How often do you ask yourself MiOK – Am I OK?
13 October 2020 at 7:00 am
A digital app that enables people to regularly check-in on themselves is being offered to not for profits to help them support their staff through the pandemic.
Mental health, as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, has become the most pervasive issue in Australia today, and Victorians have been hit hardest. Our organisation developed MiOK, a mobile app, which is proving to be successful for our own people and our customers. We are sharing it with not-for-profit organisations as one of our philanthropic contributions.
As a digital technology company with health expertise, including health experts and clinicians like myself, we developed an application that allows people affected by crisis, including frontline workers, to look out for their own health and wellbeing.
MiOK is a digital app that enables people to regularly check-in on themselves and ask the question “Am I OK?”.
Coronavirus has caused wide-ranging impacts on our lives and livelihoods, both directly and indirectly; none of us have been immune from its effects. The social isolation and financial effects of COVID, however, have been the most common and insidious impacts affecting our emotional health and wellbeing.
Working in isolation from our physical and social work structures and support networks has been challenging for all of us. We know that healthy people perform better at work. The Deloitte 2020 Human Capital Trends report states: “80 per cent of organisations say worker wellbeing is important for success…” Organisations, both for-purpose and private alike, appear to be genuinely moved by the emotional impacts coronavirus has had on their people and are looking for ways to address them.
Over the course of my working life in the public service, first as a dietitian in Melbourne’s western suburbs public hospitals and then as a public servant in the state health department, I have been continually motivated by a desire to make a positive difference in people’s lives.
I find myself now working with a private company. Surprisingly, it is here that I am seeing and experiencing some of the fastest and tangible impacts that can positively affect people’s lives.
The company I work for is often described, both internally and by outside observers, as having a great caring culture. And this seems to set us apart. We are committed to positive change through a purpose to help and make a difference in people’s lives, starting internally with our own employees, and extending out to our customers and the community.
In keeping with this spirit, we set out to help others, first with the bushfires. Like so many Australians, we had a morning tea fundraiser to support the bushfire cause. However, we also wanted to contribute in a more long lasting and meaningful way to the communities affected.
Our approach was based on the understanding that if you don’t look after yourself, how can you look after others effectively. This is not dissimilar to the flight attendant instructions on a plane, where passengers are told to put on their oxygen masks first, before helping others.
Not long after completing the first version of our app, COVID-19 hit our antipodean shores and fast. By the end of March, working from home and in isolation from family, friends and co-workers rapidly became the norm.
By June, chairs and boards started to call for the incorporation of staff health and wellbeing into company strategies. An article in the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) magazine, by Dr Amanda Rischbieth (chair of National Blood Authority) summarised this sentiment: “Never before have we had to be concerned with our own health, the health of our loved ones, and the health of our employees all at the same time, at length and in a highly uncertain environment.”
We quickly responded to the needs of the pandemic by adapting MiOK as a tool for our company and for other organisations to use to support their people.
The MiOK mobile app is a tool that encourages and supports self-care. It is unique and was specifically designed to keep people healthy through self-monitoring to build self-awareness. We have done this through feedback loops and visual tracking so that people can recognise changes early. This is empowering and helps them to know when to take action, like getting support from health professionals or to self-manage, where appropriate. MiOK also takes a holistic view of emotional wellbeing. All the features of the app have been carefully considered and are underpinned by research and evidence.
MiOK is a simple way for organisations to show their most valuable resources – their people – that they care for them.
In-line with our purpose to make a difference in health, environment, lifestyle and poverty (HELP), DB Results is extending the free version of MiOK to NFPs and charities to offer to their people.
We understand that the NFP sector is doing it hard. Not only are you providing the ongoing highly needed care for the people that you serve, you do it selflessly and under the harsh COVID conditions. We know that many of your organisations would like to do more to support their people but may not have the means at their disposal.
We would like to offer a helping hand. It’s a no strings attached opportunity for NFPs to support their people by offering each individual a private and secure platform to look after their health and wellbeing.
DB Results is a digital business consulting and technology company. As digital business specialists, we empower our customers along every step of their journey from strategy to reality. Founded in 2004, we are a privately-owned Australian company with global perspective and extensive knowledge and expertise in a range of industries including financial services, health, utilities and government. The business of helping is deeply ingrained in how we approach everything we do. We are proud of our work on projects and solutions that champion our purpose to improve people’s lives.
About the author: Candy D’Menzie is a health adviser – clinical at DB Results.