Aviva has today signed an employer pledge with Time to Change, the growing social movement run by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness which supports people to open up to mental health problems. By signing, Aviva is committing to help lead the way in which employers can create an open and supportive culture within the workplace on mental health.
The signing ceremony took place at Aviva’s St Helens office in London, and representatives from Aviva offices across the UK pledged their support to Time to Change with an action plan of activity that will help to break the silence that surrounds mental health in the workplace. Aviva is the leading insurer in the UK, with 16,000 UK employees.
To help raise awareness and create a supportive culture, Aviva is introducing a number of initiatives to encourage employees to keep themselves well and healthy. This includes providing leaders and employees with a range of learning tools and resources to support them with proactively managing their mental health.
Angus Eaton, Managing Director Commercial General Insurance UK said:
“The health and wellbeing of our employees is a priority for Aviva because we recognise that mental health is as important as an individual’s physical health but often it is either overlooked or hidden. We want to help break down the barriers to mental health, ensuring our employees feel they are supported and listened to when they raise issues around any aspect of how they are feeling.
“Making a commitment to the mental wellbeing of our employees is good for everyone and for our business because it is essential that everyone comes to work feeling they can be open about where they are in life and that if help is needed, their colleagues will be understanding and supportive.”
Aviva joins the wide movement of nearly 500 organisations that have signed up to the Time to Change pledge, including E.ON, British Gas, Ernst & Young, Transport for London, Royal Mail, Barclays, Shell, Pepsico, the Church of England, Sunday Mirror, Marks and Spencer, and many NHS trusts, universities, and local authorities.
Sue Baker, Director of Time to Change, said:
“We know it can be hard to talk about mental health, which is why we’re supporting employers to open up; to talk and to listen. Too many people with mental health problems are made to feel isolated, ashamed and worthless, but with the right support, those of us with mental health problems can recover and have equal opportunities in all areas of life. Everyone’s attitude makes a difference and it’s fantastic to see organisations like Aviva taking the lead.
“With one in six British workers experiencing mental illness it's time for businesses to make a change and start creating more mentally healthy workplaces."
Time to Change is funded by the Department of Health, Comic Relief and the Big Lottery Fund. Set up to create a positive shift in public attitudes towards mental health problems, Time to Change supports communities, schools and workplaces to open up to mental health problems; to talk and to listen.
Notes to editors:
• Aviva provides life insurance, general insurance, health insurance and asset management to 33 million customers.
• In the UK we are the leading insurer serving one in every four households and have strong businesses in selected markets in Europe, Asia and Canada. Our shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange and we are a member of the FTSE100 index.
• Aviva’s asset management business, Aviva Investors, provides asset management services to both Aviva and external clients, and currently manages over £340 billion in assets. Total group assets under management at Aviva group are £450 billion.
• Aviva helps people save for the future and manage the risks of everyday life; we paid out £34.4 billion in benefits and claims in 2016.
• By serving our customers well, we are building a business which is strong and sustainable, which our people are proud to work for, and which makes a positive contribution to society.
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** For access to a range of free images to accompany mental health news stories please visit: http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/getthepicture. These images have been developed by the anti-stigma campaign Time to Change, run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, and funded by the Department of Health, Comic Relief and the Big Lottery Fund.
Time to Change
Time to Change is a campaign to change how we all think and act about mental health problems, led by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness. It is funded by the Department of Health, Comic Relief and the Big Lottery Fund. Set up to create a positive shift in public attitudes towards mental health problems, Time to Change supports communities, schools and workplaces to open up to mental health problems; to talk and to listen.
For more information go to www.time-to-change.org.uk.
Department of Health
On 2 February 2011 the Department of Health launched No health without mental health, a cross-government mental health outcomes strategy for people of all ages which has the twin aims of keeping people well and improving their mental health and, when people are not well, improving their outcomes through high-quality services.
The strategy is based on six shared objectives, developed with partners from across the mental health sector, and focuses on recovery and the reduction of stigma and discrimination as overarching themes.
To reduce the stigma faced by people with mental health problems, the Department has been supporting Time to Change, the anti-stigma campaign run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, since 2011.
Comic Relief is committed to supporting people living with mental health problems. The projects Comic Relief funds ensure people with mental health problems get their voices heard in the decisions that affect their lives and get the help they need to recover. Comic Relief also helps people to promote their rights and reduce the stigma and discrimination they face so that they feel more included in society. The funding of Time to Change represents Comic Relief’s largest UK grant and is part of the organisation’s long standing commitment to this issue. For more information go to www.comicrelief.com.
Big Lottery Fund
Big Lottery Fund supported the first phase of Time to Change with funding of over £20million, and in 2013 awarded the programme a further £3.6m from its Well-being programme to build on its success and work with targeted communities. Big Lottery Fund also supported the campaign’s roll out across Wales. They will be providing a further £1.1m to support the Time to Change campaign in 2015-16.
The Big Lottery Fund supports the aspirations of people who want to make life better for their communities across the UK. We are responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by the National Lottery and invest over £650 million a year in projects big and small in health, education, environment and charitable purposes. Since June 2004 we have awarded over £6.5billion to projects that make a difference to people and communities in need, from early years intervention to commemorative travel funding for World War Two veterans. Since the National Lottery began in 1994, £33 billion has been raised and more than 450,000 grants awarded.