Rise in employees turning to digital counselling services for support

The number of employees using digital counselling services to support their mental wellbeing has more than doubled in a year, according to Simplyhealth, the UK’s leading health plan provider.

Statistics from Simplyhealth’s own Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) data shows the number of employees using online counselling sessions, in the form of video link appointments, offered through Simplyhealth’s health plans more than doubled in 2018, compared to the previous year.

While the overall number of counselling and advice calls has increased slightly with a 6% rise year on year respectively, the number of face to face to counselling sessions held fell by 15% in 2018 as service users seek less traditional methods of accessing support.

Calls to the EAP number from employees seeking advice for mental health issues rose by a quarter (24%) in 2018, and calls relating to financial queries increased by 29%, highlighting the key areas of concern for the employees of today. The data also reveals that the largest growth in calls were related to civil issues (84%), followed by eldercare (61%) and then childcare (55%).

Pam Whelan, Director of Corporate at Simplyhealth
It’s really encouraging to see from the data that employees are proactively looking after their mental wellbeing and engaging with their EAP.

Technology offers great opportunities for employers to offer wellbeing support through an increased number of access channels and our data shows there is demand with the number of online counselling sessions doubling in just one year. Traditional face-to-face counselling can be daunting for some people; using digital technology such as video calling, offers great ‘in the moment’ support and enables employees to engage with it at a time and place that is most convenient for them.

Pam Whelan, Director of Corporate at Simplyhealth

The EAP data also reveals the amount of employees who returned to work after therapy increased by 4.8% from 2017 to 20181.

While an EAP supports employees, it also has added benefits for the business, helping staff to remain in, or return to work quickly, which helps the business to support and maintain everyday wellbeing and performance.

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Notes to Editors

All figures stated are from Simplyhealth’s global EAP service provided by Health Assured, comparing 2017 data to 2018.  

1 Refers to the employees who were off sick at the start of therapy who then were back in work by the end of therapy

Further information from: Laura Miller, Communications Specialist Tel: 0344 5792379 Email:

About Simplyhealth

Since 1872 we’ve been helping people get healthcare through our health plans, charity partnerships and by being a voice in healthcare.

Today we’re delighted to be the UK’s leading provider of health plans, dental plans and pet health plans, which help individuals, families, employees and pets to get support with their health when they need it.

Our health plans enable businesses to look after their employees, and make it easy for people to maintain their health and wellbeing, so they can look after business. We offer two types of preventative health plans:

- Optimise: our health plan, covering a range of treatments including visits to the optician, dentist, 24/7 GP services and more

- Denplan: our dental plan, covering all clinically necessary treatments, routine examinations, hygiene treatments, plus cover for accidents and emergencies

We don’t have shareholders which means we are totally focused on making sure no one goes without the healthcare support they need, and why we are passionate about being a voice in healthcare and partnering with charities to reduce health inequality.

Last year we donated £1.13 million to our charity partners which equates to over 10% of our pre-tax profits. Additionally, our partnership with the Simplyhealth Great Run Series raised over £40 million for charitable causes.To find out more visit