Author Bio ▼

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, who has also contributed to numerous national business titles including Utility Week, the Municipal Journal, Environment Journal and consumer titles such as Classic Rock.

January 22, 2019

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Mental Health

One in five companies proactively managing mental health

Less than a fifth of companies are proactively managing stress and mental health issues, according to a new survey.

The survey by the trade body for the group risk insurance sector, GRiD, found only 18% of employers are proactively helping staff manage stress and mental health.

It also found only 15% take measures to improve financial wellbeing and only 18% support staff with caring responsibilities.

The details of the survey were released in the run up to “Blue Monday” (21 January), which some have claimed is the most depressing day of the year, although others have dismissed the notion as nothing more than a marketing stunt.

“Employees can be greatly affected by areas of their lives outside of work,” said GRiD spokesperson, Katharine Moxham.

“The companies that are best at supporting the mental health of their workforce are the ones that take this into consideration and look at offering more fully rounded support. And, of course, this has a very positive effect on loyalty, engagement and productivity.”

Ms Moxham said group risk products, like employer-sponsored life assurance, income protection and critical illness can help address mental health issues.

According to GRiD, a group risk product recently helped one employee who had developed a serious gambling problem that left him in significant debt, which put him on the brink of suicide.

The group income protection provider got in touch with him and spent a year in close contact, talking things through, making suggestions and signposting him to appropriate help, with the outcome that he managed to stop gambling and was able to return to work.

“Although the term Blue Monday may be seen as trivialising mental health issues, the day can serve as a good reminder for employers to consider how they can help their people better on an ongoing basis,” added Ms Moxham.

“These examples bring to life just how much support can be provided via group risk products for employees with serious mental health conditions, and that these are not just quick fixes but longer-term interventions that help people put their lives back together and get back to full functionality at work, which benefits the business too.

“Employees dealing with mental ill-health can be at a complete loss as to where to turn for help. Companies, too, can flounder, as specialist help is often required. The support available through group risk products provides a solution for companies that want to provide more fully rounded, targeted and specialist mental health support for their staff,” she added.

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