EXCLUSIVE: ACCA launches mental health resilience workshops for wellbeing champions


EXCLUSIVE: Global professional accountancy body ACCA has launched pilot mental health resilience workshops for selected staff in London and Glasgow.

The workshops, the first of which took place on 19 September 2018, offer advice on the mental and physical steps employees can take to promote wellbeing in the workplace. They are initially being made available to the organisation’s 36 ‘wellbeing champions’, but a roll-out to the wider employee population is planned.

The pilots are in accompaniment to bespoke training, in partnership with wellbeing organisation Let’s Get Healthy, for 140 of ACCA’s people managers.

Titled ‘Better me, better team, better us’, the training began on 19 March 2018 and is designed to help managers recognise the early signs of mental health issues and understand how to approach conversations with their teams.

Both initiatives were the result of a three-month ‘insight’ programme launched by ACCA in December 2017 to improve its support around mental health. The need to create a better understanding among managers and their teams was identified via analysis of data from an annual engagement survey, employment assistance programme (EAP) usage, long-term absence cases and face-to-face focus groups.

Anne-Marie Russell, wellbeing consultant at ACCA, said: “We know that in the UK less than 25% of people managers have received any training in mental health, yet 60% of employees have experienced a mental health problem due to work or where work was a contributing factor.”

Russell added: “Our people managers are at the heart of what we do at ACCA. The insight sessions and focus groups we ran have meant the training has been well received. We can already see the positive impacts of the training and over the next two years we hope to implement more wellness support and [roll] it out across all of ACCA’s markets. I’m very excited about creating an integrated wellness strategy and what the future holds.”

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In addition to the training initiatives, in November 2017 ACCA, which employs 900 people in the UK from its offices in London and Glasgow, launched the Nudge financial education platform as part of a wider focus on improving wellness within the workplace.

Steven Doyle, benefits specialist at ACCA, said: “As an employer, we would not know if an employee was in financial distress unless they inform us of this. The first signs may be displayed by differences in their physical and mental health so to be able to offer financial wellbeing support will help us to alleviate wellbeing issues elsewhere.”