If an employee feels unhappy, is not delivering on the job and not communicating well, it adversely impacts everyone around them. More and more companies are visibly shouldering responsibility for the mental wellbeing of their employees. Whether by organising stress management workshops, providing hammocks where staff can ‘hang out’ (sighted in a growing number of offices) or offering regular screenings and health check-ups. Helen van Empel is a professional with experience in psychology, education and corporate governance and the founder of Yet. A new platform in the field of occupational health, Yet has a clear mission: to shape a world in which it is normal to actively work on mental wellbeing. For companies, Yet’s Single Session Therapy (SST) method helps employees gain insight and find a positive path towards growth and development in one enlightening session. We sat down with Helen van Empel, the platform’s founding director and main sponsor of this year’s Yet Zuidas Run.


With all of your professional activities, you have a lot to juggle. What is that like for you? “As a psychologist, teacher, author and the director of Yet, I am continually shuttling between these various roles. Maybe it sounds challenging, but I am a strong believer in the value of diversity. It helps me understand how stress acts on us. Stress is not the enemy. It’s a red flag. Our conception of stress determines how it affects us. With the right mindset, stress can actually be a positive force. Mental wellbeing is not so much a personal mission as a professional calling for me.I think addressing mental problems is is very important and that’s why I am working hard on effective solutions with carefully selected coaches and psychologists.” 

What is your personal motivation to promote mental wellbeing?
“Your mindset, your wellbeing, how you feel and relate to other people is shaped to a large extent by your overall worldview. Ignoring your own problems can impact on other people. Getting support does many people a lot of good, and talking can help a lot, too. We tend to think burnouts only happen if we work too hard, but often there are other factors involved. Usually, it’s a confluence of lots of small things. By talking about problems early on, you can prevent serious consequences, and that benefits everyone.”

Can you tell us more about Yet, your online platform with mental wellbeing experts? “The idea for Yet arose from the need to offer direct support when and as needed. The original concept was for single session therapies to provide assistance when it was most needed. We selected the best professionals for this platform to provide targeted assistance for a range of challenges. Organisations can take out a subscription with Yet to give their people direct access to mental health professionals. Employees can then arrange to speak to one of our coaches or psychologists anonymously. At Yet, we believe it’s natural to get stuck every now and then.It doesn’t mean anything is seriously wrong. Rather, it’s an opportunity for personal growth. Yet’s focus is on prevention and proactive intervention, addressing issues before they escalate. Our approach is based on single session therapies, in which clients get an hour-long session providing targeted support to help them out. This method is based on research demonstrating that a single session at the right time can be just as effective as extended therapies. In offering a single session, we aim to show clients that even one conversation can empower them to move forward.” 

What led Yet to become the main sponsor of this year’s Zuidas Run?
“Sponsoring the 2024 Yet Zuidas Run was a logical choice for us. Exercise is great for mental health, especially exercising in groups. It strengthens social ties, and that’s the most important thing of all. Finding the right balance isn’t just about knowing when to power down your laptop, but also about diversity and shared experiences. Such as training for the Yet Zuidas Run as a team and then all going to the after-party together.”

What advice would you give people who are inspired by your efforts and want to promote mental wellbeing?
“Employers can get in touch with us to offer the Single Session Therapy to employees. Mental wellbeing should be something people can talk about and have access to at work. Subtle red flags, like excessive worrying or behavioural changes, can tell you a lot. Look after your team and consider turning to Yet for help. We can all make a difference in someone else’s life, in ways big or small. The impact will always be positive.”