Societal Impact Award – supported by UKRI

Company Inspire Workplaces

University Ulster University

KTP Associate Gillian Cameron 

Funding ESRC / Invest NI

Project: Development of Wellbeing Identification and Support Platform – WISP, creating immersive, digital tools to help people dealing with impacts of trauma

Background: Inspire Workplaces are part of the Inspire Group, one of the longest established and largest charitable organisations in Ireland with a vision of “wellbeing for all“, supporting over 800,000 lives, with a client base including the Northern Ireland Civil Service and Health & Social Care Trusts, Bombardier, and Stena-Line

The original objective of our KTP with Ulster University was the development of a new technology platform (Wellbeing Identification and Support Platform – WISP) to offer access to mental health screening and support to employees of companies at risk of secondary traumatic stress as their job involves curating disturbing digital media. 

The solution:  Development of a web-based platform (WISP) – the Inspire Support Hub – to provide support for a specific cohort (as above).  However the scope of the KTP broadened, making the new WISP available to all employees seeking mental health support. 

  • The original web-based platform envisaged was enhanced to incorporate a more sophisticated chatbot interface, with the knowledge base providing expertise in this area. 
  • The anticipated reach of the Inspire Support Hub has been rolled out to all of our Employee Assistance Programme customers, with the potential end-user base of 800,000 lives.
  • In addition, the Inspire Support Hub has equipped Inspire Workplaces with the framework to develop new services, including our Trauma Support Tool, Student Support Hub, and online training, 
  • Further to this, Inspire is now in the final stages of agreeing significant contracts for enhancement to the hub with customers in Elite Sports. 

Societal impact: 

  • Enables and empowers employees to manage their mental wellbeing and build resilience. 
  • The hub’s preventative approach helps keep employees and their families well and in work/education, by giving them 24/7 access to education and coping strategies to mitigate any mental health issues they may be experiencing. 
  • The scalable nature of the hub enables dissemination of mental health support to a wide population. Embedding digital counselling tools, such as Video Counselling and WebChat improves accessibility 
  • Over 30,000 engagements since September 2019 and in the past month, 1 in 4 users have accessed the support hub more than once. 
  • Profits derived from this KTP gifted to the parent charity of Inspire Workplaces which aids people with mental illness, addiction, autism and intellectual/learning disabilities. Inspire supports people through supported accommodation, floating support, day support, recovery-focused services and advocacy services
  • Research findings shared through presentations and publications at conferences and events in many locations, such as London, Belfast and St. Petersburg, Russia; and via knowledge exchange workshops in Glasgow and Belfast with Addaction, one of the UK’s leading drug, alcohol and mental health charities
  • Rich collaborative relationship between KTP partners has lasted post-project, with a view to continuing to innovate together on mental health technology projects, and will hopefully result in another KTP and part-time PhD for the KTP Associate. 

 

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