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  • Writer's pictureKatie Maycock

How Companies Can Better Support Their Employees' Mental Health

Updated: Apr 9, 2021

Joining Ash Vipani and Deepak B. from SupportRoom and we're talking about:

how to improve every employees' mental health

Have a listen and make sure to subscribe to stay updated! Transcript below.


You can find the full LIVE here on my YouTube Channel or you can catch them as they happen via my LinkedIn.

Can't Miss Links From The Podcast:

- The Calling Bullsh*t On Your Diet (Plan)

- A Neuroscientist on Unwinding Anxiety | Rich Roll Podcast

- Boiler Room (film)



Katie 0:47

And we are live. Hi guys, how are you?

Ash 0:50

How's it going? Good (good).

Katie 0:50

So everyone welcome back to their Get Your Sh*t Together Live Show and today I am here with two amazing people who are doing some really really good work in the mental health space. So without further ado, please welcome Ash and Deepak from SupportRoom. So how are you guys? How are you going?

Ash 1:13

Good? Busy as hell, but good, very good.

Katie 1:19

You guys have been absolutely busy. I mean, you I mean, I've we've been speaking since what was it last year we first connected in regards to SupportRoom? I mean, you guys were just about to launch one element of the business and you're about to launch a second part, which we'll get to in a sec. Oh, a bit later, but you guys have been? Absolutely. Back to back with with things that you're doing to SupportRoom?

Ash 1:41

Yeah, it's it's been, it's definitely been a journey, the last year and a half. It's, you know, there's been some great times and some ups and downs. But really, it's been exciting. I think the key is, is that we're starting to now started to kind of achieve what we set out to do. It's a support people (yeah) starting to see the, you know, the benefits of all of our work, you know, the last year and a half.

Deepak 2:07

(Amazing.) And I think for the last, to be honest with you for the last 12 months, I don't think I've ever worked as much as I've worked in the last 12 months for my whole career. Probably got Ash thank for that. But I think it's been worth it, it's been worth it.

Katie 2:24

No, I mean, setting up during a start up at any time is stressful. But you guys have got your day jobs. You've also been, you know, we've obviously had the pandemic, which is obviously probably pushed this to the forefront, which is really needed as well. But for the people that are watching and listening, tell us a little bit about SupportRoom, like how did it come to fruition? And what is it? What is it?

Ash 2:45

Yes, so why don't we start right from the beginning. So yeah, just under just over about a year and a half ago, my cousin actually committed suicide. And at that point, for me, you know, I really didn't have much to do with mental health at that point. But I started asking questions about why didn't he get the right support? You know, why? You know, why wasn't the right support out there for him? Or why didn't he reach out and the more I started looking at, you know, the public healthcare space, then also the private space, I started seeing the issues. So I decided to sit down with therapists, you know, within the NHS sit down with private therapists. And God the problems were just in my face so quickly and from, from those conversations, then that the next goal was let's go into organizations and really speak to employees, what how are they suffering right now? You know, why are they not getting the support that they require from their organizations? And what would they what do they need in order to improve their well being at work? Then the HR directors, and these are the, you know, these are the individuals that are driving change across the organization? Why would they finding it so difficult to drive the right level of change across their organizations? So we gathered all of this information. And, you know, a lot of it was shocking, to be fair, and based on that, we started to kind of develop an idea. Yeah. And I think with my passion that regards to my cousin, and wanting to support people and wanting to learn more, and then finding out all of the information. We started developing support groups, and then the initial phase phases were okay, we're not clinical, okay, but we want to create a clinical solutions. So how do we do that the first step was really to go out and speak to therapists that would be ingrained in working with us throughout this journey of support room. So we hired two advisors really quickly from the NHS. And these guys You know, very experienced, they get there, well, highly regarded. And from day one, they they started to support us with what a therapist would need in order to provide the right level of therapy back to the patient. But then at the same time, what were the problems right now? And how could we build those problems using technology, that is something in a technology tech industry called a digital transformation, which is, across most spaces, and the one thing that we found right from the get go is that that is some transformation, still, not in place. And we really wanted to create something that took the 1.0, to the 2.0, of delivering therapy, not just in organizations, but also in the UK, to those suffering from mental health. And that for us, was really important. And I'm not saying that we're going to change mental health, you know, we're gonna you know, but if we make, in my view, when we first started, the commission was if we could help 1% of employees, but one percent of those suffer from mental health, I think for us, we can walk away from this business in five years time, 10 years time to say, we've achieved our goals. But, you know, we've been developing for God, a year and a half, and we just released our B2C. I call it the B2B platform, into the market on the 15th of January. And, you know, it's been great. We've had some amazing feedback. We're partnering with organizations. And Katie, you know, we'll, we'll kind of discuss that as we move forward. But, you know, there's my view, we've built a solution that fills the gaps right now. Now, we will--continue to innovate, one of your questions was, what is SupportRoom? Yeah, now, SupportRoom is a solution that provides accessibility in the moment, one of the biggest problems right now, for patients or for employees, within organizations, they need to book an appointment, to see their therapist or to talk to a therapist. With SupportRoom, there is no appointment, you go on to the platform, and an on demand service where you connect with a therapist in the moment. Now. As you move forward, you need more accessibility. And we call that ongoing therapy because we don't believe in therapy can be solved with a single pill, yeah. The alleviated in terms of you can make someone calmer, but it's not going to solve that symptom long term. So we provided with or implemented technology to enable that ongoing therapy process. And it could be a week of ongoing therapy, it could be one year, yeah, the therapist has a way of really kind of controlling that process in a digital format. Now, the other part, this is all about data and analysis, analytics. The one thing that we found was with therapy today, a therapist would see a patient. Now on a Monday, they would say, Well, how did you feel last week? Okay, these are your charts for the week after, okay, but they've got no way of actually tracking symptoms or well being over time. And the key for us was really to build a solution where the therapist can track symptoms of their specific patient. Okay, but at the same time, the patient could track their own well being, you know, on a Monday to the following Monday of one year to the next year, for example. And in our view, it was, if we can create a platform with those analytics and insights within that platform, it would enable the therapist to provide better therapy back and the patient to really analyze how they're feeling. So we put all of this together on a B2C model, okay, which is out in the market. And then obviously, we've got a B2B model, which is our enterprise model, which reading organizations replaces the EAP, the traditional employees system programs, (yeah,) we're pretty much taking it from a 1.0 to a 2.50. To be fair, really kind of accelerating it in a way from the old insurance policies in place. And we're providing accessibility to employees in the moment, ongoing support, providing HR directors, with deep analytics, bringing it all together to one solution where HR director can identify pains and then implement change in the moment.

Katie 9:48

Yeah, I think that's one of the biggest things that I've got to say is really impressive with what you guys are doing, you're sort of filling in the gap because if you look at traditional therapy right now, you go to a therapist, you'll see them once and then you don't see see them again for maybe a week or two weeks, or whatever it is. And there's no touch point in between that, but what I'm really liking. So I've seen the back the back part of what you guys are doing. And I've seen the platform, and it's amazing. And being able to actually what I like, because obviously, if you've ever followed me for a while, I'm all about the physical and the mental and how they coincide. But that you actually bring that to light, you talk about, you know, how did you sleep, how you feeling and those types of things and bringing in the physical, you know, elements to mental health. I'm sort of, you know, being able to track that. And I think that that's something that's really important for therapists to do as well. So you just thought you so your story is really powerful. I mean, you created this, you hadn't worked in the mental health space prior. And then, you know, you decided, hey, let's, let's see what some of the pain points are. Why wasn't your cousin able to get any help, you know, get the right amount of help, which is really important. That's a really important question to ask. And she came up with an idea of what what support can we give? And then you just reached out to Deepak and was like, hey, like, do you do this with me? So like, how did that work?

Deepak 11:06

I think he approached me about the idea, probably March, so end of Q1 last year. By that time, I have to say I'd already put the wheels in motion. And you know, it made some decent traction. I think, from my perspective, it was it intrigued me. And the reason it intrigued me is like Ash, I had my own challenges whereby my wife went through severe postnatal depression. And I think the aspect of it that really intrigued me was the messaging therapy. Because, you know, so many people these days, feel more comfortable writing their feelings, as opposed to actually speaking about them. And that's exactly what happened with my wife, to be honest, you know, she, we got to a level where we weren't, we just weren't communicating. And she kind of laid out our feelings on our Facebook platform, in the Middle East. And that platform, really, it triggered us to get the support that we needed. So messaging therapy, for me was, was something that actually was a very powerful tool that wasn't necessarily being, you know, used to its maximum potential in an environment like, you know, therapeutic processes. So, I think and the more due diligence I did on the topic, right, there is genuinely a problem to be solved massively in the UK. I think one in six people severely suffer from some form of anxiety or depression in some point in our life. And I think it's the same globally to be honest. So. So yeah, I think it's it's an idea that that resonated with me strongly. And as a consequence of that we, we kind of put the wheels in motion and got something out there.

Katie 12:57

I think that's I think that's awesome. I think one of the biggest things about the messaging therapy is you're going to be relating to people who don't typically want to talk about their feelings, that they feel safer if that safety element, I think we can all relate like, I remember when I worked in recruitment, I never wanted to let anyone know how I was feeling openly because I felt like I felt really vulnerable. But texting it to somebody was a lot easier messaging it to somebody, and this was, you know, 10 years ago, you know, it was easy to do that, then it was to actually verbalize it out. And I think that if that's the start point, to help someone get into therapy on their own or something just to be able to reach out and just, you know, go, here's all my aid, here's how I'm feeling and then speak--and here's the thing, their speaking to a qualified therapist, right, they're not speaking to anybody, but a qualified therapist who can actually see the warning signs, we're going to read between the lines and actually give them the support that they need. I think that that's, that's so impressive. And that's so important. So it was it really important for you guys, when you created this platform, to actually make sure that all the people that you all the people that will be going to be on this platform are going to be therapists and having that communication between the therapist? Was that something was really important for you guys to embed in the business?

Ash 14:08

Yeah, it was from day one, the the therapists some people call them an extension to SupportRoom, I call them they are SupportRoom, because without therapists, we couldn't deliver the right level of support that we want to achieve, you know, short term and long term, so definitely ingrained in what we're doing. Now, in terms of the level we wanted to provide the right level of clinical therapists. So you know, the BACP, the UKCP, this these are the type of bodies you know, licensing bodies there, you know, are accredited, sorry, our therapists are accredited on our platform. Now, in terms of the way that we work with our therapists, you know, we haven't we try and create a relationship with them. So we'll work with them in terms of training, ongoing support. We actually speak to them now on a weekly basis where we ask them questions, you know, what can we improve on the technology? You know, what are you seeing in terms of, you know, what are you seeing on the platform right now, when you're speaking to a patient? Is there ways of now we can enhance what you're doing right now. So we take a lot of their feedback, and we plug it into our roadmap for future development as well.

Katie 15:24

That's amazing. Was it when you guys first came into this mental health space? Like Ash you said, you hadn't really touched on it, Deepak you had your own personal story on it. With this were the numbers pretty shocking for you, when you started seeing how many people were struggling and not coping. And I think that they change, it changes all the time until one and five, one and four or one and six, as you said, Deepak some that they're suffering at some stage in their life with some type of depression or anxiety? Were those pretty shocking for you?

Ash 15:50

I was uh--Uh, sorry, Deepak go.

Deepak 15:53

Yeah, I think for me, they were absolutely very shocking, I think what's what's clear, though, is that people don't reach out and get the support they need. Right, there is a massive stigma. And I think by just talking about your own issues, right, on a on a public platform, it just gives, it makes people realize that there are so many others in the same boat. And I hope, I hope, my hope is that, you know, these will be the triggers to actually give people a little bit more confidence or give people that that push to actually seek out because there are so many mediums light doesn't need to be asked, there's so many other mediums whereby they can actually go out there and, and receive some level of support, whether it's clinical, wherever it's kind of, you know, charities for like, like the Samaritans who do an amazing job. So So yeah, I mean, definitely, I think that number is probably going to increase as the topic becomes more, I guess, stigma starts to reduce, and people start to feel more comfortable about talking about how they feel. Yeah, that's my two cents.

Ash 17:03

Oh, yes. I think we're good. My point on this is who always, you know, forget about COVID. If we just move that to one side, the numbers pre COVID, was shocking in themselves--

Katie 17:17

Astronomical pre COVID.

Ash 17:18

They were and they've increased yes, COVID has impacted that. But actually, if we look at it, you know, the numbers haven't decreased. They've just kept moving, increasing, increasing. If we look at the NHS they're doing, they're also doing an amazing job being back in there, Katie. And, you know, I think everyone kind of applauds that. But they're playing with a small budget, yeah, if we look at what did they have is 500 million looks like a big number. But when you put that to, you know, an individual's about what 15 pounds a patient, for example, which is really going to service, and they want him to service the way that they want to. So in my point of view, it's, you know, the numbers are going to continue to increase if there isn't the right level of support. So the more support rooms are out there, the better in our view, because I don't look at competitors, or, you know, other companies, you know, I look at it as though we're all moving in the same direction to provide support to the UK public.

Katie 18:20

Yeah. And I think that's a really good way to look at it. It's not about your competitors. It's not about that. It's about hey, how can we support the majority of people, so they all feel supported, they can reach out to and speak to somebody that's really you know, that, that when they need help, and I think that that's the biggest piece, right? And I remember, you know, like I said, going, going back 10 years ago, when I was suffering from anxiety, and I didn't want anyone to know, because I thought it was a massive taboo, or whatever it was, and I didn't know where to reach out to you look, there wasn't this online platform, there was, you know, there was obviously the charities those obviously, you could go to your GP and and talk about it, but then I didn't feel comfortable with that part. So I think that bringing technology to the piece is so important, because we're all we're all on our tech, we're all on WhatsApp for all got some type of ability to text. And we do feel a comfort in that a lot of us do have that ability to feel comfortable using those things. And I think that's really, that's a really cool thing. I was actually listening to a podcast just before our session, and that was about anxiety. So I talked a lot about stress and anxiety. And this guy who's been doing a lot of research on anxiety, and if I could remember his name, I would 100% put it there it was the Rich Roll, but I'll want to remember his name, I'll pop it in. But he was talking about this COVID has actually kind of brought to the forefront, this anxiety epidemic and it's just going to progressively get worse. So even when the COVID is done and a pandemic is over, we're going to see a huge level of anxiety increase, which is then going to link to increases in depression as well because we've been living in living in such uncertain times for a long period of time. So I think that, you know, it isn't really time timely time that you are launching support room, but do you feel like do you feel like now is the right time to be launching it like why why now? Like, I mean, obviously, we talked a little bit about your background story. But would you say that this is a like, now was really pivotal, pivotal, pivotal, because I can speak to coming to the market.

Ash 20:13

To be fair, I think we're a little bit late. I think I wish we launched five years ago, to be fair, because we can't, we could have been really supportive people, you know, years back, but I think it's, it's definitely a good time that we have launched. In my view, it's, you know, the, the problem is, is we talk about mental health and the spikes in numbers, but if they're not treated in there, they don't get the right level of support, it's a disease, it gets worse, you know, just get worse. So for us, the timing is definitely right. You know, I wish we could go quicker, but we're doing the best we can. But at the same time, you know, I think whatever we do, as long as it delivers support, and it helps people, that's the main thing.

Katie 21:01

Yeah, no, I think that's a really good point. So now, I know you've launched the B2-, B2C part, which is open to the public, which is awesome, I love that you guys have been able to do that. And you guys have been doing a lot of really cool things, you've been offering free sessions to people, you've been giving free memberships to certain people, I saw the other day that you were supporting a company that has just gone, that has had to that has had to close the doors. So that's mean, you guys have been doing some really good work on on that front. And I think that's honestly, I think it's amazing what you guys have been able to do. But looking forward, you're looking at wanting to support companies, you wanting to support employees of companies. And I think that this is something that is really important, right? If a company is able to provide and talk about what you guys are doing, you know, you're hitting a broader amount of people to be able to get that support. So now, obviously, I'm totally in love with how you guys are doing the business to business off, like I think what you guys are doing, but you're talking a little bit before being able to provide data to the company and being able to provide data to the therapist, and it's all about the data piece. So when you're going into companies, what, what's the data that they're gonna get? Because I think that that's really important to understand, how can you actually help them?

Ash 22:17

Yeah, in terms of the data they're going to get it's data that they're struggling to get right now? If (Yeah). So if you if you look at employee data, Deepak mentioned stigmas, and, you know, I was in a call pre--you know, just before you know, this session, and one of the HR directors that I was speaking to, she just said, employees won't give me their data, because they're scared of being fired, or put on a disciplinary, for example, it goes is a huge issue. Outside of that, I can't get managers, I need to train more managers to have to really be able to manage their teams better when it comes to mental health and well being. And they're really struggling because they don't know where to spend their budgets. Number one, are they just, HR directors are going on a whim and say, okay, we need something for our sales department on a Monday. But then what happens next? Yeah. So what are what what our platform is enabling HR directors to do is really identify by departments within the entire organization, how their employees are feeling, what is impacting their employees, when it comes to mental health and well being, at the same time activity levels as well. Now, how individuals across the organization are actually participating in using SupportRoom, for example, but then we're also able to dig a lot deeper. So imagine you just got lots of data, and then you're able to slice and dice that data to really understand, okay, this is the key problem. This is where I need to spend my budget. This is how I can impact change. And then at the same time, this is what I can take to my board of directors and say, this is what I need to really improve our bottom line as an organization. And that's--a good organization because they want to improve efficiencies. Number one, yep, input. This is, unfortunately, they do want to improve their bottom line, because mental health has a huge impact on their bottom line. And the third, final piece is, they want to ensure that their employees are happy. And that should be the biggest priority to be fair, but it isn't always the case. And our platform will help them to start driving change across their workforce. So I get data and analysis that we're providing them with.

Deepak 24:39

I think, yeah, I think slowly, more and more companies are beginning to realize that relationship between having a happy workforce and having a productive workforce, right, because historically, it's it's just not been there particularly like if you think about the recruitment game 10-15 years ago. You know about it better than, but better than most Katie, but it was like, I'll give you an example, one of my old companies, I'm not going to name them. But they're the inspiration that they would try and give us was to kind of show us scenes from the film Boiler Room in the mornin--to uplift the Power Hour element of what we were doing. And, you know, I think that mindset is completely changed. It's it's almost, you know, it needs to change. Because I think the old school mentality of kind of just get on with it, focus on hitting the numbers. It's not sustainable. It doesn't provide sustainability. And I think that's much more important for for an organization that wants longevity. I think, yeah. Gone.

Katie 25:58


Deepak 25:58

I think the other thing here is, who is actually driving change within organizations, right now?

Katie 26:04

Yeah. So it's really tough. So as you guys know, I work quite closely with mental health and recruitment, and Rhonda D'Ambrosio, who has, he did a crazy, amazing survey last year, and actually surveyed over 2000 recruitment businesses and recruitment, people who just worked in recruitment, you know, back end, as well as recruiters and organismal, that kind of stuff. And one of the biggest things that, you know, one of the biggest discrepancies was understanding what employees expectations were, and how they were receiving what their employers were do doing. And they, you know, employees felt like they were doing nothing. And certain, you know, employees were saying, are they doing enough? Like, I don't think they are. I mean, I just put out a survey just this morning saying, you know, and this is another issue, right? Well, I put out a survey this morning saying, Do you think that companies are genuinely wanting to help mental health change within organizations? Or do you think it's a tick box, PR kind of, you know, a PR stunt, or a little bit of both. And it's pretty crazy. Most people think it's a PR stunt, or it's a box to be ticked, or it's a little bit of both, I think it's, it's, you know, coming from that element, but realistically, what we need to do when we're looking at the change, it has to come from the top down. You know, we can't, we can't rely on our employees to drive that change, even though we're hearing them we're hearing I mean, to be fair, that's 24-25 year olds that are at the moment being really, you know, really driving forward. But it is something that, you know, does need to need to come from the top down, and we need to see those changes that are going to directly impact the company. And you know, you're talking about bottom line and return on investment and things like that. But, you know, the amount of money that's being lost because of mental health in companies, what was it, I think it was, like $26 billion, with a B, is lost, because in companies because of just stress, just stress, I think it's 34 billion when it just looks at mental looking at mental health, that's how much companies and missing from absentee days and having to retrain staff, because they're leaving. So it is a massive, it is a massive, it's a massive problem that we need to solve.

Ash 28:05

And the other point here is, you know, the companies that I've worked at, or consulted at recently, the change is definitely coming from the employees within your organization's and it is within the, you know, the 18 to 30's are, you know, grouping together other employees, and, you know, they're having kind of discussions, etc, that they're the ones that are trying to drive more change across, you know, the organization, but they're trying to push change to their managers. But the, the guys at the top, I totally agree, are the guys that actually need to turn around and say, well actually, if we don't improve what we're doing, those are the areas that we're falling down on right now are never going to improve either. You just need to come faster in my view.

Katie 28:58

I agree. So if anyone's listening to this, and you want to and you want to add into the conversation, please do we really want to hear from you guys? What's been your experience? What if you what have you, you know, what have you noticed in your companies? Or if you're a business owner, what have you tried? I think one of the biggest things as well, when it comes to mental health policies and procedures is the engagement piece. How do we get, you actually said it before, how do you get people engaged and support them? How does--how can companies actually sort of bridge that gap going, you know, what, like, you guys are talking about data, I can guarantee you one of the biggest pushback, you're going to hear from employees going like, I don't want to be judged like I don't want to be fired for giving my data over. Like I'm, you know, you're I don't want to do that. So you know what, like, how are you guys going to handle that objection, because that's gonna be fun, right?

Ash 29:44

But it's all anonymized anyway. So that we protect just like we protect the patient in the UK. Security is a huge part in our play. And we're always going to protect the employee in terms of, but we've been employees as well. You know, we don't want, we I wouldn't want my information to be passed over to the organization. So the way that the whole platform is built is to really protect the identity of the employee from the day they start using the platform to when they finish for the analytics, the data that we're providing is aggregated data and it's a normalized to your director or that, you know, the guidance says, right, a topic never gonna know, it's you that has provided that data back to your organization. But also, I don't think employees should be scared or if you know, even though it's anonymized the data, they shouldn't be scared that their data is going back to the organization because want to drive change. And in order for them to drive change, the HR director, or the manager needs to understand where the problems that where the problems are happening. So if you want to help them to drive that change, and identify it, then there's only one way to do it, is to have HR in place.

Katie 31:00

No, I agree with that, I think being able to break down what is actually the key. So I'm just gonna speak from being a, like a service provider for companies being able to get your employees to understand what are their actual pain points is really important. So, you know, instead of just bringing me in to do a random talk on, you know, burnout, or whatever it is, actually, what do they want to hear, like, what is actually their biggest pain point. And, you know, obviously, I can go into a sales team, that's gonna be vastly different than problem like what Deepak was saying, you know, sales teams. To be fair, it has changed, I will say, in the last 10 years, sales, sales teams have changed now, not just recruitment, but very sales teams have changed, but there's still this element of competitiveness, it's very challenging, like, I don't care who you are, sales reps are challenging, it's very, very difficult, you've got targets to hit. And it's a lot of pressure, right? Until the pain point to the sales team is gonna be vastly different to another team in the company. So maybe, you know, managers, whatever it is, it's going to be vastly different. So you guys are actually saying that the data, you're going to be able to pinpoint and go, Hey, the sales team have got this into their pain point and customer service, it's this is that, am I hearing that right?

Ash 32:08

You're 100% hearing that, right. So we'll be able to break it down by department, by symptoms in that department, what's impacting in that department, and then go even granular where the HR director can start manipulating that data to really understand, okay, just like they would have been looking at business progress, or, you know, looking at their revenue, month or month, they'll be able to look at well being month or month or year, year, this. Okay, we 2021 we implemented all of this change, including support group. Okay, now, let's compare that to 2019, when we didn't have that, you know, data. And they'll be able to see the impact of change very quickly. And if there was, you know, if the investments they're making are actually helping drive, you know, that happiness across the organization. (Yeah.)

Katie 33:01

I think that's a really big piece. This is so random memory. Do you remember the beginning of this year was a tech that came out that could measure an employee's happiness? It was like a bracelet that they could click and then measure their head? Do you remember that?

Ash 33:15

It's good idea.

Katie 33:18

It's a good idea. I just wanted to help people would feel wearing like a bit of tech to say, like, I'm happy to sit here, right. Like, I think that would be pretty crazy. But essentially, what you're saying is, is that you're actually going to be able to understand if what if what company is implementing actually driving that change? Right, because I hear. So one of the biggest things that I think companies are trying to do, and I do look at companies, and I do think that they're trying to do the right thing. But there's so many things that they can be doing. And they don't really know what it is. It's like, how do we actually solve the symptom of this like, because everyone's symptoms might be coming from a different place, you're actually getting to the root cause you're able to actually go into a company and go, Hey, you know what, your employees aren't engaged. That's why you've got high turnaround. That's why you've got disengagement, that's why you've got people burning out, that's why people are getting stressed. So you can actually bring somebody in to be able to support that and actually go into that company going, this is what you're getting, right. And this is what you could be working on a little bit better and actually solving the problem not just hoping for a bandaid to fix it. Right is that that's I think that's amazing. I think that you know, companies need to--

Ash 34:23

I think about that, really, it's really important that once they've identified the issues across different departments, or it could be one department and not another, we don't know until we look at that data and analytics, then it's time to action into those areas, you know, how to solve and support their employees better in those places. And you know, that could we this is why we're saying we don't need to rip and replace everything across the organization because they may have Mental Health First Aiders for example, of course, they may have pods, for example where, you know, individuals can go into those pods, they may have a Katie, for example, he goes into the organization and supports them. What we're saying is, once we've identified those problems in, you can start implementing your resource that you already have, but in the right places.

Katie 35:17

Yeah, that's a really good way to look at it. I think that, you know, mental health, health status is a really great place to stop. But what you're saying is, it's just you're an additional support, you're an additional support that you can actually not only diagnose, but actually help with like diagnosing as well as giving the cure, essentially. So I think that that's really important as well. All right, guys. So what's what's next for SupportRoom? Obviously, you're launching the B2B stuff, so but what else? What's happening for, you know, the next year for the next five years? What do you guys got planned for that?

Ash 35:48

Yes, so, the core focuses right now is the UK market, you know, we're really focused on that B2P model, but also the B2B model, really helping we you know, we, we want to start working with a number of clients that were in discussions where right now, we want to grow the model out. But from a technical technology perspective, God, the world's limit, at the moment. We could do so much. There's some some of the things that we're looking at is increasing, you know, the AI and the machine learning that we have in the platform using the data that we have. The other part is we're also looking at kind of emotional recognition, it's something that I'm quite keen on, for the therapist, to really kind of have that recognition place where you can really kind of analyze, I don't want to give too much away, but it's something that we're looking at. But yeah, we will start expanding into other markets, I don't think we want to go 100 miles per hour, we kind of want to move slowly and keep learning and keep supporting in the right areas, build really good relationships and build some really strong partnerships. And then, you know, I think we'll get to the back end this year and kind of reevaluate at that point.

Deepak 37:04

Yeah, I think definitely, it's about it's about learning and refining the product to, to what works. I think whenever you release something new, there's always going to be things that you can improve. And over the course of the next 12 months, I think we're really going to be able to refine it in a way that it's, yeah, it's gonna be hopefully, an even more fantastic product after a period of six to 12 months.

Katie 37:34

Yeah, I mean, I've seen the back, I've seen what you guys have done, I've seen the back part of what SupportRoom can do. And obviously, it's something that I really liked. I think that you guys are doing something completely different to what I've seen in the market. And I've been in the market for a bit. So. Um, I've seen I've seen---

Deepak 37:52

Yeah, I think there isn't any other solution that kind of hones in on where the issues are, and then gives you something to solve that as well. Right. So I definitely think it's a strong USP from our perspective.

Katie 38:09

Yeah. Well, I mean, like I said, one of the biggest things that companies do, they sort of engage with people like myself and other people that are doing talks going, I hope this solves the problem. And it might solve, it might solve a problem. I'm not saying that. And I don't think people should ever say, stop working with me, because that would not be fun. But what I'm saying is, it would be great for me as somebody that is providing the services to really understand what does your team actually need? Do you need me to come in and really talk about how to prevent burnout? Do you want me to you know, do you need me to come in and talk about how do you get engaged your team? Do we need to train your managers up to better understand the warning signs of stress, anxiety and burnout and things like that. And I think that, honestly, would make my life a lot easier, because then I can actually see the true benefit from me coming in just doing an hour talk like once a quarter or once a year or something like that, I actually want to see that company change and grow and being able to implement it. The other thing that I think is really important is that accountability piece, being able to understand, you know, as humans, it's, you know, you can't just throw mud at the wall, and hopefully something sticks actually being able to see what's sticking, and what do we need to change? And how do we refine and I think that you guys provide that which is really important. So that kind of leads me into something that I'm really excited about is, you know, Ash contacted me, I want to say in December last year, on November last year, but it only feels like yesterday, to be completely honest with you.

Ash 39:35

LinkedIn message,

Katie 39:37

LinkedIn, I will say, I'm going to give a massive shout out to LinkedIn, I love LinkedIn. I've like that's the only way I'm growing my business. And not only way I've made friends through LinkedIn. But you reached out to me, you know, you told me about support from what you guys were doing. And then as the few months have has have, you know, sort of progressed with we've been able to create a really solid partnership that I'm pretty excited about. But do you want to tell everyone about it? Because you're probably better at it than I am to be honest.

Ash 40:05

Yeah. So, you know, the partnership is definitely exciting. We've got technology. Yeah. That's gonna help to drive support and change. Yeah. And, you know, implement support as well. But the key we were missing was, as we mentioned earlier, once we've identified what the problems are, we need a human touch to going to go into those organizations and really kind of support them. Yeah. Where yourself, Katie came into the picture, you know, I was following what you're doing on LinkedIn, I was like, pretty bloody impressed. This is great. And the more I kind of try thinking about it, well, if you bring in professional services, which I like to call it, and you bring in technology you bring into play, it's up to you create an effective proposition. So in my view, you know, every single organization that we speak to professional service should be attached to everything we do, because it's kind of a problem solution. Yeah. Now, as I said, before, you know, the more I've spoken to you over the last, you know, three or four months, you know, I'm really ingrained in what you're doing, and I believe in, you can really help us, you know, along this journey. So, now, we're really excited internally about this partnership. And I think, you know, moving forward, I think it's going to be an exciting year. We'll keep growing together, which is great.

Katie 41:36

I'm excited for that. I think that, you know, like I said, one of the biggest pain points is talking to a company going, what are your pain points and then going, we're not quite sure our team seems to be stressed out, but we're not really quite sure that stress is coming from and it's understanding, from my point of view, it's, you know, how can we, you know, I can come in and talk about stress and how to manage it. But if we remove the root cause of it, that's gonna be so much more beneficial for your employees, you're going to be able to have that return on investment, because you're not going to have you know, Deepak, you could probably, you could probably speak to this, which is, you know, sales teams and recruitment teams is typically an 18 month revolving door, which you can prevent, right. And that's very costly to companies. So I'm excited for that, like, super, super, super excited for that. So here's the thing. So we're going to be launching the B2B side in the next one is that the next next week or the week after, it's going to be launched tomorrow.

Ash 42:29

I'm only joking!

Katie 42:35

I have no idea what's going on. I know, Deepak is like "What?!"

Ash 42:43

Like, something that you're actually---

Launching in about two or three weeks. So what we're going to be doing is we'll launch a product, it's not too far away. We've got a number of good profile clients that are going to test it, which is great news for us. And then we'll continue to build, you know, great relationships with them. But yeah, yeah, so we're pretty near and excited.

Katie 43:14

That's really exciting. I'm really, I'm super looking forward to it. Now for people if they want to know a little bit more, and they want to get in touch with you, or if there's a company or, you know, HR director that wants to contact you guys, and you know, hey, sign me up. Where can they contact you?

Ash 43:31

They can send me a message, you know, Ash Vipani on LinkedIn, or they can email myself or the alternative is you gone to the website, go on to our business page and just put an inquiry for and, you know, we'll get back to you straightaway.

Katie 43:49

Amazing. Alright, so one last thing that you guys don't know that I'm going to do that I do in every single one of my lives, which is what is one piece of advice that you would give to people to get their sh*t together literally or figuratively?

Ash 44:02

Deepak, you want to take it?

Katie 44:05

I'm gonna hear from both of you.

Deepak 44:08

Well, if you've got a dream, go for it.

Katie 44:12

Okay, I like that. You got a dream? Go for it. That's, that's a solid one.

Ash 44:19

My one would be you know, we're, we're kind of in lockdown at the moment. And there's, you know, there's light at the end of the tunnel. But actually, we're working ourselves. We're working longer hours than we've ever worked. You know, I think every day we're working, you know, two and a half hours extra each day. You know, so we're overly fatigued and we're tired and a lot of us are burning out something that you mentioned, Katie, recently, and I think it's time that everyone takes a breather, you know, close your laptop, close your phone, take a staycation to you know have a break. You know, and you know, even if that means getting in your car or go for a walk, but take a break from the things that are good or that are causing you stress or anxiety or depression. You know, I think taking a break is the most important thing right now. And just putting some brakes on, you know, working life.

Katie 45:14

No, I actually agree with that. Sorry, I, I will 100% say people are working longer, they don't have the structure to their day. So actually, I'm just going to add on to that one, just a quick one, which is structure your day to have a specific start time and a specific end time that you know that you are going to be working those hours and not just sort of floating around on your phone or your laptop or things like that. So that would be that's my little tidbit of tidbit of getting shit together literally or figuratively--Sorry.

Deepak 45:47

That's what actually I actually came back. So we were doing work from home here in Dubai. And literally wake up in the morning, sit in front of the computer, all the way till 10 at night, don't really leave that room. So first opportunity we got to go back to work was one I took because actually when I go to work, I go home. I'm I can switch off at home at least. So--

Katie 46:12

Yeah, one of the I will say this, from what the statistics are saying from last year and leading into this year 20% of employees are more stressed than they were in 2019. Which makes sense. But that's going to increase that we're going to see a massive boom in people feeling burnt out. I mean, the people already feeling burnt out. And people eventually going back to work like back into an office and what three months to three months. So it's definitely an issue but thank you guys so much for for being on. I'm super happy to have had you guys on and I'm sure we'll do another one of these as well. But yeah, I'm excited for the future. All right, so for everyone that is watching, you know, thank you so much for tuning in. I'm back actually on Friday as well with Fran who is amazing who's all about human first business second. And as always guys, Get Your Sh*t Together--Literally and Figuratively.

Deepak 47:07

Take care, guys.

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