Today in New Zealand, only 3% of New Zealanders access mental health services. 77% of suicides are people not receiving formal intervention or support. These issues are compounded by the fact that online self-help tools for mental wellbeing, as well as workplace wellbeing and EAP programs, are not easily accessible.
A not-for-profit community support service organisation Emerge Aotearoa want to change this. They stood up a new, innovative Social Enterprise, Ignite Aotearoa to address the issues of accessibility and strengthen communities so that whānau thrive. The Ignite team engaged RUSH to help address the design and technical challenges they were facing.
We started with an exploration sprint, to frame the problem, define Ignite’s objectives and explore the technical capabilities needed to achieve them. RUSH and the Ignite team visualized the experience during our initial workshops, then validated them through activities with potential real life users. These included four HR and Safety Managers and five general users, made up of diverse personas representative of Aotearoa’s workforce.
What we learned from that process allowed us to confidently engage in a second sprint to establish what an MVP might look like for Ignite. We developed a new brand identity and design system then prioritised the product roadmap, ready to execute.
Agile methodologies made it possible for us to adjust the MVP roadmap and goals in order for Ignite to cater to people’s wellbeing needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We brought the launch of the Ignite platform forward, with a special focus on COVID-19. This was enabled by the agile squad’s ability to pivot at the drop of a hat. The platform features resources created and curated by a team of clinicians. They provide users with tools and strategies for coping with lockdown-related challenges and ways to optimise the unfamiliar situations they find themselves in during the pandemic.
Alongside these resources, there is an online counselling solution and a wellbeing assessment tool. These are designed to support workplaces that want to provide virtual talk-therapy and modernised employee assistance programmes. Employees can use the Ignite platform to choose a counsellor, coach or clinician/specialist to work with on managing the challenges of lockdown, working from home, and other COVID-19 stresses. They can also undertake ongoing work on their wellbeing across all areas of life.
By quickly reacting to the COVID-19 crisis, Ignite was able to make the resources section of their platform available early, helping thousands of people across New Zealand navigate uncertain times and better manage the wellbeing of themselves and their whānau.