NHS staff were given free access to a number of wellbeing apps in 2020 to support our mental health and wellbeing. Some are still free to access despite the end date stating 31 December 2020.

They are easy to register to with your NHS email address. To save some time, and to see what might be right for you, a snapshot of what each app can do is given below. If you prefer to get started straight away just follow the links below to sign up.

• Unmind – http://nhs.unmind.com/signup
• Headspace – https://www.headspace.com/nhs
• Sleepio – sleepio.com/access and enter redeem code NHS2020
• Daylight – trydaylight.com/access

Further wellbeing apps are available here: https://people.nhs.uk/help/support-apps/

Offers a variety of well-being tools designed by experts.

Why you might find it useful;

Unmind has lots of quick tools such as;

  • Daily boost – 1 minute coping strategies
  • Check in – helps to assess mood levels
  • Praise – function to raise morale and wellbeing

It also has lots of learning topics including;
Navigating COVID19 – designed by experts to support wellbeing in uncertain times the series offers pick and mix modules. Covering a variety of topics from the fundamentals of mental health to eating for energy, sleeping for shift work and maximising short sleep. The series also covers performance including procrastination, communication and managing relationships.

Why you might like Unmind
Lots of the tools are quick and easy to use yourself or to share with colleagues.
A useful guide tells you how long each module will take in the Navigating COVID19 learning series, typically 10 minutes a day over a week will mean you complete the module. Perfect if you don’t have much time to dedicate to the specific topic and can help with feelings of taking control and developing responsive skills in uncertain times.

A sleep improvement tool, tailored to individual needs.

Why you might find Sleepio useful:
Helpful for those tackling sleep issues as a result of shift patterns and for those suffering with insomnia, anxiety and poor quality of sleep in general.

Why you might like Sleepio:
After a series of questions you follow a weekly session with “The Prof” which although automated is tailored to your specific sleep problems. You are able to set your own goals and have access to a support network via the Sleepio Community including a variety of articles and resources.

Offers guided meditation to improve well-being.

Why you might find Headspace useful:
Talks you through the basics of meditation if you have never tried it before. The meditation is responsive to your situation and can fit around your schedule (even as little as 5 minutes a day!) and what you are hoping to gain from it.

Why you might like Headspace:
Useful guidance on creating a new habit if you are new to meditation.
This app is a quick and easy “go – to” if options are limited for time and space for self – care.

Focussed on combatting worry and anxiety using cognitive behavioural techniques.

Why you might find Daylight useful:
A daily commitment to use the tool helps form a new healthy habit. The app provides a weekly check in along with recommendations for the week ahead.

Why you might like Daylight:
Learn new ways to respond to stress with techniques you can use straight away. The app also offers (if you want!) words of encouragement via text.

Ideas for leaders and managers for using wellbeing apps

“You cannot pour from an empty vessel, you must take care of yourself first”
Eleanor Brown

• Role modelling self – care demonstrates to others the importance of looking after their own wellbeing and that it is necessary and ok to do so. Seeing “those in charge” prioritise their wellbeing naturally encourages others to follow the lead.
• Talking about and sharing wellbeing tips, including the use of apps, helps to build honest and open dialogue about wellbeing and encourages others to follow. Taking positive and responsive actions, in turn build team resilience and a sense of “we are in this together”.
• Share the apps with your team and each pick one of the topics, e.g. mindfulness, meditation or improving sleep. Check in and share your progress. Did anyone learn any new tips?
• Use the 1 minute daily boost as part of your team check in, demonstrate that wellbeing is integral to daily work and can be done anywhere at any time and doesn’t need to be lengthy process.