Coronavirus resource spotlight: Kaiser Permanente’s meditation app

Here’s a look at Kaiser Permanente’s new tool that aims to help people manage stress—available free of charge for Kaiser Permanente members.

What it is: Kaiser Permanente’s Calm app

The insurer’s new app—available to Kaiser Permanente members for free—focuses on mindfulness, meditation and sleep. Overall, Kaiser says, the tech tool “supports people looking for ways to manage stress and build resilience, particularly in uncertain times.”

Kaiser Permanente members can download Calm Premium on their smartphone, computer or tablet through their kp.org account. For access, members can register at kp.org/selfcareapps.

Why it’s helpful: Kaiser Permanente members will have unlimited access to Calm content, including a library of guided meditations, sleep stories for deeper and better sleep, and video lessons on mindful movement and stretching. Kaiser says the availability of the Calm app provides “new ways to support emotional wellness anytime and anywhere, particularly during times of increased stress and anxiety.”

“We know mindfulness meditation can support emotional wellbeing, and the Calm app is a great way for people to learn life-changing skills to reduce anxiety, be more resilient, and make self-care a priority,” says Don Mordecai, MD, psychiatrist and national leader for mental health and wellness at Kaiser Permanente.

Other insights: Mental health is an area of concern for employers—especially during the coronavirus pandemic. That’s because more employees report feeling worried, anxious, financially stressed and depressed in today’s uncertain environment. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll finds a majority of adults say worry or stress related to the coronavirus pandemic has had a negative effect on their health and wellbeing, resulting in problems sleeping or eating, or increased alcohol or drug use.

Related: Is COVID-19 a turning point for workplace mental health?

Employers and providers are adding resources and benefits programs in a rush to help. Many industry insiders say they hope companies will continue to provide resources that address mental health concerns—and areas like mindfulness—post-pandemic.

For more free benefits resources, check out this list from HRE.

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