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About the Project

In July 2021, the University of Warwick, with partners University of Birmingham and Mind, the mental health charity, began delivery of four trials, testing new methods of mental health and wellbeing support for employees in the Midlands.


The SLEEP, REST, BITE and MENTOR trials are now closed. If you are interested in our findings you can access a summary report hereLink opens in a new window, and a more in-depth report hereLink opens in a new window. This page will be updated with the academic papers with complete analysis and discussion following publication.

If you'd like to get in touch with the team please email us at



Moukhtarian, T. R., Patel, K., Toro, C., Russel, S., Daly, G., Walasek, L., Tang, N. K. Y., Meyer, C. (2022). Effects of a hybrid digital cognitive-behavioural therapy for insomnia and emotion regulation in the workplace (SLEEP): study protocol for a randomised waitlist control trial. BMJ open, 12(7), e058062.Link opens in a new window


Patel, K., Moukhtarian, T. R., Russell, S., Daly, G., Walasek, L., Tang, N. K., Toro, C., & Meyer, C. (2022). Digital cognitive behavioural therapy intervention in the workplace: study protocol for a feasibility randomised waitlist-controlled trial to improve employee mental well-being, engagement and productivity. BMJ open, 12(12), e060545Link opens in a new window.Link opens in a new window


Toro, C. T., Jackson, T., Payne, A. S., Walasek, L., Russell, S., Daly, G., Waller, G., & Meyer, C. (2022). A feasibility study of the delivery of online brief cognitive‐behavioral therapy (CBT‐T) for eating disorder pathology in the workplace. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 55(5), 723-730.Link opens in a new window

Toro, C. T., Payne, A., Jackson, T., Russell, S., Daly, G., Waller, G., & Meyer, C. (2023). Evidence for feasibility of implementing online brief cognitive‐behavioral therapy for eating disorder pathology in the workplace. International Journal of Eating Disorders.Link opens in a new window


Prudenzi, A., Jadhakhan, F., Gill, K., MacArthur, M., Patel, K., Moukhtarian, T., Kershaw, C., Norton-Brown, E., Johnston, N., Daly, G., Russell, S., Thomson, L., Munir, F., Blake, H., Meyer, C., & Marwaha, S. (2023). Supporting employers and their employees with Mental hEalth problems to remain eNgaged and producTive at wORk (MENTOR): A feasibility randomised controlled trial protocol. Plos one, 18(4), e0283598.Link opens in a new window

What are the MHPP pilots?

The Mental Health and Productivity Pilot (MHPP) programme delivered evidence-based interventions designed to support the mental health and wellbeing of employees across the region, and increase productivity. Four different interventions were trialled by the Universities of Warwick and Birmingham with the mental health charity Mind: SLEEP, REST 2.0, BITE, and MENTOR. They are funded by Midlands Engine and form part of the wider MHPP programme. Find out more about the programme.

Another MHPP pilot led by the Universities of Loughborough and Nottingham aimed to help staff on long term sick leave return to work in a healthy and sustainable way. For more information please visit the PROWORK webpage.

The MHPP pilots have almost surpassed the main phase of intervention delivery and we are currently conducting long-term follow up measures. The follow-ups allow us to assess whether the outcomes have been maintained, to establish whether the interventions have any long-term benefits. Data analysis has also begun, with the aim to publish the findings within the next few months.

The interventions are also currently being adapted based on feedback and learning from the programme to-date, in addition to developing models and recommendations for how these interventions could be sustainably delivered in real workplace contexts long-term.


SLEEP is a six-week programme and involved working through some skills training online in addition to 4 sessions with a therapist. For a week before beginning the trial and a week after finishing it, participants were also provided with a sleep tracker to wear to monitor their sleep. SLEEP aimed to improve the quality and quantity of sleep for those taking part, in addition to symptoms of depression and anxiety, and is based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for insomnia and Emotion Regulation.

Content included Sleep Restriction Therapy (SRT), which initially restricts the amount of time spent in bed and aims to eliminate long periods of unwanted night-time wakefulness, and Stimulus Control Therapy (SCT). SCT aims to break unhelpful associations which the brain may have formed, such as linking bedtime and the bedroom with racing thoughts or anxiety about not sleeping.

The SLEEP trial is currently closed to new participants as data analysis is underway.

REST 2.0

REST 2.0 is a digital intervention, similar to an online training programme, and targets symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression. REST 2.0 uses the techniques of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, behavioural activation and mindfulness, and aims to enhance knowledge and build practical skills in emotion regulation and resilience.

For example, many of us may have experienced unhelpful thinking, such as catastrophising (“I did a bad job in that meeting, now I’m going to lose my job”) and over-generalising (“my colleague didn’t say hello this morning, everyone here hates me”) from time-to-time. The REST 2.0 programme aims to help participants recognise and restructure these and other automatic negative thoughts, which can cause symptoms of depression and anxiety to continue. Incorporating participant feedback from the feasibility phase, REST 2.0 is an eight week programme and is self-guided.

REST 2.0 is currently closed to new participants as data collection is ongoing.


The BITE trial uses a brief, ten-session cognitive behavioural therapy designed to treat symptoms of eating disorders and disordered eating, using exposure and behavioural change amongst other techniques.

The aim of this trial was to discover whether this type of therapy, which has been shown to improve eating disorders symptoms in clinical settings, is helpful when offered via the workplace. The therapy supports workers in building a more structured pattern of eating, reducing binge eating and stabilising both weight and mood in the process. Sessions were 45-minutes to an hour once per week and were conducted online with a trained therapist.

BITE is currently closed to new participants and data analysis is complete (see Publications section at the top of the page). The research team are currently planning future trials to determine the effectiveness of BITE on a larger-scale when delivered via the workplace.


MENTOR was designed for people who already have a mental health condition and are receiving treatment. A Mental Health Employment Liaison Worker, employed by our partners at Mind, provided support in identifying and working towards individually-tailored goals. This could be to address a particular barrier faced at work, or to become more comfortable with having conversations about mental health at work.

MENTOR also provided opportunities for managers, as several liaison worker sessions were dedicated to supporting the participant’s manager on topics which could include mental health awareness, practical action, and promoting wellbeing at work. MENTOR is a 12-week programme, which included ten sessions with the liaison worker.

MENTOR is currently closed to new participants as data analysis is underway.

Wider MHPP programme

In addition to developing and testing the four MHPP pilots, experts from the MHPP partner organisations are also reviewing the evidence for the core products signposted by the MHPP programme. This includes the Mental Health at Work commitment, This is Me, Mental Health First Aid and Thrive. This review will help to ensure the evidence for these products is up to date, particularly given the changes in working methods and economic situations for many businesses since the COVID-19 pandemic.