Stronger Work Relationships Helps Your Mental Well Being

How One Mental Health Empowerment App, Hugr, Is Breaking Down The Stigma Of Managing Your Mental Well Being

Listen Now

In This Episode

Have you ever struggled with maintaining relationships at work that go beyond just professional interactions? Do you feel like you only focus on work tasks and not building personal relationships? Well, it might be time to re-evaluate the benefits that having solid relationships at work gives you.  And yeah, there’s now an app for that.

Dr Bill and Dave are joined by Daren McLean, CEO of Territorial and co-creator of the Hugr app. Hugr is a mental health-focused app to empower people to monitor their mental health proactively and to be able to build a support team with who they can share their experience. Through Daren sharing his story and that of his co-creator Scott’s journey of dealing with mental health in their workplace, we have a thought-provoking discussion of the importance to use technology and the workplace as more supportive tools to improve our overall well being.

Do you find you struggle with loneliness in the workplace? Do you think technology helps you connect with others, or does it impede your ability to build relationships?


Resources Mentioned In This Episode

Episode Breakdown

First 10 Minutes
Dave and Dr Bill introduce the topic of why having solid relationships helps you at work. Dr Bill talks about loneliness and perceived loneliness is on the rise and contributing to adverse health outcomes. Dave and Dr Bill talk about the importance of connections and friendships in the workplace to good mental health. We welcome Daren McLean.  

10 Minutes – 20 Minutes
Daren explains the background of his company and the events of working with his business partner through a mental health journey. He shares how his business partner began tracking his mental health with a spreadsheet to show the data like mood, alcohol intake, sleep, etc. This lead to a quicker mental health diagnosis. Through the nine months-long processes, they decided to build the mental health app called Hugr. The tool helps to track your mental health status and allows the person to involve the people around them in their mental health journey. The group talks about the growing role of technology as both a positive and negative to relationship building.

20 Minutes – 30 Minutes
The group talks about the aspects of building relationships and the work that it takes to make a strong relationship. Daren explains the Hugr app to us. Dr Bill explains how this app is not to solve the issues, but to start treating the symptoms and start to break down the stigma around talking to people about mental health.

30 Minutes – 40 Minutes
Dave and Dr Bill talk about the best supportive relationships they’ve had with the reciprocal elements in them. If you want to have a friendship, you need to and want to show up for it.

Daren McLean

Daren McLean

Chief Executive Officer, Territorial and Hugr

Daren’s belief in creativity, respect, and authenticity has been at the heart of Territorial’s success over its 14-year history. His strength is understanding businesses and markets quickly and translating that understanding into a unique creative expression.

Balance is something Daren continually strives for, personally and in business. He loves being challenged by the status quo. 

Since moving to Saskatoon, from Victoria BC, he’s been motivated to elevate cultural aspects of Saskatoon. Daren is on the Board Chair of MoSo – Canada’s mobile-social conference and he’s been instrumental in creating events like Lugo, TEDxSaskatoon, WinterShines Festival, Park(ing) Day, and many others.

Daren grew up playing basketball, playing for the Camosun Chargers and semi-pro in Australia. Now, he plays Bike Polo, this amazing game that mixes hockey and basketball strategies with a bike and mallet on a hardcourt surface. He’s fortunate to have a killer team, Mosquito – placing in the Top 10 at the North American Championships 3 years in row and 17th in the past two World Hardcourt Bike Polo Championships.

About Territorial

We solve problems with web apps, websites, digital products and design services. We’re Daren and Scott’s company. We’ve been around since 2004, and we plan to stick around for a very, very long time. We earned our stars doing branding, marketing, and websites, honing our skills in development, design, and strategy. Now, we do digital products.

About Hugr

Hugr is built from our collective experience with anxiety, depression, and bipolar along with our research and is not a replacement for professional medical care.

    Thank you to our partners!

    Shifting the Employee Experience is presented in partnership with the University of New Brunswick College of Extended Learning, featuring the online High Impact Corporate Learning Program! Workplace health, safety, wellness and leadership are competencies that significantly impact a workforce. Strength in these areas is crucial for success in a corporate environment. Build capacity of your entire team with specialized courses! UNB Online! Learn more! Visit

    Every worker. Healthy and safe. Every day.

    Workplace Safety & Prevention Services is a not-for-profit organization committed to protecting workers and businesses. WSPS serves the manufacturing, agricultural and service sectors in Ontario supporting over 167,000 member firms and 4.1 million workers. WSPS offers unparalleled health and safety expertise, consulting, training and resources. Our mandate includes helping businesses understand their risks and legal obligations to stay in compliance and build safer workplaces.