26 March 2018

The Health Insurance Group provides staff with mental health training from Mind

The Health Insurance Group has provided managers with training from mental health charity Mind to equip its management team with the skills and confidence to support mental wellbeing in the workplace. Managers play a crucial role in supporting staff, often having the most contact with employees and being in a good position to spot mental health problems and proactively manage them.

Recent research* by Mind as part of their Workplace Wellbeing Index found that 80 per cent of the employees who reported having poor mental health currently said their workplace was a contributory factor (either due to problems inside work or a combination of problems both inside and outside of work).

To build a healthy, engaged and productive working environment it’s imperative that UK businesses support mental wellbeing and not just physical wellbeing. As The Health Insurance Group advises clients on supporting the mental health of their staff, the company believes it’s important to lead by example, and ran a full-day training workshop for managers.

Brett Hill, Managing Director, The Health Insurance Group said: “As part of our strategy of making The Health Insurance Group a great place to work, we take an holistic approach to the mental, emotional and physical wellbeing of our people. We believe that mental health is as important, if not more so, than physical health. The training has been enlightening, we all feel better informed and better able to support our staff. The learning process starts from the top and we are encouraging this approach to be cascaded throughout the company.”

Sixteen managers and team leaders attended the workshop, run on 13 March. The course covered:

  • Increasing knowledge and awareness of mental health and wellbeing in the workplace
  • The link between mental and physical health
  • Spotting the signs and symptoms of stress and mental ill health
  • The causes and triggers of workplace mental ill health
  • The impact of mental health problems on performance
  • Developing confidence to proactively manage and address issues of mental health to benefit themselves, others and the organisation
  • Learning how to reduce the causes of workplace mental ill health
  • Improving ability to take positive steps in creating resilience and support

Emma Mamo, Head of Workplace Wellbeing at Mind added: “It’s great to see a company like The Health Insurance Group investing in mental health training. Prioritising good mental health at work isn’t just the right thing to do, but it makes business sense too, as employers that take staff wellbeing seriously report greater staff morale and productivity, as well as reduced sickness absence.

“We would encourage all employers to train their staff in mental health awareness. Training is just one of many things forward-thinking employers can and should be doing in order to create mentally healthy workplaces. It’s also really important that organisations work towards tackling the work-related causes of stress and poor mental health at work, promoting good mental health for all employees, and supporting staff experiencing a mental health problem.”

How other employers can follow suit

It’s important that mental health training is offered as a part of a broader health and wellbeing programme, and that an initial review is conducted to identify the most prevalent risks. Then the most appropriate training and support can be put in place to meet specific needs.

There are many options available for companies to support the mental health of their staff. This can include:

  • Debt management and counselling – finances are one of the greatest sources of stress
  • Employee assistance programmes
  • Fast-track access to counselling
  • Private medical insurance
  • Group risk products

Having such support in place can help build an environment where staff feel their mental health is supported.

The Health Insurance Group encourages employers to make sure any mental health support is utilised, but also urges employers to look at what is included in any benefits, as not all will automatically include mental health support.

Whatever support is made available, it’s imperative that it is communicated to staff, so that they know how to access it, and feel able to.

*Survey of 15,000 participants across 30 organisations that took part in Mind’s 2016/17 Workplace Wellbeing Index’