Never mind Blue Monday
Unmind's here for us every day

First Central launches Unmind mental health app worldwide 

Blue Monday? Not here; we’ve officially kicked Monday blues to the kerb, not just today but all year round. We’re jazzed up because everyone now has a cool app called Unmind on their phones and desktops. Yes, that’s over 1,250 of us (and counting… )

What’s Unmind? We like to think of it as our mental health superhero, a way we can access a bunch of tools to keep us feeling top notch. All at the touch of a button, Unmind’s on a mission to create mentally healthy workplaces where everyone can flourish. There’s so much on offer: we’re talking interactive courses, on-the-spot exercises and legit, science-backed assessments covering everything from the best ways to catch extra Zzzzs to nailing nutrition and dealing with those curveballs life has a habit of chucking our way. And, get this, our colleagues can not only get a helping hand to cope with their own ups and downs, they can even ‘invite a friend’ to join the Unmind wellness party. 

There are many wellbeing resources out there today but Unmind stood out and grabbed our attention because, unlike 95% of other solutions, it’s built on science. In a world that’s often complex and confusing, it tries to create hope and shed a guiding light by challenging convention and smashing stigma.

Back in 2016 Dr. Nick Taylor and Steve Peralta (Unmind’s CEO and Chief Wellbeing Officer) got their heads together to think about innovative ways of shaking up mental health support in the workplace. Nick’s volunteering with the Samaritans and mental health charity Mind convinced him treatments were often inadequate and arrived too late. They tended to concentrate way too much on people’s problems rather than solutions.

Steve had first-hand experience of transforming his head space and welcoming positive mental health strategies into his own life; they helped him to overcome challenges including insomnia and depression. Unmind brilliantly brings together Nick’s clinical expertise with Steve’s corporate wellbeing wiles. They give the real deal, a holistic bundle of support tools that’ll turbocharge our entire work community. 

Launching Unmind is First Central’s way of shouting from the rooftops about our passion for looking after everyone’s wellbeing, whether physical, mental, emotional or financial. We’re all about creating a workplace community where people are comfortable enough to be their awesome, authentic selves, whatever that looks like on any given day. And, as impressive as Unmind is, it’s just one feature of the well-stocked wellbeing toolkit we’re continually tweaking and evolving. 

We know people want far more than a job from their employers these days and, much as we love to have fun, we take our colleagues’ wellbeing dead seriously. We were even voted 7th on the UK's Best Workplace™ for Wellbeing list by Great Place to Work® UK! 

As well as hosting a wide-ranging wellbeing programme of activity throughout the year, we offer other goodies like our Employee Assistance Programme which provides a confidential helpline 24/7. We’ve introduced mandatory manager training in mental health so they can step up and help when they spot the tell-tale signs someone might not be feeling 100%. We’ve trained over 40 First Central colleagues as Mental Health First Aiders so they can spot early signs of mental ill-health in others. Our colleagues can also tap into an interest-free loan of up to £1,000 to put towards health and fitness equipment or reclaim the cost of their dental checks, physio treatment or flu jabs among other things through a Health Cash Plan.  

Even if First Central didn’t offer its people such holistic wellbeing support, they’d have no need to stress about 15th January being the saddest day of the year. No scientific studies back up the claim; it’s a big fat myth that came to life in 2005 when Cliff Arnal, a Welsh psychologist, devised a formula to work out the most depressing day of the year. Factors included weather conditions, debt levels, time passed since Christmas, low motivation levels, and failing New Year’s resolutions. However, it was purely a marketing tactic for a travel company so they could sell more summer holidays. Don’t believe the hype!

Read next...

First Central and Dare to Dream

Young people today can feel overwhelmed. Our partnership supports the next generation of local talent to overcome difficulties and dream big.

Read more >

Apprenticeships at First Central

As a business First Central's constantly adapting and evolving. It's not enough to keep pace, we want to stay ahead. So do our people.

Read more >

Unmind: our mental health app

Blue Monday’s supposed to be the most depressing day of the year but we’re not miserable. Far from it; we’re excited! 2024’s going to be great.

Read more >