Healthtech And How-Tos With Co-Founder And CEO Of Unmind, Dr Nick Taylor

Healthtech And How-Tos With Co-Founder And CEO Of Unmind, Dr Nick Taylor

The co-founder and CEO of Unmind, Dr Nick Taylor, shares a new paradigm for mental health.

Nick Taylor, co-founder and CEO of Unmind, wants you to talk about your mental health –
and not only if you suffer from mental ill-health.

A clinical psychologist, Dr Nick is a firm believer that your
mental health requires routine care – no differently to brushing
your teeth each morning and evening.

Targeted towards organisations seeking ways to better support
their employees, Unmind is a workplace wellness platform with
clients including Farfetch and John
Lewis & Partners

With the workplace considered one of the biggest triggers for
mental health issues, this confidential desktop and smartphone
platform has proven to be, for some users, a life-enhancing,
life-changing and life-saving tool. Accessible at any time, Unmind
runs the gamut from bite-sized challenges and mindfulness exercises
to preventative programmes.

With advice on supporting your mental wellbeing – whether on the
road or in the office – Dr Nick shares a new paradigm for mental

Tell us about Unmind.

We all have mental health, just like physical health or dental
health. Wherever you are on the spectrum there are proactive
exercises you can do to nurture and improve your mental health.
Unmind empowers employees to proactively look after their mental
health and at the same time enables organisations, by aggregating
and anonymising their employee mental health data, to create
strategies that are most appropriate for their workforce. The
platform essentially provides people with a companion to their
minds, a place where they can go day in, day out, to track and work
on their own mental wellbeing.

What life experiences inspired you to create Unmind?

One of my sisters has Down’s syndrome, so from a young age I
experienced first-hand how differently she saw the world, and in
turn how differently she was treated. It instilled in me a
fascination with the human mind and our mental health.

Growing up I volunteered as a Samaritan and as a support worker
for the mental health charity Mind. After studying psychology
and gaining a doctorate in Clinical Psychology, I joined the NHS as
a clinical psychologist. It was while working for the NHS that I
became interested in corporate wellness and the way organisations
can benefit from looking after the mental health of their
employees. I began to realise that organisations were often lacking
the tools to do this, and it was this realisation that led me to
create Unmind in 2016, a platform that would provide organisations
with the means to support their employees.

Why the name?

Quite a few reasons; it’s intriguing, and the shape and flow of
the word is relaxing. However, it also speaks to the way our
thoughts can often run away with themselves leading to unhelpful
thinking patterns that in turn can impact on our mood and overall
wellbeing. This is what Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is about,
learning to recognise that our thoughts can impact on our emotions
and behaviours – but they are not always right. In fact, we can
learn to recognise that thoughts are just thoughts and we can
choose to challenge or ignore them. By “unminding” we are stepping
back from our thoughts and observing them rather than being driven
by them.

What frustrates you about mental healthcare in its current

My frustrations are threefold. The first is that people are not
able to access professional care in a timely way when they
experience poor mental health. The second is that people have to
jump through too many hoops to access information that will help
them with their mental health. Finally, as a society, I don’t think
we focus enough on prevention in poor mental health, despite this
being universally recognised as the best practice in health care.
It was this belief in the importance of offering a preventative and
proactive solution that inspired me to create Unmind.

What stigmas around mental health would you like to see

All stigmas! Our mental health is arguably our most treasured
and wonderful asset, as such we should discuss, nurture and
celebrate it.

How does Unmind work to build a healthier mind?

We work with experts to create scientifically backed tools, and
learning and development programmes that employees can use to track
their own mental health and wellbeing, or find support. The content
is delivered in bite-size chunks, through audio, video and
interactive exercises and personalised assessments, including
questionnaires, mood diaries and customised programmes to help
users identify and improve specific areas of wellbeing such as
stress, focus or sleep.

Who are some of your clients?

We have a range of clients spanning many different industries,
but to name a few: John Lewis & Partners, William Hill, Farfetch, Just

How can companies better support their employees’ mental

Companies can support their employees’ mental health by helping
to break the stigma around mental health and acknowledging that the
same level of routine care is needed for mental wellbeing as it is
for physical wellbeing. They can also help by ensuring that
everyone within the company understands the symptoms associated
with common mental health problems such as stress, anxiety and
depression so that people feel more able to have open conversations
about their mental wellbeing.

How do you develop Unmind’s tools and training procedures?

The content within the platform draws on four scientific
pillars: neuroscience, positive psychology, cognitive behaviour
therapy and mindfulness. We work with world-renowned academics and
psychologists to develop all of the tools, training and assessments
to ensure that everything we do is in line with the most recent
cutting-edge research.

What are your go-to exercises for relieving stress or improving

I personally love the exercises we have for breathing on the
platform, especially ones with music – they help me relax every
time. I also find exercise key to relieving stress – too often we
distinguish physical and mental health when in fact they are
incredibly interlinked.

Any exercises that we can use while travelling?

Anywhere we go, our minds go with us – so yes, we can work on
our mental health while on the road. The beauty of a digital
platform is that it can go with you anywhere you go at any time.
It’s perfect for a trip!

How can travel boost your mental health?

I love to travel and it has undoubtedly had a positive impact on
my mental health. It’s an opportunity to experience new things,
meet new people and learn.

Three years on since forming Unmind, what have you

Oh my, where to start… I’ve learned that our generation has a
genuine opportunity to smash the stigma around mental health once
and for all. I’ve also learned so much from all of my colleagues,
advisors and investors. It’s been a great trip.

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