The team at This Can Happen is always on the lookout for businesses breaking the mould to protect and support their staff. Mercer is a global consulting leader, and we spoke to Beth Robinson about their cutting-edge mental health programme.
The Mental Health @ Mercer group was established in 2017 following a conversation between two colleagues. Their goal was to create an internal resource to reduce stigma around mental health whilst signposting support to all colleagues. The introduction of the group was facilitated by the launch of Mercer’s Mental Health and Stress policy.
A Mental Health strategy which seeks to normalise mental health was developed. Beth explained: We want colleagues to understand and recognise that nobody is at their best every day. Much in the same way that our physical health constantly fluctuates, so does our mental health and our senior leaders know that both types of health issues represent a risk for the business. Therefore, we want colleagues to feel they can be open about their mental health so that appropriate support can be provided. This momentum has been used to launch the Mental Health @ Mercer group. We held a launch event to draw attention to the group and set up an internal intranet site. This internal community site is our content hub and includes personal stories, symptom checkers, life hacks and guides on how to help others.
A key focus for the group is to create awareness of mental health and give all employees the basic knowledge required to be able to assist colleagues who are struggling, as well as being conscious of their own mental health. Since the launch of the group 70 individuals have signed up and been trained as mental health first aiders, we have someone in every office so that all of our people nationally have access to someone to talk to.
We provide monthly wellbeing seminars to provide support across mental health, resiliency and mindfulness topics. Through strong feedback from colleagues we now know that they now feel more confident that they can speak to someone about their mental health and more empowered to support others. The Mental Health @ Mercer group is being used as a template for other operating companies to launch Mental Health @ their place of work. Our other group companies are also now involved with Marsh launching their group in September, and Guy Carpenter and Oliver Wyman following shortly after. We have also held meetings with Thomsons Online Benefits to get a Mental Health group running there.
At This Can Happen we love hearing about forward thinking organisations like Mercer. If your business is doing something innovative to raise mental health awareness please let us know!