Branch meeting minutes – September 2018

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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

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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

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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.

Latest news from EB Live 2018

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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

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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

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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.


Latest news from Employee Benefits Live 2018

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Latest news from Employee Benefits Live 2018

Cayla Kitayama, responsible for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) benefits at technology organisation Google, will discuss mental health and the changing landscape of wellbeing strategies at Employee Benefits Live 2018.

Kitayama’s keynote presentation, titled ‘Putting health and wellbeing at the heart of your benefits strategy’, will open the two-day event’s conference programme on Tuesday 2 October 2018 at 10.00am.

The session will explore how the wellbeing space has developed in relation to benefits, moving from medical and life insurances into a clearer focus around mental health. Kitayama will highlight why mental health in particular is so important for employers to consider, as well as provide recommendations on what organisations can do in this space.

Kitayama said: “Mental health is really important and that’s an area that should be focused on when [employers are] thinking of benefits strategies and how [they] create [their] benefits. What can [employers] do to make people more aware of it, to help equip managers and business partners to help support their employees, and how can [organisations] help the employees themselves take ownership of this space? One of the things I want people to really take away is what they can do, what can they implement in their own [organisations].”

As well as talking about the wellbeing landscape more generally, Kitayama will specifically speak on what Google as an employer does, and how it creates and implements its own strategies and programmes around both wellbeing and benefits. “I’m very conscious of people just feeling [that] Google [is] a big employer, [it] has loads of money, of course [it] can create these programmes. But there’s a whole thing that all employers can do, regardless of size,” Kitayama added.

Kitayama will further use examples from Google to showcase the organisation’s experience of benefits within a growing organisation, and will demonstrate how it applies a global philosophy to localised country benefits programmes.

The session will also explore the role of the employer in employee wellbeing. Kitayama said: “As employers, I think we have a really unique opportunity here to help in that space. As employers who are responsible for the wellbeing of our employees, it’s our responsibility to really help support in this area.”

Kitayama will also discuss the UK’s current scene for mental wellbeing at work, explaining that employees are now aware of mental health and are happy to acknowledge that they may need some form of help; however, this is very different from actively seeking assistance. Kitayama feels this is where employers can have an impact.

“Benefits exist to attract and retain employees and what we’ve seen a lot over the years is that things such as stress, anxiety and depression, these are some of the most crippling areas that people are really suffering with,” she explained. “[These have] knock-on impacts to other parts of the benefits programme in general. For the employee, they obviously have to feel the best they can be.”

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

For more information or to register for the show please click here



Latest news from Employee Benefits Live 2018

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Latest news from Employee Benefits Live 2018

Damien Hooper-Campbell, vice president and chief diversity officer at e-commerce organisation eBay, will open the conference programme on day two of Employee Benefits Live on Wednesday 3 October 2018.

Hooper-Campbell’s keynote address, titled ‘Breaking with conventions’, will take a closer look at long-term diversity and inclusion strategies within the technology sector, and why these are often bypassed by employers in favour of short-term fixes. Hooper-Campbell will present the case that breaking this convention is a must.

The session will discuss the three-pronged diversity and inclusion strategy implemented at eBay and explain its focuses on the organisation’s workforce, workplace and marketplace. Furthermore, Hooper-Campbell will demonstrate how eBay can utilise its own platform to impact on and improve diversity and inclusion.

Hooper-Campbell, eBay’s first chief diversity officer, is responsible for leading the design and implementation of the organisation’s strategy for embedding diversity and inclusion across its global workforce. He also fronts the university recruiting and programmes team, to ensure that diversity and inclusion is inherent to eBay’s recruiting strategy.

Hooper-Campbell will be able to provide vast insight from the technology sector specifically as, prior to his time at eBay, he worked as the first global head of diversity and inclusion at taxi organisation Uber, where he founded the organisation’s diversity and inclusion strategy and led its community engagement approach. He has also advised technology business Google and served as vice president of financial services firm Goldman Sachs’ leadership development group.

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

For more information or to register for the show click here.

EAPA partners with Employee Benefits Live

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EAPA partners with Employee Benefits Live

EAPA is pleased to announce that it has partnered with Employee Benefits Live, Europe’s largest employee benefits and reward event, which takes place on 2-3 October 2018 at the ExCeL, London.

“We are delighted to have become partner for this year’s Employee Benefits Live event. It’s vital that businesses have wellbeing programmes in place that support their employees and help create healthy workplaces. As partners of the event, 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.

Employee Benefits Live is a two-day event for HR, reward and benefits professionals, featuring an extensive exhibition and a comprehensive multi-stream conference programme. Delegates will be able to gain insight from leading industry experts and specialists as well as network with their peers, colleagues, industry providers and consultants. You can get more information or to register for the show here.

Kavitha Sivasubramaniam, editor at Employee Benefits, said: “EAPs offer support to people when they need it, often when they don’t know where else to turn. EAPA has a crucial role to play in ensuring they continue to provide this support, as well as ensuring best practice standards are maintained. We are delighted that EAPA has come on board as an event partner to support what promises to be the biggest and best Employee Benefits Live to date.”

The rise of mental health apps

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The rise of mental health apps

In recent years, there has been a huge rise in the number of mental health apps available. There are now hundreds of downloadable programmes and specific content aimed at those struggling with a range of mental health issues such as stress, depression, anxiety and addiction as well as those more generally promoting health and wellness.

Some of these apps claim to diagnose and help relieve symptoms. They have certainly become very popular with users, but how reliable is the advice they provide?

A recent article in Psychology Today highlights the issues citing research from the American Psychiatric Association that warns that self-diagnosing apps are unreliable and may overtreat. The Association has expressed concerns about the kind of advice and diagnoses being given and that these types of apps may lead to excessive self-monitoring without professional guidance.

The article also references a new study led by the Sydney School of Pharmacy, which has analysed 61 mental health apps. Of central concern was how the apps defined mental health and what they signalled as contributing factors to mental illness.

Andrew Kinder, executive board member of UK EAPA said: “The popularity of mental health apps shows the ongoing interest in this area which is helpful in that peoples’ concerns are now being articulated with support options being provided.  However, the efficacy of such apps, for example, who controls the data, the overdiagnosis of everyday stress issues and the over-reliance or placebo on smartphone apps, are clearly concerns which need to be addressed.

“Within EAPs, there is certainly a move to provide a greater breadth of mental health support, including within the digital space.  More can be done to keep EAP offerings modern and accessible, although the benefit of EAPs is that support is offered in many different forms, in person either face-to-face or telephone with clear clinical governance in place which checks their efficacy.”

Neil Mountford, chair of UK EAPA agrees: “Technologies such as mobile apps and web-based platforms certainly have a role to play in enabling wider access to information around mental health issues, particularly for those who are either anxious about seeking one-to-one support either telephonically or face-to-face, or do not have easy access to those services.

“The challenge in an unregulated environment is how the user can make an informed decision on which tools are best for them and contain content and approaches that are credible, clinically robust and backed up by research evidence.  The danger is that some will promote content and advice that is spurious and in some cases could do more harm than good.

“Good quality EAPs will use these technologies responsibly as components of an integrated suite that offers appropriate support, information and onward referral.”


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