Mental health regularly tops news agendas across the country, and one East Yorkshire company is leading the way in workplace wellbeing by offering all of its staff an innovative wearable device that tracks their mood.
The Moodbeam wristband and app is the brainchild of Yorkshire entrepreneurs Christina Colmer McHugh and Jonathan Elvidge. It helps people to track their mood and creates tangible data that can be used to provide an insight into the wearer’s emotional wellbeing.
And now Hull and Beverley-based law firm James Legal has become a ‘Moodbeam pioneer’ as part of the company’s drive to continue to value and look after its own team, and better support mental health awareness in its industry.
Nick Miller, Solicitor and Managing Director at James Legal, said: “Wellbeing in business is something we take very seriously and we are trying to walk the walk by actively championing the topic as part of our InspiringBusiness2019 campaign. We are also focusing on our own, super team by becoming a Moodbeam pioneer in order to provide them with additional help and demonstrate how much we value them.
“Moodbeam is a great idea and this was obvious to us when we first encountered it.
“We first got to know about the project when Jonathan gave a presentation on Moodbeam at one of our James Legal InspiringBusiness seminars, and it immediately struck a chord because it aligns so well with the things we are passionate about at James Legal. So, we’ve kept in touch since and are keen to do anything we can to support what we believe is a phenomenal invention. Christina spoke about her personal Moodbeam story, once again, at our September seminar.”
The device takes the form of a comfortable, trendy, brightly-coloured wrist-based bangle featuring two buttons, which talks to an easy-to-use app that presents information in a clear and understandable way. Pressing the buttons is all that’s required to log your feelings, and the device also tracks sleep and some physical activity.
Nick added: “There is plenty of wearable technology that monitors physical activity, but next to nothing that supports mental health and emotional wellbeing. Moodbeam is groundbreaking, and I knew instantly I wanted James Legal to be a part of it.”
He is offering all employees a free device to use to track their own moods, feelings and thoughts. Staff can choose to keep their data entirely private if they wish and use their Moodbeam as a personal tool, or they can opt to share anonymised data with the wider James Legal team.
Sharing the data in this way will allow Nick to analyse any trends and patterns that emerge among his workforce, and allow for meaningful conversations with people about how they are feeling. He added: “We already have a major focus on wellbeing here, with a flexible working policy and access to counselling. Introducing Moodbeam devices will further strengthen this approach and ensure that our mental health is always front of mind.”
James Legal Solicitor Byron Swarbrick said he’s looking forward to the benefits Moodbeam will bring him and the wider team. “The legal services industry is inevitably stressful, with a high workload, clients who are often under stress themselves as they are dealing with challenging situations, and big expectations,” said Byron.
“Nick really cares about the team, he wants to know how we are feeling and help us be as happy as possible in the workplace. The Moodbeam initiative is fantastic, I’m really excited about how we might all benefit from it, and it’s just great to be involved with an innovative product like this.”
Moodbeam founder Christina Colmer McHugh said: “I’d like to welcome Nick and his team as one of the pioneering local companies that are implementing Moodbeam in the workplace.
“In the past few years we have built some amazing relationships with organisations who care deeply about supporting better mental health in their industries. I’m looking forward to seeing how Moodbeam’s technology can help James Legal make a real difference.”
A real first
Moodbeam has been three years in the making, and was inspired by Christina’s experience of her daughter, then seven, being bullied. Concerned about the mood changes this cyber bullying created, she was desperate to make sure she could track her daughter’s mental wellbeing and prevent any adverse effects.
She subsequently partnered with Hull-born Gadget Shop and Red5 entrepreneur Jonathan Elvidge to develop the Moodbeam wearable device, to help other parents do the same. The project has really taken off from there, with expressions of interest from a range of potential future users in fields like industry, education and health. They have just taken delivery of their first 1,000 manufactured units and have encouraged businesses and individuals to take them away, trial them and share their experiences in order to spread the word.