Allianz Partners UK has demonstrated its strong commitment to supporting good mental health at work with the appointment of Mental Health First Aiders and Champions across its Croydon office. The appointment of the 28 First Aiders and 29 Champions is the first step in helping the firm lead the way in promoting the implementation of a mental health policy across the wider Allianz business.
The news comes as the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reports the number of cases of work-related stress, depression or anxiety (new or longstanding) in 2018/19 has remained at 600,000 cases – the same as reported for 2017/18.i
The Allianz Partners Mental Health First Aiders are individuals accredited to offer initial support to others through non-judgemental listening and guidance. All of the individuals appointed took part in professional training provided by Mental Health First Aid England (MHFA), during which they learnt how to spot the signs and symptoms of mental ill health and how to provide help on a first aid basis.
The firm’s Mental Health First Aiders have been recruited from across the business, undertaking a number of different roles. They are the figures that employees can go to, in confidence, for non-judgemental support and a friendly face to discuss any issues that they may be struggling with.
The Mental Health Champions are seen as the “eyes and ears” within the business and will help to promote the services of the First Aiders to anyone they think might benefit from the support. The Mental Health Champions are the first point of call for employees, and the aim of the role is to make employees aware of the different mental health support services available to them.
Commenting on the new roles, Phil Murfet, Learning & Development Advisor at Allianz Partners UK, said: “A lot of people probably wouldn’t associate the traditional insurance sector as being a positive provider of mental health guidance and support for employees. This is exactly why Allianz Partners UK wanted to be a firm that took the lead in promoting good mental health for all employees and offering strong and fundamental care wherever necessary. Employees would not think twice about seeing a physical first aider if they had an accident at work, but talking about their personal mental health is often a different story.
“It is important for us to be able to support all employees and offer non-judgemental advice on anything they may be stressed or anxious about, whether it be work related or not. The appointment of our Mental Health First Aiders and Champions is evidence of our commitment to cultivating a positive working environment and marks our first step towards widening our mental health training remit and ultimately, implementing a specific mental health policy.”