Consumer / Employer, Health Tech

Virgin Pulse Expands Partnership with Headspace

Through an expanded partnership, Virgin Pulse’s clients who use the Homebase for Health platform can now access Headspace’s full suite of services. This includes an on-demand employee assistance program, clinical support and self-guided tools.

About two-thirds of employers are looking to make mental health and emotional wellbeing programs a top priority over the next three years. An expanded partnership aims to support this transition.

Virgin Pulse, a digital health and navigation company, is strengthening its partnership with mental health company Headspace, the organizations announced last week. Providence, Rhode Island-based Virgin Pulse works with employers, health plans and health systems. The company’s navigation platform, called Homebase for Health, allows users to access lifestyle coaches, motivating challenges and specialty partner programs through a single destination. Santa Monica, California-based Headspace, which merged with mental health company Ginger in 2021, provides mindfulness tools through its app, including meditations, sleep support and exercises for focusing.

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Over the last several years, Headspace has been part of Virgin Pulse’s partner ecosystem, which is a collection of solutions (such as for mental health, chronic condition management and nutrition) that companies can choose to contract with. Headspace has been supporting Virgin Pulse’s clients with stress and sleep support and helping them form healthier habits. Through the expanded partnership, Virgin Pulse’s clients who use the Homebase for Health platform can now access Headspace’s full suite of services. 

The Headspace suite includes its on-demand employee assistance program, which offers legal and financial resources. Members can also receive clinical care from licensed therapists and 24/7 support from behavioral health coaches. Additionally, employees can gain self-guided tools like mindfulness and meditation exercises.

“Thriving employees lead to thriving companies, and mental health cannot be overlooked,” said Jennifer Willey, director of product partnerships at Virgin Pulse, in an email. “There’s a clear need for more types of support given the diverse and growing needs of employees. More and more employers are recognizing and acting on the importance of addressing employee mental health needs.”

Headspace will also be available to Virgin Pulse’s 2,000 employees.

Recent research from Virgin Pulse and Headspace shows that employers want more mental health support for their employees. A Virgin Pulse survey found that half of HR and benefits leaders believe that mental health is the most important issue to address in their health and wellbeing program. About 89% of employees report feeling moderate to extreme stress over the last year and about half say they feel a sense of dread at least once a week, according to a Headspace survey.

Through the partnership, the companies aim to address these needs.

“As we deepen our partnership with Virgin Pulse, our goal is to support employees through Headspace’s services and assist HR managers as they tend to the mental health needs of their workforce,” said Katie DiPerna Cook, senior vice president of partnerships at Headspace, in an email. “Ultimately, we want to reach people wherever they may be in their mental healthcare journey.”

Headspace also works with several other companies that offer healthcare navigation services for employers, including Quantum Health and Accolade. Other digital mental health companies include Calm and Spring Health.

Photo: SIphotography, Getty Images