- At Aon we know the value and importance of protecting the mental health of employees.
- We practice what we preach and have just been shortlisted in the 2019 Occupational Health & Wellbeing awards, for our work in supporting our people.
- Our progress is helping create a safe and comfortable environment to talk about mental health.
At Aon we practice what we preach. We know that it is essential to enhance and protect the mental health of our people while encouraging other employers to do the same.
That's why we embarked on our mental health strategy for our UK colleagues in 2016. We set a number of objectives, but raising awareness, challenging stigma and creating an environment where all colleagues feel safe and comfortable to talk about mental health was key. We have a vision that mental health should be treated equally to physical health.
Bringing our strategy to life
Since starting our journey we have worked hard to bring our strategy to life through initiatives such as:
- Establishing a colleague-led Mental Health Group of 10 committee members
- Securing support from the highest level, including two Board Sponsors
- Creating a network of over 100 Allies – volunteer colleagues who help drive the strategy forward locally
- Raising awareness of mental health through internal and external speakers, webinars, newsletters, articles and social media
- Embracing the power of storytelling. Aon joined the This is Me campaign steering group, creating its own video, with colleagues regularly sharing personal stories on the intranet.
- Training over 300 line-managers in Mental Health Awareness
- Launching Mindfulness and Resilience training for employees - with 800 colleagues attending Mindfulness training and Resilience training currently underway.
- Launching Financial Education sessions (attended by 1,400+ colleagues), to help reduce the impact financial concerns have on mental health.
Providing employees with effective resources
Employees can access many resources to understand benefits, services and support for mental health. In addition, we hosted and participated in numerous industry events such as the Dive in Festival. Colleagues also featured in a video on mental health, sharing experiences to help others in the industry. Our Managing Director at Aon also signed the Time to Change Employer Pledge, publicly demonstrating its drive to tackle mental health stigma.
Making a difference with Mental Health First aid
But perhaps the intervention with the power to move the dial the most, has been the deployment of a Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) programme - with a difference.
MHFA is considered the most widely adopted mental health training programme in the workplace, however, we are conscious of criticisms and potential pitfalls arising in public research - not least taking care of the Mental Health First Aiders themselves.
We wanted to get MHFA right from the start. Some of the elements of our MHFA include:
- A dashboard to monitor impacts.
- Full awareness for Mental Health First Aiders from the outset to ensure they know what they’re signing up to.
- Full and comprehensive training.
- Protection measures in place for each First Aider.
In fact, a lead Mental Health First Aider who has additional training is responsible for supporting First Aiders, and each is encouraged to debrief/share experiences (anonymously) and they’re regularly reminded of the importance of looking after their own mental health and the benefits, services and support available.
We initially set out to train 60 Mental Health First Aiders, and the programme now has over 113 qualified Mental Health First Aiders(1:53 colleagues).
Our work towards building and supporting a safe and comfortable environment to talk about mental health at Aon has just been shortlisted in the 2019 Occupational Health & Wellbeing Awards.
Aon UK Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England and Wales. Registered number: 00210725. Registered Office: The Aon Centre, The Leadenhall Building, 122 Leadenhall Street, London EC3V 4AN.