps you gain a more detailed view of your overall state of mental well-being and rewards you for taking proactive steps to understand, improve and maintain your mental well-being,” she said.

The programme has systematic stages to follow, which starts with understanding key elements of mental well-being and by simply completing mental well-being assessments, users can earn up to 500 Vitality points twice a year.

The next step is for users to improve their mental well-being by tracking their sleep and mindfulness sessions to get rewarded with Discovery Miles.

The final stage is for a user to maintain their mental well-being by making mindfulness part of their daily routine with expert videos, podcasts and articles.

Motilal explained that the primary aim of the Vitality mental well-being programme is to offer a series of interventions which can assist members to improve their sense of well-being and reduce feelings of mental stress and distress.

“These interventions are varied, have wide-appeal and are evidence-based.”

She also believes that this programme will be hugely beneficial to South Africans as the nation battles issues of poverty, discrimination, political conflict, which are often beyond the immediate control of individuals and takes a toll on their mental healths.

“Mental health accounts for approximately 13% percent of the global burden of disease and in South Africa, roughly 1in 6 people suffer from a mental illness.”

Despite these harrowing statistics, Motilal is optimistic that the devastating mental health figures in the country can be combated and dealt with.

“It is important to be cognisant of these factors as many things may be out of our control, however, with improved mental well-being, hopefully we can begin to cope better with both these external and internal stressors.”

Motilal added that this was the perfect platform for this mental health initiative as Vitality is the largest behavioural science programme in the world that has demonstrated great results with its other programme.

“Mental wellbeing is an integral part of overall health and through using the Vitality platform, we hope to support our members in this essential aspect of their health.”

The Saturday Star

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