Stating the case for open-door employee wellbeing support

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Health Shield’s Head of Product & Marketing, Jennie Doyle, writes in this month’s Viewpoint column in Health Insurance Daily, examining why it makes sense for employers to provide open-door access to mental health and musculoskeletal services.

Prevention is only possible if issues are addressed in their early stages. The trouble is acknowledging there is a problem in the first place can be hard enough – especially where mental health and musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions are concerned. Seeking out help is a whole other ball game and one that is rarely played out, especially when the need for a line manager, HR or GP referral is concerned – the kind of things that can act as barriers to getting support.

Would giving employees open access to relevant services help? Is there a danger they’d be over-utilised? Or, arguably worse, under-utilised? Or could it simply ensure that people get the help they need when they need it, at an earlier stage to help prevent little niggles becoming big problems.

Any which way, companies need to demonstrate to employees that their wellbeing matters. And what better way than putting in place a choice of mental health and MSK support services that integrate seamlessly and can be accessed via various means – phone, apps, face-to-face – ensuring they appeal to all workforce demographics.

The current reality

It’s telling that in spite of all the talk about wellbeing, according to Health Shield insights*, 7 in 10 employees say they don’t believe that employee wellbeing and MSK issues are taken seriously enough in the workplace. In fact, 2 in 3 say their business doesn’t provide access to tailored support for mental health and MSK.

To read the full article, click here. In this piece, Jennie weighs up the pros and cons of not only offering such support, but offering open access to it. She also garners the views of experts from Physio Med – a provider of on-demand physiotherapy services incorporated into Health Shield’s care pathways – and also Thrive, an NHS-approved** mental health app made accessible to all employees via their Tailored Health Cash Plan.

*From recent Twitter and Facebook polls

** The app meets NHS quality standards for clinical effectiveness, safety, usability and accessibility and has a supportive evidence base.