Monday, 2 May

4 matters of mental well-being that HR departments should especially focus on

Due to the ongoing pandemic of an infectious disease known as COVID-19 that started over a year and a half ago, the economy has slid into the worst economic crisis since the end of World War 2. An overwhelming number of deaths (about 4 million as of June 6, 2021), deepening social isolation, and, above all, an increasing uncertainty of employment have noticeably worsened mental well-being among employees around the globe.

Specialists and leaders managing human resources are now facing the challenge of defining and eliminating companies’ difficulties arising from problems with the mental health of employees. We have to carefully examine and adequately react to at least four of them.

Employees’ stress caused by dynamically changing working conditions

A sudden attack of the pandemic, which also involved the introduction of strict sanitary precautions in the workplace, has forced employers to alter work rules and protocols. On top of that, many industries have witnessed a reduction in the workforce, and duties of the suspended, sent home, or fired have been assigned to the rest. All those actions have greatly increased stress, especially among those employees who had been already battling mental health problems before the pandemic. Unfortunately, many of them have resorted to negative coping mechanisms during the ongoing events. They have turned to a variety of psychoactive substances and alcohol, and the social isolation imposed by restrictions have deepened their mental and health problems even more.

In order to help such people, HR specialists should use the full potential of change management options. There are three steps that employers should be able to employ when introducing changes in the workplace, many of them being radical. Firstly, adequate and quick intervention in case of employees experiencing emotional crises and mental disorders. Secondly, encouraging subordinates to treat their mental health more seriously. Thirdly, providing them with a comfortable atmosphere and the feeling of safety by creating a safe space for discussion and sharing thoughts and ideas. All those actions lead to the promotion of mental health in the workplace.

Misusing employee support programs

Many bigger companies that have well-developed HR departments are actually not interested in the support programs suggested by them to their employees. Such mental health programs should play an instrumental role in the quick detection of mental disorders of the employed, but in reality, they are almost not used at all. This is why each employer should conduct a special survey among the employees that will attempt to discover real reasons for the inefficiency of the offered form of help (for which the company pays).

According to recent research (2021) conducted by Lyra Health, as many as 36% of participating workers did not try to use the help program for mental health provided by their employers, and 31% had no idea what these programs were all about.

This arises from the fact that even though employees are aware of special protection protocols, they fear such programs do not adhere to confidentiality principles. What is more, the researchers point out a quite complicated sign-up procedure in those programs that discourages prospective users and induces additional stress in employees that are already coping with mental disorders.

An extremely important aspect of improving the quality of care for mental health in the workplace is also a toxic work culture. Currently, workers that deal with mental health problems are stigmatized, condemned, and often severely punished. Because of this, they hide their real problems from the employer and coworkers.

Insufficient care for mental health culture in the workplace

In order to fight the common stigmatization of mental health in the workplace, appropriate and transparent relationships between workers, managers, and leaders of a company must be built. A community based on mutual trust and respect seems to be an absolutely fundamental matter.

Consistently sent company-wide emails that define the benefits of sharing their mental health information with other workers are cited as the most frequent method employed in destigmatizing mental health in the workplace. Another effective method is organizing educational workshops that teach mutual, interpersonal support and informing about help programs and how to optimally use them.

It is important that each announcement concerning mental health reaches every employee of a company. Every employee should feel noticed and emotionally engaged in creating new standards of mental health culture.

The employer that wants to care for mental health culture in the workplace more should pay attention, especially to the problem of disorders related to alcohol or psychoactive substance abuse among the employees. Everyone battling such difficulties should be able to receive adequate treatment and necessary knowledge on the particular matter.

Decrease in employees’ productivity

An obvious consequence of mental health problems in the workplace is the decrease of employees’ productivity (not only among those that actually cope with particular disorders). This is why the main task of an employer is to promote the mental well-being culture and forge it into a tool to achieve particular business goals.

Of course, no employer should ever sacrifice the employees’ mental state for short-term profits. The “groundwork” should involve a quick detection of workers’ problems and providing the staff with adequate resources and forms of help (mental health services) against those difficulties.

Taking care of work culture, frequent conversations and an in-depth analysis of negative behaviors of employees will help every employer to boost the company’s efficiency. A well-prepared HR department should ensure this kind of stability in the workplace by answering the individual needs of the employed.

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Tuesday, 5 April

Mindgram closes €7 million seed round and begins its European expansion

  • Mindgram closes €7 million seed round and begins its European expansion
  • This is one of the biggest ever seed rounds in Europe related to mental health. We will use the funds to further develop the platform and kick off international expansion – first in Spain in April, followed by Portugal and other LATAM markets at later stages.
  • The deal has been underwritten by Credo Ventures as lead investor, PortfoLion, Nunatak Capital, Market One Capital and Pamoja Capital, as well as angel investors. Only Market One Capital and Pamoja Capital were previously engaged in the startup.  
  • The launch in Spain arrives as more and more Spanish companies embrace employee well-being as part of their HR policy. It’s a part of a wider trend amplified in the turbulent times of the pandemic and the war in Ukraine. 

We are pleased to announce that we have closed one of the biggest seed funding rounds in Europe for the mental health sector. We are launching in Spain as the beginning of our international expansion, indicating Portugal and other LATAM markets as our next steps. 

Our company is an all-in-one solution for companies aiming to grant their team holistic emotional and mental well-being support, to build their resilience and drive performance. Mindgram addresses the full spectrum of employee needs in the mental sphere – providing on one hand tools to manage stress, burnout, communication difficulties, family problems, treat depression, etc. and supporting the development of emotional and cognitive competencies on the other.  The service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  

International expansion

The European expansion comes after establishing a strong presence in Poland, with a pool of recognizable corporate clients including among others OTCF (owner of sports brand 4F), DB Schenker or Mary Kay. 

Mindgram co-founder and CEO, Jakub Zieliński, has commented, “Well-being of the team is nowadays a fundamental pillar for the development of any company. It’s the new KPI of performance. With the mental distress epidemic we are facing in Europe and across the world, it’s not enough to react to incidents. Prevention is key to fighting anxiety and building engaged teams in the long term. Taking care of the employees’ emotions and well-being not only creates a better work environment. It helps you build a clear EVP, benefits the productivity of your team, reduces turnover and ultimately supports the company growth.”

This seed round is one of the largest ever of this kind for a mental health company and one of the largest for any Poland-founded startup.

“We are delighted to be able to help more companies across the world with the funds for further development. I would like to thank the investors for their trust and the whole team for their work. This round reinforces our vision of helping to build mentally strong and resilient organizations” – says Jakub Zieliński

Guillaume Fournier, Partner at Credo Ventures said: “The COVID-19 crisis and the war in Ukraine have accelerated public awareness of mental health issues in the workplace. While the US leads the way with employer-provided access to care and services, the rest of the world lags far behind. Mindgram has blown us away with their pace and quality of execution to remedy this issue, providing employers with a one-stop-shop solution adapted to patient journeys. The unmatched levels of traction among their customers’ employee base is a testimony of the appetite for and effectiveness of what they have built”.

Investment in mental health

Credo Ventures has invested in outstanding technology founders coming from the CEE region at an early stage since 2010. Over the years the fund has backed such companies as Uipath, Productboard, Deepnote, and many more.

Aurel Pasztor, Partner at Portfolion Capital Partners commented: “Demand for mental health and wellbeing-related services has grown continuously since the pandemic started. Mindgram provides a holistic set of services on a clean B2B platform that is rapidly adopted by enterprises. We believe there is a lot of need for this service in the region and Mindgram’s team has proved to be very strong in execution. We are fully committed to helping them grow in Europe and beyond.”

Marcin Kurek, Managing Partner at Market One Capital adds: “Decision to invest in Mindgram at pre-seed stage was the fastest ever made at Market One Capital. It took us only 5 business days from the first meeting to issue a Term Sheet.  Stellar Team with a great track record, huge market, and booming demand for mental health services were the fundamentals of our conviction. Less than a year later it occurred to us that we were totally right to back those amazing founders. Great business traction and fast product development led to one of the biggest seed rounds in CEE ever, where we as MOC naturally took part as well”.  

Data-Driven Care strategy

The money raised from the round will be used for expansion on new markets and further development of the platform, including the implementation of a Data-Driven Care strategy, in liaison with Nunatak Capital. The VC led by a team of data scientists with extensive academic and business experience will support Mindgram in the areas of Big Data, Data Analytics & AI.We are excited to support Mindgram with our data-science expertise on its way to developing data-driven mental care solutions. Mindgram will offer its customers new features as hyper-personalization, company well-being data monitoring, text-based therapy automation, and digital phenotyping to build its unique value proposition” – says Piotr Ciżkowicz, Managing Partner of Nunatak Capital and Associated Professor at Warsaw School of Economics.

 “We see this area as our competitive advantage and differentiation from other players” – says Jakub Zieliński

Upon the launch, in Spain, our platform grants access to 600 local psychotherapists. Our local team is already growing rapidly, it includes a number of psychologists, trainers, and coaches as well as HR market experts. The company intends to initially hire up to 50 employees in Spain and will work from offices in Madrid and Barcelona. 

About the investors 

CREDO VENTURES 

Since 2010, Credo Ventures has invested in outstanding technology founders coming from the CEE region at an early stage. Over the years, we’ve had the privilege of backing such exciting companies as Uipath, Productboard, Deepnote and many more.

PORTFOLION

A member of OTP Group, CEE’s largest banking group, PortfoLion is a Budapest-based venture capital and private equity firm investing at all stages from Seed through Series B to Buyout. With a sector-agnostic investment strategy, PortfoLion seeks to back visionary founders with a global growth mindset and scalable digital products. The fund manager currently has over 25 active investments, including early-stage regional startup SEON, Packhelp and Novakid among others.

NUNATAK CAPITAL

Nunatak Capital is a fully private Venture Capital fund focusing on investments in companies driven by data science and AI solutions. The fund’s team has over 20 years of business and academic experience in data analytics, machine learning, and optimization. Nunatak Capital works in an Operational VC model, actively supporting its startups with a dedicated data science team (including several PhDs and academics onboard) as well as making use of its business networks (including over 150 fund’s private investors) to help portfolio startups to grow their customer base. 

MARKET ONE CAPITAL

Market One Capital (MOC) is an early-stage VC fund investing in marketplaces and digital platforms across Europe. MOC team consists of ex-entrepreneurs and experienced investors, who founded 4 marketplaces themselves and have a combined experience of investing into more than 60 of them, including Tier Mobility, Docplanner, Brainly and Packhelp. Thanks to the experience of the team and their close and vast network of 250+ individuals, MOC portfolio companies can expect founders oriented approach, close cooperation and valuable support. 

PAMOJA CAPITAL

Pamoja Capital invests in socially-responsible businesses on behalf of John McCall MacBain and the McCall MacBain Foundation.

Thursday, 24 February

Mindgram provides psychological support amid the war in Ukraine

🇺🇦 In view of the recent news and the difficult situation unfolding in Ukraine we, as Mindgram, pledge our support. We are not indifferent to this tragedy. We understand that this can be a situation that causes anxiety and stress.

In response to the war in Ukraine, we are organising a series of free, open meetings led by psychology experts starting on 25 February. The experts will explain, among other things, how to talk to children about the war and how to deal with stress caused by the current political situation in Europe. From Friday, we are also launching a dedicated support line for free support in Ukrainian, Polish and English.

🆘 Phone numbers and hours of service for the Support Line: click here.

 

Every day starting from 25 February, the Mindgram platform and YouTube channel will host workshops in the form of discussion groups for everyone interested in coping with difficult emotions. The meetings will be held in Polish and English. We will host selected workshops in Ukrainian as well.

 

Workshops and events (open to everyone):

22.03.2022 (Tuesday) 18:05-18:30

🇵🇱 POWER OF THE COMMUNITY: “Psychological First Aid”

Led by: Aleksandra Potykanowicz, Karina Tomczyk

In difficult times, support usually comes from other people coping with similar difficult emotions. The last few days have been an avalanche of bad news and emotions that have been shattering us.

Come and talk to us. Write to us, ask a question or share your thoughts. There is strength in finding solutions and ways forward together. Together we will find good solutions, we will talk.

LINK TO THE MEETING: click here

 

23.03.2022 (Wednesday) 14:05-14:30

🇵🇱 POWER OF THE COMMUNITY: “Emotions, attitudes and action one month after the outbreak of war”

Led by: Aleksandra Potykanowicz, Maciej Żylewicz

LINK TO THE MEETING: click here

 

🇺🇦 п’ятниця 25.03.2022 16:05-17:00

Веде: Swietlana Listopadska

Мовні пастки

Тобі кажуть що ти уродива? Це комплемент – ти красуня. Можеш піти у салон красоти – польскою салон уроди – і будеш ще гарніша.

Розповім про ці та інші пастки польско-україньскої комунікації.

Буде також про культурний шок – чим він є та як допомагати собі і близьким через нього пройти.

BIO: Світлана Листопадьска, украінка та тренерка міжкультурної комунікаціі. Досвід життя в Польщі – більш 20 років.

посилання на зустріч: скоро

 

28.03.2022 (Monday) 14:35-15:30

🇵🇱 “How to support your Ukrainian and non-Ukrainian employees?”

Led by: Svetlana Listopadskaya

(S)he has been working in your organization for a month, a year or more. Most likely has relatives in Ukraine. He or she is crying or is closed off, absent-minded, perhaps already irritated by the subject. What is he or she dealing with? How to help wisely?

I will share tips that are the result of conversations, consultations and direct meetings with Ukrainian employees in companies. Up-to-date for here and now. What is already happening behind the scenes and in the employees’ locker rooms and what a manager can do to prevent conflicts in teams?

LINK TO THE MEETING: click here

 

PAST EVENTS

🇵🇱 “How to talk to children and young people about armed aggression?”

Led by: Małgorzata Ohme and Aleksandra Piotrowska, PhD

LINK TO THE MEETING: click here 

 

🇵🇱 POWER OF THE COMMUNITY: “Face to face with anxiety and stress during wartime”

Led by: Małgorzata Ohme and Maciej Żylewicz

In difficult times, support usually comes from other people coping with similar difficult emotions. We have seen in recent days an avalanche of bad news and emotions battering us. Come and talk to us. Write to us, ask a question or share your thoughts. There is strength in finding solutions and ways together. Together we will find good solutions.

LINK TO THE MEETING: click here

 

🇬🇧 POWER OF THE COMMUNITY: “Facing Anxiety & Stress in the time of war”

Led by: Maciej Żylewicz and Karina Tomczyk

In times of trouble, you can look for support in people that go through similar emotions. Join us at the Mindgram community and let’s talk with our experts about the emotions that are dominating our lives. In a safe environment, talk to our team of psychologists.

LINK TO THE MEETING: click here

 

🇵🇱 POWER OF THE COMMUNITY: “Face to face with anxiety and stress during wartime”

Led by: Maciej Żylewicz

In difficult times, support usually comes from other people coping with similar difficult emotions. We have seen in recent days an avalanche of bad news and emotions battering us. Come and talk to us. Write to us, ask a question or share your thoughts. There is strength in finding solutions and ways together. Together we will find good solutions.

LINK TO THE MEETING: click here

 

🇵🇱 POWER OF THE COMMUNITY: Face to face with anxiety and stress during wartime

Led by: Aleksandra Potykanowicz

In difficult times, support usually comes from other people coping with similar difficult emotions. We have seen in recent days an avalanche of bad news and emotions battering us. Come and talk to us. Write to us, ask a question or share your thoughts. There is strength in finding solutions and ways together. Together we will find good solutions.

LINK TO THE MEETING: click here

 

🇵🇱 “How can HR help people in times of war and fear?”

Led by: Iwona Wencel, Maciej Żylewicz 

Iwona Wencel (Chief People Officer Mindgram, President WNCL) and Maciej Żylewicz (Head of Content Mindgram), together with invited guests, will discuss tactics for helping teams deal with anxiety, loss and bereavement. We’ll look for ways together and hear about solutions already in place.

LINK TO THE MEETING: click here

 

🇵🇱 “Quiet Mind in the time of turmoil”

Led by: Zuzanna Ziomecka

How can mindfulness help you in times of crisis? Finding it hard to focus? Plagued with restless thoughts? Look for ways of helping your brain to regain control and find some solace.

LINK TO THE MEETING: click here

 

🇬🇧 “Quiet Mind in the time of turmoil”

Led by: Zuzanna Ziomecka

How can mindfulness help you in times of crisis? Finding it hard to focus? Plagued with restless thoughts? Look for ways of helping your brain to regain control and find some solace.

LINK TO THE MEETING: click here

 

🇬🇧 POWER OF THE COMMUNITY: “Facing Anxiety & Stress in the time of war”

Led by: Karina Tomczyk

In times of trouble, you can look for support in people that go through similar emotions. Join us at the Mindgram community and let’s talk with our experts about the emotions that are dominating our lives. In a safe environment, talk to our team of psychologists.

LINK TO MEETING: click here

 

🇵🇱 POWER OF THE COMMUNITY: “Face to face with anxiety and stress during wartime”

Led by: Aleksandra Potykanowicz

In difficult times, support usually comes from other people coping with similar difficult emotions. We have seen in recent days an avalanche of bad news and emotions battering us. Come and talk to us. Write to us, ask a question or share your thoughts. There is strength in finding solutions and ways together. Together we will find good solutions.

LINK TO THE MEETING: click here

 

🇺🇦 “War 2022: The power of fear. How to protect yourself from psychological exhaustion”

Led by: Nataliia Buriakovska

One of the constant and basic methods of military tactics is spreading fear not only in the army but also among the enemy’s civilian population, destabilizing the unity of the nation. Introducing anxiety among people leads to the mental exhaustion of the nation and weakens its defenses.

Knowing and understanding the topic of fear, both theoretically and practically, is a big step towards protecting the mental state of each of us and our family members. During the meeting, we will talk about it: what is fear?

LINK TO THE MEETING: click here

 

🇵🇱 “Will there be a war now? How to talk to children and young people about war?”

Led by: Dorota Zawadzka, Supernanny

Parents can and should help their children understand what has happened in the world without adding to the stress that can be devastating to the psyche of young and young people. The way in which information about terrible, cruel events reaches children can have a huge impact on how they are able to absorb and process this information. It is therefore important to ensure that this way is as painless and shocking as possible.

LINK TO THE MEETING: click here

 

🇬🇧 POWER OF THE COMMUNITY: “Leading & managing in the troubled times” 

Led by: Maciej Żylewicz

As a leader, are you finding yourself at loss for words? Not knowing how to react to the news of war and turmoil? Challenged by the intricacies of your international working environment? Let’s talk and exchange ideas and face the challenges we are facing. We will be problem-solving together.

LINK TO THE MEETING: click here

 

🇬🇧 POWER OF THE COMMUNITY: Facing Anxiety & Stress in the time of war

Led by: Karina Tomczyk

In the times of trouble, you can look for support in people that go through similar emotions. Join us at the Mindgram community and let’s talk with our experts about the emotions that are dominating our lives. In safe environment, talk to our team of psychologists.

LINK TO THE MEETING: click here

 

🇺🇦 Час думати та обирати! Думки та емоції під час кризису як результат рівня здоров’я українців після війни

Веде: Наталія Буряковська

Ми створені аби думати, і тому кожну хвилину ми думаємо та приймаємо рішення. Наші рішення – справа не лише психологічного здоров’я, але і фізична реальність нашого тіла. Це науковий та духовний факт.

Під час війни ми в основному зосереджені на негативних думках та емоціях. Проте який вплив у майбутньому це матиме на здоров’я всієї української нації?

Науково доведено – думки реальні. Тож який буде наш вибір та наше майбутнє?

посилання на зустріч: натисніть тут

 

All information in this post will be updated regularly.

🇺🇦

Mindgram з психологічною підтримкою перед обличчям війни в Україні. Зіткнувшись з сьогоднішньою інформацією і ситуацією, що розгортається в Україні, ми, як Mindgram, висловлюємо нашу підтримку і заявляємо про допомогу. Ми не залишаємося байдужими до цієї трагедії. Ми розуміємо, що це може бути ситуація, що викликає занепокоєння і стрес.

У відповідь на війну в Україні ми організуємо серію безкоштовних зустрічей з експертами в галузі психології, які почнуться 25 лютого. На зустрiчах дiзнаетесь як поговорити з дітьми про війну і як впоратися зі стресом, викликаним поточною політичною ситуацією в Європі. З п’ятниці ми також запускаємо спеціальну телефонну лінію підтримки, яка дозволяє отримати безкоштовну підтримку українською, польською та англійською мовами.

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