A brand new concept in mental health care and wellbeing will open its doors in September, offering a first-of-its-kind clinic for businesses and their employees. The Soke will bring together mental health care and wellbeing services with career development and professional coaching all under one roof.
With depression now the most common cause of ill health and disability worldwide (World Health Organisation) and one in six adults in the UK (one in four in London) suffering from a Common Mental Disorder (CMD), including depression, anxiety, phobia and OCD, the impact on both society and the economy is severe. CMDs are the leading cause of sickness absence, costing the UK economy £105 billion each year.
With a growing need for businesses to care for their employees’ mental wellbeing, not just reactively, but also proactively,The Soke– based in South Kensington – has been developed to offer a regulated, professional, multi-disciplinary outfit to meet both the clinical and the service-led demands of corporate (and private individual) clients.
Businesses had already begun (pre-pandemic) to understand the importance of caring for their workforce’s mental health – recent events have also shown the importance of investing specifically in supporting the psychology and resilience of their leaders who have often been under pressure to make tough decisions with limited information.
The Soke’s multi-pronged approach enables them to create bespoke packages to suit a corporate client’s particular size, industry, makeup and culture as well as its specific pain points, ensuring that in doing so they’re able to enhance the employees’ wellbeing and also nurture their strengths and skillsets in order to improve performance, raise productivity and ensure job satisfaction.
The Soke is a forward-thinking business that aims to be part of a global movement using business as a force for good. A key part of this mission is The Soke Foundation, a non-profit organisation that derives its income from The Soke. A portion of every client fee and a percentage of profits will go to The Soke Foundation, which will provide grants to underfunded mental health programmes, forming an initiative that looks after the wider community within which it is set to join. This is reflectiveof The Soke’s dedication and commitment to benefiting society as a whole, bringing mental health to the forefront for everybody.
Founder and CEO Maryam Meddin recognised the need for an innovative, collaborative, high quality care centre for mental health & wellbeing following her personal experiences at both the receiving and providing ends of psychotherapy. Meddin has a 25-year background in corporate communications, in addition to a law degree and a Masters in Psychotherapy & Counselling Psychology. She has onboarded COO George Broke, who brings a background in behavioural healthcare, including senior management positions at The Priory Group, where he oversaw the development and commercial growth of the Group’s nationwide private mental health services and more recently Schoen Clinic, where he created and executed their UK market-entry strategy, and CFO Melissa Fox whose credentials include the growth and sale of Gu Puddings.
Most recently Dr Chi-Chi Obuaya, one of London’s leading psychiatrists, has been appointed as Head of the Clinical Board. Dr Obuaya works as a Consultant Psychiatrist in the NHS, has a private practice on Harley Street and admitting privileges at The Nightingale.
Maryam Meddin, founder & CEO, comments:
“As the UK begins to emerge from lockdown and large numbers of the working population have been working from home or furloughed, there is now a greater expectation for employers to ensure the mental health and wellbeing of their workforce is a top priority, alongside their career development and progression.
“We are all acutely aware of the need for stigmas around mental health to change and the time to modernise the sector is long-overdue. We must encourage mental health to be given the same consideration as physical health – those who most often go to the gym are not doing it because there’s something wrong with them, they do it in order to improve their wellbeing. The same standard should apply to emotional and psychological fitness”.
George Broke, COO, comments:
“The Soke will be the pioneer, the standard-bearer and the thought leader in a new era of mental health delivery. We are creating a single, easy access system of health that delivers the highest level of service, transparency and outcomes to those who recognise the importance of engaging with their psychological and emotional wellbeing both proactively and reactively. We are not just using the very best in technology to support our offline services, but will actively invest in continually improving on what is already available.”
The Soke sets out to normalise and improve mental health care, creating a quality, sophisticated solution whilst building credibility around wellbeing. Clients will benefit from an integrated system of care in one location, ensuring their individual needs are met at every junction, and enabling them to become to be the best version of themselves.
The Soke will open on the 1st October and is based at 241 Fulham Road, London SW3 6HY