Employee benefits and non-life insurance company Generali UK has launched a mental health navigator service. This has been added to the range of early intervention and rehabilitation services available via the insurer’s Group Income Protection (GIP) policy.
The service is designed to provide expert assessment and signposting to appropriate services by mental health clinicians. The aim is that this will reduce pressure on Line Managers and Mental Health First Aiders, while improving outcomes for individuals and for businesses.
The UK launch follows in the footsteps of the roll-out of the mental health navigator in Canada and Australia by the virtual care provider Teladoc Health.
Drawing on the expertise of a cross-functional team of psychologists, psychiatrists and clinicians, the service is designed to identify a correct diagnosis and provide an action plan for those struggling with a range of mental health conditions.
The service is available to all employees of Generali’s GIP policyholders and their families (over the age of 18). It can also be used by those who want to gain a better understanding of an existing condition or treatment programme.
The service will be integrated into Generali’s care pathways, which can be tailored to individual employee requirements.
This launch comes at a time when 1 in 4 of the UK population will experience a mental health problem each year (1) but three quarters of people with such problems receive no support at all (2).
Navigating a complex landscape
Colin Hawes, Head of Claims at Generali Employee Benefits UK, commented: “UK businesses and employees are currently bombarded with a confusing array of mental health support services.” He also remarked that pressure is increasingly being placed on Line Managers and Mental Health First Aiders to identify problems and appropriately signpost to relevant and useful solutions.
He added: “It’s an incredibly complex landscape. In order to know where to turn, employees need to be first helped by mental health trained clinicians to understand the problem. Only then can they learn how to fix it”.
Dominic Howard, Director, Teladoc Health Europe, said: “For employers not only in the UK but globally, mental health is one of the biggest challenges facing their business currently. Our recent global mental health study revealed that over half of employees globally (55%) agree more should be done in their workplace to improve mental health, with more than a third (38%) saying they would be more productive at work if there was better mental health support.
Rita Fridella, President, LifeWorks and Executive President, Morneau Shepell - Generali’s EAP and Total Wellbeing Partner added: “Mental health and wellbeing ecosystems are complex. A guiding hand will undoubtedly be welcomed by employees, helping them navigate their choices according to expertly assessed need. Success here relies on much needed collaboration between providers.
With many employers trying to get to grips with what’s needed to support workplace mental health and wellbeing in a meaningful and sustainable way, it will be interesting to see whether this new service improves the integration of an employers’ existing benefits, services and mental health policies and procedures into a more structured and meaningful pathway.
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