Coronavirus resource spotlight: Workpartners Brain Manager

New digital tool looks to foster employee resiliency during pandemic crisis.
By: | April 30, 2020 • 2 min read
(Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

Employees suffering from stress and anxiety during the ongoing pandemic can benefit from a new, complimentary digital service that focuses on cognitive behavioral therapy.

What it is: Workpartners Brain Manager

Brain Manager is a self-service, digital tool that delivers evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques and training through a custom, personalized experience. This approach helps Workpartners’ clients/employees appropriately engage in their benefit programs, while at the same time reducing overall benefit-related costs, according to David Weir, president of Workpartners, A provider of wellness and population-health solutions and part of UPMC Insurance Services, Workpartners is offering companies complimentary access to Brain Manager through Sept. 30.


Why it’s helpful: As employers work to confront the challenges that COVID-19 has placed on their workforces, users can complete mobile programs on stress and anxiety, all of which help boost emotional resilience and adaptability. “Brain Manager guides users through a series of learnings and techniques that incorporate evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapy techniques such as relaxation and cognitive reframing,” Weir explains, noting that the goal is to give users the tools they need to cope with stress and anxiety as society settles into a new sense of normalcy with the current pandemic, or any other stress-related situation.

Workpartners deployed Brain Manager’s initial release to the more than 90,000 employees of UPMC, a world-renowned healthcare organization on the frontline combating the COVID-19 pandemic. “With UPMC as one of our largest clients, we innovate, test and improve upon our health-management strategies to help our clients achieve a healthier population,” Weir says, noting that Brain Manager has been very well received within its internal population.

Other insights:

By using Brain Manager, users can increase their understanding of their own distress tolerance, sources of anxiety and stress cues. It also teaches them to incorporate proven CBT learnings and “in-the-moment” relief techniques—such as deep breathing and pleasant imagery—into their daily habits. The goal? To increase relaxation, grounding and mindfulness.

“While only a small percentage of people will feel the physical effects of COVID-19, we are all experiencing dramatic social, economic and cultural changes,” Weir says. “As a result, more individuals are feeling stressed, isolated and lonely.” He adds that Brain Manager helps users manage these feelings in a healthy way, particularly as the definition of “normal” evolves. “Our hope is that Brain Manager will help employees take a proactive approach to their wellbeing, addressing issues before they become costly and overwhelming,” he says.


For more free benefits resources, check out this list from HRE.

Tom Starner is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia who has been covering the human resource space and all of its component processes for over two decades. He can be reached at

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