Discovery Vitality is launching a new mental health programme – here’s how it works

Discovery Vitality is launching a new mental wellbeing programme based on personalised goals.

The financial services group said that the new programme will be available for every Vitality member in early 2020, and at no additional cost.

“Discovery’s core purpose is to make people healthier, and mental health is a key health risk, and one that is leading to an increasing cost burden,” said Discovery Vitality chief executive officer, Dinesh Govender.

“There is a strong link between mental health and physical health – people suffering from mental illness are 60% more likely to be diagnosed with preventable chronic conditions, so Vitality interventions to assess and improve mental wellbeing could have a profound impact on our members and on society.”

Govender said that members will be prompted to earn 1,000 Vitality points annually for taking the mental wellbeing assessment every six months.

“We use an online clinically-robust questionnaire to assess anxiety, depression, sleep, substance abuse, resilience and happiness.

“Based on the outcomes, we provide tailored recommendations and interventions that include telephonic counselling, as well as clinical referrals – in accordance with their medical scheme benefits,” he said.

These tailored recommendations and interventions, based on the clinical risk score reflecting a members risk of developing depression and anxiety, include:

  • Reassessments every one, three or six months;
  • Access to telephonic counselling through a dedicated support line with the South African Depression and Anxiety Group, available 24 hours a day;
  • Additional appropriate clinical referrals based on medical scheme benefits.


Members will get rewarded with Discovery Miles for achieving their weekly personalised mental wellbeing goals to improve their sleep and mindfulness, both of which aid mental wellbeing.

These Miles can be spent on rewards (such as coffees, smoothies, charitable donations and shopping vouchers), or can be spent online or instore within Discovery’s retail partner network, and can also be used to pay for flights, or can be converted into cash or a travel partner currency.

Discover said that the Vitality mental wellbeing goals will be personalised based on the individual’s risk profile.

Members will receive weekly goals to improve sleep and mindfulness through partner apps. These will include interventions such as:

  • Engaging in mindfulness activities for at least 10 minutes a day, three days a week to achieve the mindfulness goal;
  • Recording at least seven hours of sleep a night, 4 times a week to achieve the sleep goal for poor sleepers;
  • Encouraging healthy eating and physical activity.

Read: Discovery will give you an iPhone if you join its bank: here’s what you need to know

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Discovery Vitality is launching a new mental health programme – here’s how it works