Mental health is one of the most overlooked global issues we face today. Nearly 1 billion people have been diagnosed with a mental disorder, and the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the mental health of many more people worldwide: from anxiety about the economy, job loss, and contagion, to social isolation and the grief of losing loved ones.
While mental illness, anxiety and depression are universally experienced, a significant gap exists for many between the need for mental health services and its availability. More than 75% of people in low- and middle-income countries don’t receive treatment for their mental, neurological, and substance use disorders, according to the World Health Organization.
Oct. 10 is World Mental Health Day, an international day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma. In honor of World Mental Health Day, the CU Health Plan invites eligible employees to consider our new employee wellness program, Sleepio. The online, science-backed, sleep improvement program can help you get to the root of stubborn sleep issues and nurture mental wellness through lasting, more restful sleep.
If you are struggling with your mental health, it’s important to know that you’re not alone, and there are resources available to you for support. The Real Help Hotline is a free mental-wellness resource available to all CU and CU Med employees and their families. Visit BeColorado.org for more information on the Real Help Hotline.
In addition to utilizing support resources, improving your sleep is another great first step toward improving your mental health. Poor sleep can result in an increased risk of depression and anxiety, and puts us at greater risk of conditions like obesity and diabetes.
Sleepio’s online program provides easy-access tools, including easy-to-learn cognitive and behavioral techniques, designed to help you build healthier sleep habits that can strengthen your mental wellness. These techniques help you establish a healthy sleep pattern, addressing the mental factors associated with sleep problems such as the “racing mind,” so you can overcome the worry and other negative emotions that come with being unable to sleep. By developing a “pro-sleep” routine to achieve a strong connection between bed and sleep, falling asleep – and staying asleep – becomes more automatic and natural.
To get started with Sleepio, you’ll first take a brief, 2-minute sleep test at www.sleepio.com/cuhealthplan, which will provide you with your Sleep Score and a personalized tip you can try out as soon as tonight. After taking the initial sleep test, continue progressing through Sleepio’s 20-minute online program sessions to better understand the relationship between healthy, restful sleep habits and improved mental wellness. Finally say goodbye to restless nights, groggy mornings, and rest easy knowing you’re on your way to lasting better sleep patterns.