Five to Watch: Ry Morgan, Unmind
Slashing through the stigma of mental health, Unmind’s tools and training are making Britain’s workplaces happier and more human
Ry Morgan, 29
As Britain’s workplaces become ever more congested and competitive, the strain on our mental health is becoming ever greater. Yet, with 90% of professionals saying they wouldn’t reveal their mental health concerns to employers for fear of discrimination, many illnesses are hidden away – often with tragic consequences.
Unmind is striving to make workplaces open up about mental health. The company offers clinically backed tools and training which, in the words of co-founder Ry Morgan, are geared to creating “healthier, happier, more human organisations.” He adds that “we all have mental health, all of the time, and just like physical or dental health we can all take proactive steps to support or improve it.”
Morgan is a serial entrepreneur with several start-ups behind him – such as PleaseCycle – but much of his work has been focused on workplace wellbeing. As co-founder of Yomp, he built a B2B platform which used gamification and behavioural economics to improve productivity and employee engagement.
Now he’s going even further – and striving to ensure employees are happy as well as hard-working.
Unmind’s digital platform echoes the great work done by apps such as Headspace and builds on it, with a specific focus on enterprise. The service offers learning and development programmes crafted by industry experts; exercises to help with stress, focus and sleep; insights channelled through assessments and anonymised dashboards; and secure signposting.
A number of established companies have already taken Unmind into their organisation, yet the early take-up has been entirely driven by word of mouth.
Morgan and his fellow founders didn’t hire a single salesperson until this summer; their 19-strong team pride themselves on not making cold calls. Instead they focus on turning clients into long-term ambassadors and winning fresh business on reputation, rather than empty rhetoric.
Now, however, the business is ready to power up. Unmind raised £300,000 in angel funding early last year, and completed a £1.4m seed round in early 2018. The founders want to augment this with additional funding at some point over the next 12 months, with a view to growing the core team, product and client base.
With mental health accounting for a huge chunk of the UK’s £40m annual workplace absenteeism bill, everyone has an interest in bringing this taboo into focus.
Morgan and his team can’t fix the problem overnight, but they can at least drag it out of the darkness.