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Meeting the individual wellness needs of a diverse team is a major challenge that managers face. While there are many therapeutic tools capable of building healthy organizations, there are often barriers to accessing them on an individual level.
Dr. Amy Cirbus is the head of clinical content at Spring Health, and she’s also the program lead and content supervisor for Sage—a brand new platform with self-directed courses and clinician-designed tools that raises the bar for mental health education, while removing barriers to care.
We sat down with Amy to talk about how organizations can utilize the platform to provide immediate relief in times of crisis, and build a strong foundation for ongoing employee wellbeing.
Spring Health: What is Sage?
Amy: Sage is an learning platform that provides mental health courses in an interactive, dynamic way. You can get mental health support specifically or learn skills and gain knowledge that helps you at work.
We have courses for our leaders (HR and team managers) and individual contributors. Managers can learn new skills to support themselves and their team, which supports the entire organization.
This can help leaders reach their employees and communicate the importance of mental health—and they will walk away with fundamental skills. That’s what’s really exciting. The content isn’t boring—it’s practical, and for everybody.
Spring Health: How did Sage come about?
Amy: We know from our data that the topics we cover in our courses are real, pressing concepts that our HR managers, leaders, and teams want to address. We didn’t guess what topics to choose. Instead, we listened to the needs of our customers and created Sage as one way to address them in a scalable way.
In other words, it came from a deep understanding of workplace challenges.
Spring Health: Will people take the courses individually or as a team?
Amy: Both, and that will depend on the organization. Sage is designed to fit seamlessly into many different schedules. It’s tailored for frontline and corporate companies alike.
The courses are self-led so everyone can go in independently. At the end of the day, it’s about mental health rather than policy, so it’s up to the individual to decide at what level they want to engage with the platform.
Managers will be able to learn skills like preventing burnout for themselves and their team members. They can also assign courses like Emotional Health or How To Have Healthy Boundaries to team members.
Teams can get together and discuss the courses—or not. It’s up to them.
Spring Health: What differentiates Sage from other Spring Health offerings?
Amy: Sage is different because it is individually taught and led, as opposed to our other self-led offerings, which are recorded exercises that you listen to.
Sage is interactive and segmented into digestible content lengths. The courses are 20 minutes, tops, so people can go in when they have time and come back again later.
We tailored Sage to fit any schedule so employees can take our courses anywhere and receive one-on-one attention—but on their own time.
Spring Health: How will Sage help both leaders and employees?
Amy: Sage is our way of filling out the range of services needed across teams.
Leaders want to ensure they provide the mental health support that best fits the unique needs of their team. Teams are diverse. So we want to ensure our care extends from clinical intervention to wellness strategy.
Plus, therapists deliver this material. And this means that team members will leave with skills and knowledge they wouldn’t otherwise—derived from clinicians.
Spring Health: How will Sage address managers’ biggest challenges in supporting employee mental health?
Amy: This is something leaders can offer that isn’t necessarily mandatory. It’s genuinely intended to improve the lives of your employees.
Research shows us that when an employer offers these kinds of resources, it increases employee faith and trust—even for employees who don’t sign up for them. It can also increase loyalty and productivity, and create a sense of calm and confidence within the company.
While every course may not be for everyone, there is something for everyone on this platform. Part of the challenge managers face is adequately addressing their team’s diverse needs. Sage aims to do that.
Spring Health: How does Sage remove barriers to care?
Amy: We know there are a lot of barriers to mental health and wellness care, like time, stigma, and accessibility. Our mission is to reduce those barriers. And with Sage, we hit all of these pillars.
The platform offers non-threatening support, allowing mental health to remain a part of the conversation. This is a way for your team to acquaint themselves with mental health and therapy.
Some people are just not ready to take the big step to therapy. They may not know whether therapy is right for them, or maybe they do, and they’re not prepared. Sage serves as what many therapists call “readiness preparedness.” You can audit the therapy process safely, independently, and privately.
You get to dip your toe in, get comfortable, and understand the therapeutic process. This might make you more comfortable with taking a step toward therapy, or you might say, “This is enough for me,” and that’s as far as you go.
Either way, employees are familiarized with therapeutic tools to help them maintain their health and be preventative about their wellness.
Spring Health: What kinds of courses are offered?
Amy: Our courses are user-friendly, fun, and interactive. And they run the gamut from the individual up through leadership.
The first five courses are geared toward preventing and managing burnout for managers, psychological safety, and helping HR leaders create a workplace culture that works for everyone. We also have courses that address emotional health and stress management.
But this is just the beginning. We’re going to learn and grow from here. Courses are in progress for building self-esteem, improving your sleep, learning about what really happens in therapy, plus real training on recognizing and responding for HR leaders.
These are all practical skills that can be applied at work.
Spring Health: What has you most excited about Sage?
Amy: It’s easy to use, and it’s information that everyone can benefit from. It’s really growth-oriented.
We have strong clinical intervention services. If you have a mental health diagnosis, we know how to support you. If you’re reasonably well and want to increase your emotional literacy or well-being, this is geared toward you, too.
The fact that we can provide that care at scale is huge.
Here’s another highly effective way to support your leaders, including the critical guidance they need to have difficult conversations with employees.