via Wall Street Journal
Companies want employees to seek mental-health treatment when needed, so they are turning to a tool already in workers’ pockets: their smartphones.
As employers seek to reduce the costs of untreated mental illness among staffers, more companies are trying mobile apps that help workers easily find and receive treatment. Some apps mine data about employees’ phone usage, or medical and pharmaceutical claims, to determine who might be in need of care. Others allow workers to text and video chat with therapists—in what are being called “telemental” health services.
By downloading these apps, employees grant permission to be contacted with care recommendations, though some may not be aware of the full extent of the apps’ data collection, which is laid out in the programs’ privacy statements and other communications workers receive. Employers don’t receive data on individual workers. In some cases those offering these tools hold general meetings with employees to discuss how the services work.