Author Archive

Update from the EAPA 2018 conference

Written by Vicky Mulchinock on . Posted in News

Update from the EAPA 2018 conference

This week, EAPA UK chair, Neil Mountford reports on his recent attendance at the EAPA 2018 conference.

I was delighted to have the opportunity to attend the EAPA 2018 conference last month, held in Minneapolis. This is the leading conference for the U.S. EAP industry but is also attended by EAP professionals from around the world.  It was encouraging to see good international representation and to have the opportunity to catch up with colleagues and understand how EAP is developing in different regions.

One of the key themes of the conference was around the development of AI technology platforms that provide interactive support for those dealing with a range of mental health and other issues who might otherwise be reluctant to seek help from a more conventional EAP.  These technologies are being positioned as complimentary to the EAP and clearly there are challenges and concerns to be addressed. However, there is no doubt that they will become an increasingly important component of EAPs in the near future.

At the event, Greg DeLapp, CEO of EAPA also announced that EAPA would be engaging external consultants to undertake a fundamental review of the organisation to understand how it needs to change to best serve the industry in the future.  The outcome of this project will no doubt offer some valuable insights and ideas for us in the UK and which we will share in due course.

Managing workplace mental health more effectively

Written by Vicky Mulchinock on . Posted in News

Managing workplace mental health more effectively

Yesterday was National Stress Awareness Day, a day created by mental health charity, Mind, to encourage people to take a moment to think about their wellbeing. It’s also a great opportunity for employers to look at what more they can do to support mental wellbeing at work.

The latest figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), released last week, show that work-related stress and mental illness now accounts for over half of work absences. In total, 15.4 million working days were lost in 2017/2018 as a result of mental ill health, up from 12.5 million last year. This equates to 57.3% of the 26.8 million work days lost to ill health.

“While a new 24-hour mental health hotline along with funding for a new mental health service were announced by Chancellor Philip Hammond as part of the Autumn Budget last week, it is clear that employers need to be more proactive in addressing workplace mental health and supporting their employees more effectively,” said Neil Mountford, chair, UK EAPA.

It is positive to note that a recent survey by EAPA registered provider, Aon, shows that businesses are taking an increasingly strategic approach. Aon’s UK Health Survey found that 41% of businesses currently have a mental health strategy in place and 43% more are looking to create one. “Many businesses aim to build this strategy as a core part of their employee benefits provision, recognising that the right employee benefits play a critical role in prevention, early diagnosis, treatment and longer-term support,” explained Charles Alberts, head of health management at Aon.

“EAPs are a key of that mental health strategy and we are seeing EAPs adapting and evolving to keep pace with the changing needs of employers and their employees,” said Neil Mountford. “The biggest impact is in a re-positioning of how an EAP is used, away from the last resort for serious issues and concerns towards being a more everyday source of advice and support – less the counsellor and more a friendly colleague who has the right answers. Employers are also becoming increasingly aware of the importance of data and that the more an EAP is promoted, the more it is used and that means more data is collected on employee concerns and levels of physical and mental wellbeing. This then provides an early warning system on organisational wellbeing and evidence to inform better HR strategy-making.”

“We urge employers to consult with their EAP providers and tap into their experience and expertise to better understand how EAP programmes can be used most effectively to support a wider wellbeing strategy,” said Neil.

Diary date: EAPA branch meeting, 5 December 2018, Linnean Society, Piccadilly

Written by Vicky Mulchinock on . Posted in Events, News

Diary date: EAPA branch meeting, 5 December 2018, Linnean Society, Piccadilly

The next EAPA branch meeting will take place at 11.00 on Wednesday 5 December at the Linnean Society on Piccadilly. Coffee will be available from 10.30am. The guest speaker will be announced in due course and a full agenda with timings will be circulated nearer to the event. In the meantime, please email info@eapa.org.uk to confirm your attendance.

Branch meeting minutes – September 2018

Written by Vicky Mulchinock on . Posted in News

Branch meeting minutes – September 2018

The minutes from the last Branch meeting held on Tuesday 25 September are now available in the members area here. The minutes include an update on the following areas:

  • EAP calculator launch
  • Response to Thriving at Work report
  • Buyers Guide update/response to NICE guidelines change
  • Marketing/PR activity review
  • Membership
  • AGM 2019

We would also like to thank our guest speakers, Vicki Cockman, Head Commercial Business at Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) and Fionuala Bonnar, COO of MHFA for an insightful discussion into how EAPA UK and MHFA may be able to collaborate.

 

Update on NICE guidance on depression

Written by Vicky Mulchinock on . Posted in News

Update on NICE guidance on depression

NICE has announced that it wants to consider additional current evidence before issuing a second draft of its adult depression guidelines. It will then re-consult stakeholders for a third time before final publication of the guidance in December 2019.

In a statement last week, NICE admitted that the ‘evidence base’ used to create the previous draft recommendations ‘needs updating’. This means that the guidance on depression will come nearly two years after the planned release of January 2018.

NICE said: “In response to consultation feedback and the views of the NICE committee, NICE has decided to re-run the evidence searches to include the most up-to-date research on the management of depression in adults, including new work on patient choice and a focus on shared decision making.”

CIPD launches revised guide on Mental Health for Managers

Written by Vicky Mulchinock on . Posted in News

CIPD launches revised guide on Mental Health for Managers

The CIPD, in association with mental health charity, Mind last week launched a revised and updated guide for managers to improve support for those experiencing stress and mental health issues at work.

How people are treated and managed on a day-to-day basis is central to their mental well-being and engagement, as well as the level of trust in the employment relationship. CIPD research finds that management style is the second main cause of work-related stress, showing that how managers go about their role has a direct impact on people’s mental well-being.

The updated guidance follows recent CIPD research which found that less than one in three organisations (32%) train line managers to support staff with poor mental health. Mental ill health is now the primary cause of long-term sickness absence for over one in five (22%) UK organisations. A recent Mind survey of over 44,000 employees also found that only two in five (42%) felt their manager would be able to spot the signs they were struggling with poor mental health.

This latest resource for managers follows the Government-commissioned ‘Thriving at Work’ report last year, which made recommendations to employers about how to better support people with mental health problems to stay – and thrive – in their jobs. The independent report found a need for workplaces to improve the disclosure process, and called on employers to create an open culture where staff feel able to talk about mental health. The free guide will give managers the information, resources and tools they need to effectively and confidently support employee mental health at work. Being able to spot the warning signs of poor mental health and offer the right support early on can have a significant impact.

Rachel Suff, Senior Employment Relations Adviser at the CIPD, said: “The role of line managers in employee well-being is vital. They are often the first port of call for someone needing help, and are most likely to see warning signs of poor mental health among employees. With the right capabilities and tools in place, they will have the ability and confidence to have sensitive conversations, intervene when needed, and signpost to the right support when needed. The positive impact that this can have on people’s well-being is enormous, but the business will also reap the benefits of happier, healthier, more engaged and productive employees.”

Paul Roberts, EAPA executive member, said: “EAPA agrees that employers are increasingly taking steps to promote good mentally healthy workplaces. Our members report increasing numbers of SME employers buying Employee Assistance Programmes to catch up with the best practice employers in supporting employees. This managers guide is a great free resource.”

You can read the full guide here.

Mad World Summit London, 9 October 2018

Written by Vicky Mulchinock on . Posted in Events

EAPA is delighted to be supporting the Mad World Summit, taking place on 9 October in London. Good mental health in the workplace is fundamental to business success and Mad World is playing a key role in this by putting mental health at the heart of the business agenda.

With an impressive line-up of over 50 cross-industry speakers, the focus of the event is about moving from stigma to solutions when it comes to workplace wellbeing. The comprehensive agenda features interactive roundtables, in-depth conference steams, an exhibition and networking opportunities throughout the day.

“We are really pleased to be a part of Mad World. It’s vital that businesses have the right plans in place to support their employees and develop positive mental health throughout their workplaces. As partners of the summit, we can continue to raise awareness and understanding around the role EAPs can play in helping organisations to achieve this,” said Neil Mountford, chair of UK EAPA.

As a supporter of the event, EAPA is pleased to be able to extend a 30% discount on the delegate price to all EAPA members who may be interested in attending the event in October.

If you would like to take up this opportunity, register here and input the discount code: EAPA30.

Latest news from EB Live 2018

Written by Vicky Mulchinock on . Posted in News

John Lewis’ Davison to discuss building a wellbeing culture at Employee Benefits Live

Nick Davison, partner and head of health, leisure and hotels for John Lewis Partnership, will discuss the benefits of putting health and wellbeing at the core of an organisation’s strategy at Employee Benefits Live 2018.

The session, titled ‘Building a health and wellbeing culture for competitive advantage’, will form part of the ‘benefits on a budget’ conference stream on Wednesday 3 October.

The session will be chaired by Neil Goodwin, reward director in human resources at Countrywide Group, and Davison will discuss what sets John Lewis Partnership apart from the competition in terms of its employee offering. He will explain how his organisation sees its people as its competitive advantage.

“Our health and wellbeing culture goes back to 1929,” Davison explained. “We’re an employee-owned organisation, and a democracy. The wellbeing of our partners is actually written into the first principle of our constitution. We have 83,000 co-owners and it’s important we look after the body, mind and soul of those people.

“It’s about creating a sense of belonging and caring for our prized assets, which are our people. We also need to make sure they understand and recognise that, and believe it to be true.”

To make this happen, Davison believes the approach needs to be both proactive and reactive.

He explained: “Our benefits are designed to build relationships, community and engagement, but also to allow people to enjoy a wider aspect of their personal wellbeing rather than just work. Then there is the reactive wellbeing focus around the support we provide.

“Despite all the talk of technology, people are still core to business. Without people there wouldn’t be any business.

“To deliver the level of service we provide to customers, we need our people to be fit, healthy, engaged and motivated. So their health and wellbeing is right at the core of what sets us apart from our competitors.”

Employee Benefits Live 2018 will take place on Tuesday 2 and Wednesday 3 October 2018 at ExCeL London.

Click here for more information or to register for the show.

EAP calculator delivers ROI figures for a future of benchmarking

Written by Vicky Mulchinock on . Posted in News

EAP calculator delivers ROI figures for a future of benchmarking

Earlier this week, as a partner of the Mad World Summit, EAPA was pleased to write an article for the summit website explaining why it has funded the Institute of Employment Studies (IES) to design and develop an EAP calculator.

The article explains how buy-in for employee wellbeing initiatives has always been hampered by a lack of hard data. Making a case for investment into mental health benefits has meant scratching around for impact on absence rates or relying on intangibles like the value for engagement and employer branding. It had become clear, following the first phase of EAPA UK funded research with The Work Foundation, that there was an urgent need for evidence and attention to real-life figures, particularly when the cost of poor mental health among employees is costing employers between £33 and £42m (Thrive at Work report). To help fill this critical gap, EAPA UK stepped in, funding the Institute of Employment Studies (IES) to design and develop an EAP calculator.

You can read the full article here.

UK EAPA is delighted to be supporting this important event, taking place on 9 October in London. Good mental health in the workplace is fundamental to business success and Mad World is playing a key role in this by putting mental health at the heart of the business agenda. The focus of the event is about moving from stigma to solutions when it comes to workplace wellbeing and attendees will hear from an outstanding line up of speakers. The comprehensive agenda, which features keynote presentations, roundtables and networking opportunities, has been designed to help delegates learn how to integrate mental health into existing wellbeing strategies, gain inspiration from innovative leaders, uncover the right solutions for your organisation and share ideas and experiences with peers.

As a supporter of the event, EAPA is pleased to be able to extend a 30% discount on the delegate price to all EAPA members who may be interested in attending the event in October. Click here to register for the event and use the discount code: EAPA30 to book your place today.

 

New book on men’s mental health published today

Written by Vicky Mulchinock on . Posted in News

New book on men’s mental health published today

Today sees the publication of a new book, Positive Male Mind,  which aims to inspire positive dialogue around male mental health in a way that is practical and helps to address this taboo topic in the personal and corporate spheres. While it is geared towards a male audience, the book will also help friends, colleagues, and partners to support and aid their male relatives and friends with solutions, advice and tips for better wellbeing.

Written by leading experts on the topic, EAPA’s Andrew Kinder and Dr. Shaun Davis, Global Director of Safety, Health, Wellbeing and Sustainability at Royal Mail, the book seeks to end the stigma around mental health vulnerability in men.

“We all have a male friend who has suffered mental health issues. Often this may have been exacerbated by their work, their work did not understand or support them, or (by contrast), perhaps their work helped them. Many do not know that, every day, Occupational Health professionals support men who are struggling with anxiety and depression at work. I encourage all organizations to take steps to invest in occupational health. We know, from our evidence reviews that this will lead to more productive workplaces that attract the most talented employees. Read this book to find out more!” said Nick Pahl, CEO, Society of Occupational Medicine.

Mental health problems affect 1 in 4, and while many suffer from it, few seek help or speak about it, especially men who are less likely than women, as they find it difficult to feel ‘vulnerable’.

“I am pleased to recommend this text, written by authoritative and highly experienced authors on this important topic. I spent over 20 years working with Royal Mail’s workforce and have since worked in many industries with predominantly male workforces. Mental ill health is common and is something that we should not be afraid to talk about, however, many men find this difficult! I welcome this book and congratulate the authors in contributing to improving men’s health,” said Dr. Steven Boorman, CBE, Director Employee Health, Empactis.

EAPA UK is delighted to extend a special discount to members. The book can be purchased here using the code: POSITIVE35.

 

Contact EAPA

EAPA are pleased to accept your questions about the EAP industry. Please use the Contact us page or the form here.

Contact Form