Finalist category: Digital Health Award
Digital Health Award, Finalist, 2018
Connecting mothers with tools and knowledge needed to sustain good mental health.
Nuala Murphy founded technology company Moment Health – a world first – to tackle maternal mental health and make it mainstream. Conceived with the aim to connect mothers with tools and knowledge needed to sustain good mental health and recover from illness.
Research shows 70% of women admit hiding or downplaying symptoms of mental illness but with early intervention there is an 80-90% recovery rate. According to Royal College of Psychiatrists and Maternal Mental Health Alliance there are still no formal perinatal mental health services in 26% of NHS areas in Britain. 23% of mums who died between 6 weeks and one year of pregnancy died as a result of maternal mental health and related illnesses.
Nuala ultimately has an urgency to help save lives of parents who feel they have nowhere else to turn but who are in fact suffering from a treatable illness. Joining forces with mobile expert Gavin Rooney, and co-founder of Moment Health, the pair dedicated their time and resource to building a human centred solution the Moment Health App, which is currently undergoing a Clinical Trial with Ulster University. In its first week of launching it ranked number one UK health and fitness app such is the prevalence of maternal mental health.
Moment Health is pushing the limits of digital health with groundbreaking innovative features such as symptom screening, mood tracking, peer and community connections and geo-located sources of information and help. Moment Health screens for perinatal, postnatal and associated anxieties, and includes a helpful guide to practical and accessible coping strategies.
General mental health cost the UK workforce £35 billion last year; 10% in staff turnover 30% sickness absence 60% reduced productivity. Research shows that management and prevention could enable employers to reduce this bill by 30%.
A survey carried out by Moment Health correlates with the global problem and, with one in 25 pregnant women and new mothers leaving their jobs due to mental health problems, there has never been a more critical time to ask if female employees need support during their pregnancy, maternity leave or when they return to work.
With almost half of women on maternity leave feeling their employer ‘doesn’t care at all’ about their wellbeing while they’re at home with their child – and roughly the same amount of women admitting they found maternity leave more isolating than they expected – it seems having the need for regular contact with their workplace could potentially go some way towards lessening a sense of loneliness for new mums until they return to work.