Retail workers under pressure as New Zealanders flock to the shops could be helped by a daily mental health app.

The anonymous app chnnl has been used by district health boards to gauge the wellbeing of front line workers for months - now there is a push for the retail industry to do the same.

The app allows staff to self-report their wellbeing daily and if needed connects them with relevant information and support services.

As New Zealanders ease back into normality some stores and businesses face dealing with an influx of customers.


Organisations such as Waitemata District Health Board, Auckland District Health Board, Wellington Intensive Care Unit, and St John were using the app and founder Dr Elizabeth Berryman said retail workers would also benefit.

Keith Murray, the owner of CBD Energy which runs multiple Z Energy franchises, signed his shop-front staff up to the app just before lockdown.

He said some workers at the petrol station experienced abuse during lockdown and the app helped him support them.

The app, he said, helped him know what support staff needed and if they were struggling.

Berryman developed the app because she was a victim of bullying at work and wanted to help others in the same situation.

"Traditionally, staff mental wellbeing has been a difficult area to measure and we hope chnnl will allow us to solve any issues as they come up," she said.

"Ensuring our teams feel comfortable and equipped to work on the frontline and tackle what every day brings in the best possible headspace is a top priority."

Berryman said it would be a huge benefit to the retail sector which had workers going from isolation to dealing with an influx of customers everyday.


"All New Zealanders will face immense challenges over the coming weeks and months."

"Chnnl helps employers understand worker sentiment so they can make changes to improve mental wellness and reduce anxiety during this time."

Through the downloaded app employees complete a daily check-in which is displayed on a real-time chnnl portal dashboard.

Each month the company receives a consolidated and anonymous report about the overall wellbeing and concerns of workers.

Advice is provided on how to address employee concerns and grow overall wellbeing.

Employees could access the Wellbeing Hub and resources such as counselling, psychological support, Facebook support groups and specific Covid-19 counselling with clinical psychologists.