A Sheffield-based emotional wellbeing company is planning to offer a helping hand to sufferers of mental illness after securing a six-figure investment from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, British Business Bank and Finance For Enterprise Microfinance.

Often considered to be a silent illness, depression is in fact the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). Company founders Chris Winter and Bernard McMahon recognised there was a need for people to be able to objectively assess their mental health and used their knowledge and expertise to launch TranQuality Solutions Ltd – with the aim of utilising powerful, science-based technologies to identify and treat conditions such as depression, anxiety and stress.

TranQuality’s services are based on techniques developed at Navigo Health and Social Care CIC from where the neuroscientific technology was being used by the NHS. As a part of expanding the service, TranQuality turned to alternative funding provider Finance For Enterprise to secure the vital funds needed to develop the innovative technology and services.

Designed for businesses, sports organisations, academia and other organisations, mental health support is provided confidentially to employees, students, players and members. Measures are impartial as they are based on scientific data, and enable early signs of emotional issues to be identified so individuals can be coached on adopting preventative measures.

For individuals suffering from depression or anxiety, TranQuality offers targeted transcranial magnetic stimulation (tTMS). tTMS is a non-invasive treatment, providing a 60% success rate in less than two weeks with little to no side effects. tTMS is approved by The National Institute for Health and Care Exellence (NICE) and TranQuality treats both NHS and private patients via tTMS.

After contacting Finance For Enterprise, TranQuality was able to access a business loan, backed by the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund and British Business Bank. The investment has enabled the business to recruit and train new staff, as well as using part of the finances to develop marketing materials and technology.

The loan has also enabled the company to develop their organisational Mental Health Assessment programme. TranQuality plans to recruit and train up to 60 coaches and will continue to provide the service to Grimsby-based Navigo Health and Social Care CIC, as well expanding through national healthcare companies in the UK and internationally. The long-term vision is to create walk-in clinics where mental health assessments will be available to the public.

Bernard McMahon, Director, TranQuality Solutions Limited, said: “A stressful work setting can cause or worsen existing poor mental health for employees. There is still a stigma attached to mental health which means that anyone from the most junior employee to the CEO may not admit their health situation nor seek help. Our Mental Health Assessment Programme means every individual within an organisation can be screened and work on their wellbeing with personalised counselling where needed.

“Finance For Enterprise has had an immediate impact on TranQuality and has helped us to accelerate our plans to recruit staff and enter new markets. Our aim is to make our services and support available nationally as quickly as possible to benefit people in the UK, then expand internationally.”

David Lee, Investment Manager, Finance For Enterprise, said: “TranQuality is helping to shape attitudes towards mental health within a variety of organisations, and it has been both a pleasure and learning experience working alongside Chris and Bernard as their Investment Manager.

“The finance was secured through assistance from Finance For Enterprise and has enabled Chris and Bernard to build on their current plans, and helped the company to enter into a new and growing market.”

Mark Wilcockson, Senior Manager, British Business Bank, said: “The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund ensures businesses, whether start-up or established, small or large, can access tailored business loans when they need it the most. With the NPIF – BEF and FFE Microfinance Loan, Chris and Bernard have been able to provide employment within the Sheffield City Region and make a real difference to the issues surrounding mental health.”

Since securing the investment from Finance For Enterprise, TranQuality has embarked upon a recruiting programme, aimed at helping more people access tailored support.

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.