This Sydney startup is rolling out an artificial intelligence app to boost...

This Sydney startup is rolling out an artificial intelligence app to boost staff wellness

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Dr Jay Spence

An app-based wellness program developed by Sydney start-up Uprise which uses artificial intelligence to assist with performance and stress management is now being used by workplaces across Australia.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW, Small Business and Skills, John Barilaro, said the program, developed by Uprise with a grant from private-sector led, NSW government backed Jobs for NSW, is a pocket coach that helps employees deal with stress in the workplace.

“This app uses internet-delivered cognitive behavioural therapy (iCBT) to reach employees who are at risk of burn-out.

“An employee can complete a mental health checkup in one minute and is then offered a one month digital program that teaches proven psychological skills to manage thinking, stress and behaviour.

“Each employee also gets a phone coach who is a trained psychologist that shows them how to use the skills. Artificial intelligence (AI) is being used to learn best-practice delivery of the skills in a collaboration between Uprise and the University of Sydney.

“Over time the AI is becoming more intelligent so eventually the skills can be delivered without a coach – effectively as a fully automated chatbot.”

Uprise Workplace App 1

How is Uprise doing so far?

Property group Lendlease has partnered with Uprise to support its Health and Wellbeing Framework and in 2015 took part in a pilot program which participants said provided them with practical tools to deal better with stress.

Since then approximately 220 people have participated in the program with a wider release expected this year.

Lendlease believes that Uprise provides their employees with well-supported and easily accessible skills to assist them with mental health as part of their holistic approach to Health and Wellbeing which recognises the inter-related nature of minds, bodies, places and culture.

Uprise recently won the Startup of the Year for Social Good at StartCon in Sydney and travelled to San Francisco in March to compete as a finalist on the global startup stage.

Uprise chief executive Dr Jay Spence said that one in five Australian workers suffered from a mental health condition each year but only one in twenty accessed their workplace employee counselling program.

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