Aegon UK initiates mental health awareness training for 120 managers

Pensions provider Aegon UK has launched a series of mental health awareness workshops, supporting managers as part of its ‘wellbeing in the workplace’ programme. 

The sessions will be delivered by AXA Healthcare at Aegon UK’s offices in Edinburgh, Witham and Peterborough at the end of February 2020; 120 people managers are expected to attend in total. 

The four-hour sessions will help managers understand mental health in the workplace, and learn how to provide support to employees who are experiencing issues. Additional awareness sessions are also being planned throughout the year, allowing any remaining managers to attend.

These awareness sessions form part of Aegon UK’s wider approach to employee wellbeing, which in 2019 included training mental health first aiders, running educational programmes, providing on-site pet therapy, and promoting online resources around self-care and seeking help.

Dougy Grant, managing director and executive advocate of the wellbeing workstream at Aegon UK, said: “Poor employee mental health can have a damaging impact on a business. As an employer, we have a responsibility to not only protect the business commercially, but to protect and support the wellbeing of the people who are core to our business.

“We have taken great steps in the last year to promote a positive working environment and will continue to do so. Having trained a team of mental health first aiders, we are now rolling out awareness workshops to people managers across the sites.

“We don’t expect anyone to become an expert in mental health, but having more managers trained to recognise the signs of mental health problems will help to put safeguards in place for staff should they need support.

“Supporting the mental and physical wellbeing of all our employees – and ensuring that they have access to appropriate support in the workplace, is unquestionably a priority for us.

“By providing a range of proactive, preventative and reactive support, the [organisation] has made great strides in breaking down the stigma of mental illness in the workplace.

“Our aim is to offer employees a range of services that will help them feel more valued, supported, motivated, and empowered to take control of their own wellbeing. We believe that this will contribute to a more engaged, productive, and sustainable organisation but more importantly, an open, supportive work environment.

“Ultimately by helping people be at their best, we are more likely to be successful as a [business].”