Following the appointment of its Mental Health First Aiders and Champions, Allianz Partners UK has reinforced its commitment to employee mental health and wellbeing by signing the Time to Change Employer Pledge on “Time to Talk” Day.
Time to Change is a growing social movement working to change the way people think and act about mental health. The Time to Change Employer Pledge is a commitment to changing the way employers and employees think about and respond to mental health problems in the workplace, and involves implementing a 12-month Employer Action Plan.
With the aim of raising awareness and encouraging people to be more open about mental health, the national “Time to Talk Day”, held on Thursday 6 February, was an opportunity to have an open conversation about mental health – whether that’s texting a friend, chatting to a colleague or organising a stigma-busting event.
Commenting on the signing of the Time to Change Employer Pledge, Phil Murfet, Learning and Development Advisor at Allianz Partners UK, said: “Mental health in the workplace is a huge focus for us this year, and as a business we plan to do all we can to break down stigmas and support employees in every way possible.
“One in four British workers are affected by conditions such as anxiety, depression and stress every year, and nine out of ten people who experience mental health problems say they face stigma and discrimination as a result.[i] It is therefore really important for us to help change attitudes as well as support all our employees and offer non-judgemental advice on anything they may be stressed or anxious about, whether it be work related or not.
“Our professionally trained Mental Health First Aiders and Mental Health Champions offer employers confidential support and a friendly face to discuss any issues that they may be struggling with. Signing the Time to Change Employer Pledge formalises our commitment to implementing best-practice interventions and policy to help staff work in ways that promote a positive mental wellbeing.”
Jo Loughran, Director of Time to Change said, “We’re delighted to see Allianz Partners UK take the Time to Change Employers Pledge. By signing the pledge and introducing regular awareness campaigns, mandatory training for all People Leaders and a specific Mental Health at Work policy, Allianz Partners UK are demonstrating a real commitment to changing the way we all think and act about mental health in the workplace.”
“We know it can be hard to talk about mental health, which is why we work with employers to encourage staff at all levels to open up; to talk and to listen. Everyone’s attitude makes a difference and it’s fantastic to see organisations like Allianz Partners UK taking the lead.”
Allianz Partners UK marked “Time to Talk Day” and the signing of the Employer Pledge by creating an area in their Employee Hub where employees could to drop in and talk about mental health in a relaxed environment over tea and cake. There were also interactive activities to help break the ice in a fun way, including a large snakes and ladders board game with mental health awareness messages. In the coming months, these activities will be encouraged in team meetings to open up and normalise discussions on mental health.
“The Employer Pledge is just the first step in ensuring our workplace is open about mental health and our employees have appropriate support,” continued Phil Murfet. “We are very much looking forward to developing new and different initiatives over the year to get more and more people involved; in doing so, we will not only reduce the stigma associated with mental health within our organisation, but we are also contributing to changing attitudes beyond the workplace.”