Medical aid giant, Discovery recently announced the introduction of a mental wellbeing module to Vitality – meaning members can now earn Discovery Miles for taking care of their mental health and wellbeing.
According to Discovery, members can now track their mindful minutes and sleep goals on partner apps, including Headspace, Calm, The Mindfulness App and buddhify, in the Vitality Active Rewards platform.
Worldwide, more than one billion people are affected by mental or addictive disorders, that’s around 16% of the world’s population and according to the South African Stress and Health (SASH) study, the lifetime prevalence for any mental disorder among South Africans is roughly 30%.
“We know that mental and physical health are connected,” explains Dr Mosima Mabunda, Vitality’s Head of Wellness. “While living with a chronic condition increases the risk for developing poor mental health, the opposite is also true – poor mental health increases the risk for developing chronic conditions.”
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“For example, depression is associated with an 18% higher risk of type 2 diabetes. This may be because people with a mental health condition find it more difficult to manage their physical health.”
According to Vitality’s data, unhealthy lifestyle behaviours do affect mental wellbeing; physical inactivity is associated with 4 times more reported psychological distress while unhealthy food is associated with 1.7 times more reported psychological distress. “This highlights the importance of preventative behaviours for both mental and physical health,” said Dr Mabunda.
“These include mindfulness-based meditation – which has been shown to be useful in improving mental wellbeing – and adequate sleep. Physical activity and good nutrition have a well-established positive impact on our health,” she said.
How does it work?
- Discovery Vitality members will earn 500 points for completing mental wellbeing assessments online. These are based on key areas that influence our overall state of mental wellbeing, including sleep, resilience, depression and anxiety.
- After completing the assessments, members activate the mental wellbeing module in the Vitality Active Rewards programme.
- Members can also download a mindfulness app of their choice to track their mindful minutes and link their Garmin and Apple devices to track their sleep.
- Additionally, the Vitality mental-wellbeing channel offers free tools, available to anyone, to improve mental wellbeing. These include articles, podcasts and breathwork videos as well as home-workout videos and nutritious recipes.
“Mental wellness must be a priority for all South Africans. So, in addition to these exciting new initiatives for our Vitality members, we have a number of resources available to all South Africans on the Vitality at Homesite,” said Vitality clinical wellness specialist, Dr Seranne Motilal.
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