According to Public Health England (2019) 14.3 million working days in the UK are lost in absences each year due to stress, depression and anxiety.
Across Bupa globally, we speak to HR Directors representing large global international organisations, as well as those representing smaller companies, and the number one health topic they ask to hear our expertise on is supporting employees’ mental health.
We believe those employers who support their workforce’s mental health should be recognised. Not only do more and more people want to work for a purposeful, responsible employer who champions their mental wellbeing, but it makes business sense too. Addressing wellbeing at work increases productivity by as much as 12% (Mental Health Foundation 2019). And, organisations that invest in their workplace cultures, encouraging their people to bring their whole selves to work, are more likely to see their people thrive.
As a business driven by a purpose of helping people to live longer, healthier, happier lives, supporting people with their mental health is the right thing to do.
Campaigns like those we’re running for World Mental Health Day this week on suicide prevention and protecting your emotional wellbeing, plus colleagues sharing their personal stories, are key to raising awareness and reducing stigma. That helps create the right environment for open conversations, and we provide a range of resources and training to help our people feel more confident in talking about mental health.
When it comes to mental health prevention and early intervention is key. Our Performance Energy programme underpins our mental health approach by helping people manage the everyday pressures of life, spot the signs when someone isn’t coping and know what to do to take care of themselves. To promote positive emotional wellbeing colleagues around the world have access to various resources and activities including yoga, meditation and mindfulness, as well as information about mental health issues.
We also have a growing network of more than 200 Mental Health First Aiders (MHFA) across the world who are there to support colleagues and signpost to professional help. Our UK Insurance Executive Team proudly led the way when it became the first executive team in the UK to train as MHFAs and was most recently followed by Bupa Hong Kong’s leadership team.
When people do need help, we provide access to support and care, from someone to talk to via our employee assistance programmes to counselling, therapy or other forms of treatment, as well as specialist external support.
At Bupa we know there’s no health without mental health. That’s why we are leading the way through supporting our people’s mental health, both in and outside the workplace.