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Mental health app chnnl allows healthcare providers to check staff’s wellbeing during the covid crisis

As the covid-19 crisis continues, wellbeing app ‘chnnl’ has been developed to keep track of the mental wellbeing of healthcare staff across New Zealand.

Providing psychological support, chnnl is used by multiple organisations to better understand how their staff are coping during such stressful times. Staff are able to anonymously complete a short check in at the end of each day to evaluate their mental health.

Founder and CEO, Dr Elizabeth Berryman, says healthcare providers such as Waitemata District Health Board, Auckland District Health Board, Wellington ICU and St John are all using chnnl through the covid crisis.

“All New Zealanders will face immense challenges over the coming weeks and months. This is particularly true for healthcare workers on the frontline who are constantly at risk of exposure to COVID-19. This is sure to bring more stress to environments which are already stressful at the best of times. 

“chnnl helps employers understand worker sentiment so they can make changes to improve mental wellness and reduce anxiety during this time.”

Questions surrounding covid have been added to chnnl to track employee’s sentiment on the virus. Wellington ICU consultant, Dr Kate Tietjens, says she hopes the app can better prepare staff for the challenged that the virus is bringing to New Zealand.

“Traditionally, staff mental wellbeing has been a difficult area to measure and we hope chnnl will allow us to solve any issues as they come up.

“Ensuring our teams feel comfortable and equipped to work on the frontline and tackle what every day brings in the best possible headspace is a top priority.”

chnnl originated after research showed half of all medical students have been bullied while studying and workplace stress is high. Dr Berryman searched for a technology that would allow organisations to better measure their staff’s wellbeing and allow them to respond better.

Dr Berryman explains although mental health plays a vital role in a successful team, tracking and improving mental health has always been tricky.

“So many New Zealanders will have experienced something similar, and extensive beta testing I know chnnl helps to eliminate bullying and increase overall wellbeing,” says Berryman.

“chnnl enables systematic shifts in companies’ cultures. Right from the audit stage of our relationship we’re advising and motivating organisations to improve their culture. Then ongoing we’re ensuring 

employees have avenues to immediately talk with people who can help with issues they face,”

Employees can find a vast range of resources through chnnl, including counselling and psychological support, Facebook groups, specific covid-19 support, and a wide range of wellbeing content. The aim of the app is to provide a safe and accessible space for employees where everything they need to look after their mental health is within one space.

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