A new app aimed at supporting the mental health of people working from home during the pandemic has raised over £800,000 in funding.
Founded by Kent-based entrepreneurs Ben Towers and Mike Rose, Tahora connects staff with social events and groups in their local area to help alleviate loneliness and depression that can come with isolated working.
The app has already been picked up by the Metropolitan police where it connects colleagues that live close to one another for socially distanced exercise, dog walking and wellbeing checks.
Several banks and government agencies are also among early adopters of the app.
Towers stresses the importance of an app geared towards workers mental health during this time, stating: “The loneliness pandemic is rapidly becoming as big an issue as the Covid-19 pandemic itself.
“Society is fragmenting in front of us and companies are struggling more than ever to maintain engagement and to keep in touch with employees working from home and far apart from each other.”
Despite their efforts though, 1 in 4 employees remain in need of mental health support while 1 in 5 think they will need support from their employers to re-adjust to office life.
Isolation in particular is proving a major concern, with research from relationship counsellor Relate showing that 42% of people aged 16 and over across the UK feel that they have no friends at work, and 9% feel they do not have a single close friend.
Tahora offers users the ability to join their company’s own unique social platform on the app to help them get involved in activities or start their own clubs, teams, events and adventures.
The app is in part inspired by the first-hand experience of its co-founders who have witnessed the toll of the pandemic on the mental health of their friends and loved ones.
“I have spent endless nights up wondering how we can be connected as a society using just social media. Our sense of purpose is just seeping away,” says Towers.
“I’ve had close family and friends who have experienced mental health challenges right up to the extreme end.”
Rose in particular has seen the effects of poor working conditions on the mental health of his colleagues: “I saw many talented professionals drive themselves into the ground with stress, which led to significant mental health problems.
“We are social beings. Whether it’s the work Christmas party, a running club, or parents returning to work after childbirth, we want to connect within and beyond work and Tahora makes this easier and more enjoyable.”
To find out more about Tahora, visit its website here.
Written by Alice Lynes
News reporter for Talking Mental Health
Twitter & Instagram: @alicelynes