MLB launches Unmind platform

Major League Baseball announced a new collaboration with cultural change platform Unmind on Wednesday, taking another step in its commitment to mental health.

The league will bolster its existing well-being benefits and initiatives by launching the Unmind platform to approximately 1,300 corporate staff members and 7,000 umpires and Minor League players beginning next month.

Unmind, which delivers its content through both a mobile app and web site, will supplement the more traditional resources such as employee assistance professionals and psychologists that MLB and its clubs already have in place.

“The Unmind platform will allow us to respond to our overall high-level goal of reducing stigma throughout our industry and promoting positive mental well-being,” said Jon Coyles, MLB’s VP of Drug, Health and Safety Programs. “Even if you don’t have a diagnosed condition or you’re receiving treatment for something, general well-being is something that can help employees and baseball players alike. Going forward, we’re hopeful that by putting a greater focus on mental well-being, we’ll have a more positive and psychologically safe workplace environment where we can really see playing personnel and non-playing personnel thrive and grow. ”

Whether it’s reducing stress, managing anxiety, or developing better sleep and nutrition habits, Unmind’s platform offers daily exercises, meditation and more.

“People are constantly moving, playing a lot of games, being on the road a lot, a lot of travel; something that is self-driven, something that can be used on your own time, and something that can be personalized and fit their own personal needs depending on how they’re coming at this, everyone’s different and we recognize that, ”Coyles said. “That was a real top priority for us as we went through this exercise, Unmind does a really good job of making it so you can specifically tailor it to your own needs and what you’re looking to get out of this.”

MLB actually began this process prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Coyles said the past two years caused the league to “double down on our interest in wanting to be as proactive in this area as we possibly could.” After evaluating a number of different mental health resources that could complement the services MLB already has in place, the league felt Unmind was the best fit.

“The fact that it is proactive is something that definitely stood out for us,” Coyles said. “The fact that it is not just a kind of a resource app, but it has four or five different platforms available to our players and staff was very intriguing to us. The self-guided programming, the different exercises and the day-to-day insights and check-ins that they offer. Like all things in the health and safety world, whether we’re talking about COVID or general medical care, it’s science-backed information and science-backed resources as a whole. That’s the right place to be on this topic. ”

“It’s all science-backed and scientifically validated, but it just delivers content across the core measures of mental well-being in an accessible and destigmatized way,” said Matt Jackson, Unmind’s head of North America. “An individual can measure their levels of happiness, calmness, coping, sleep, health, connection, fulfillment, and then there’s content from bite-sized videos, exercises and micro-learning programs all centered around cognitive behavioral therapy, positive psychology, behavioral science and mindfulness. ”

Jackson noted that Unmind stays away from words such as stress, depression or anxiety, preferring to take a positive approach to mental health.

“For too long, mental health has been synonymous with ill mental health, but the best thing about being a human being is how you feel joy, how you grieve, how you solve complex problems. It’s everything, ”Jackson said. “What we can do together with MLB is to promote mental health awareness and support and provide that ongoing education training to players, employees and management leadership.”

Unmind, which was founded in 2016, already has some experience in the sports world, having partnered with both the NBA’s Orlando Magic and the Wolverhampton Wanderers (commonly known as the Wolves) in the English Premier League.

“It’s another piece in the puzzle of MLB’s strategy on supporting players and staff,” Jackson said. “It’s approaching mental health from a personal perspective as well as the athlete’s perspective. We all have mental health all the time; at Unmind, we have the belief that everybody has the right to a healthy mind, and part of that is destigmatizing mental health, which our tools and content help the organizations do and support individuals wherever they are and wherever they may be on that mental health and well-being journey. ”

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