Frankie Health reinventing mental health support in the workplace

If there is one positive to be taken from our Covid experience it is that the stigma around mental health has been lifted and it is absolutely normal for us to tell each other how we are feeling during these rather trying times.

Much more is being done by employers to be mindful of their workforce’s mental health as we are all thrown out of our office routines and into bedrooms, living rooms and kitchens in either chaotic homes or complete solitude. The toll on our mental health has never been higher but thanks to the SaaS platform from Frankie Health our employers can provide for our well being from afar.

Frankie is for businesses trying to support their teams either working remotely or potentially on site,” explains Frankie Health co- founder James McGann. “We offer the full spectrum of support; that’s everything from content, meditations, CBT exercises all the way up to secure video calls with therapists.”

The idea of offering that full spectrum is through the recognition that all our mental health is changing on a kind of weekly or even daily basis,” he adds.

Frankie Health co- founder James McGann

McGann co-founded the company with Seb Poole and the pair have recently closed a funding round of $1.25m which will see the ‘fully remote’ Irish based company create 20 new jobs in the areas of engineering, marketing, and design.

We’ve been able to build a platform that has everything in one place and is based on the belief that we don’t supply the solution, but we connect you to the best solution,” continues McGann. “We have a community of therapists, meditation teachers, CBT practitioners that produce these exercises. Frankie works to get to know the individual to connect you to the best support at the right time.”

Frankie Health co- founder Seb Poole

As with most SaaS models Frankie charges the employer per month depending on the number of licenses you want for your team. There are no further costs involved even if an employee avails of one-on-one sessions with a therapist, it’s all included in the monthly subscription and they offer 12 therapist sessions per employee per year, double the average most employee platforms offer.

The research very clearly states that six is not enough,” explains McGann, “you take a couple of sessions just to get you know your therapist before you start breaking new ground with them, so we offer double the industry standard.”

In terms of any employee privacy the platform has end to end encryption on all therapy video call sessions and does not offer any note taking service or hold any details of any sessions between therapist and employee. The employer will not have information as to who is availing of which sessions only feedback on the engagement percentage.

Our approach to our community of therapists is, we actually offer a platform for therapists to run all of their online practice through Frankie for free,” explains McGann. “There’s no signup costs for therapists and we’ve already got about 40 to 50 therapists using the platform at the moment and we’ll have 100 by the end of March.”

They have therapists covering English, German, Spanish and French at the moment and are planning on adding another six languages in the next six weeks.

Our vision is to be able to get personalised mental health support to every business in Europe and our scalability is on a different level to anyone else in the space. Because we have a model where we have a community of therapists that can be anywhere, we’re able to support different time zones and different languages,” he adds.

Fiona Alston is a freelance journalist based in Ireland covering tech, innovation, start-ups and interesting SMEs. Alston is also passionate about athletics, health and horses having competed in triathlons, equestrian events and horse racing, and her lived experience comes through when covering sports personalities or fitness features. Growing up on the family farm in Scotland, Alston graduated from the University of Sunderland with a BA (Hon.) in Broadcast Journalism, and is frequently published in The Irish Times, The Business Post, RTÉ and 4i Mag.