MetLife Australia has launched a mental health policy and action plan to protect, support and promote the mental health and wellbeing of its employees.
A statement from the insurer says the launch of the policy and action plan coincides with Mental Health Month in October and is built around a series of goals MetLife has committed to achieve, including:
- Increasing employee knowledge and awareness of mental health issues and behaviours
- Reducing stigma around depression, anxiety and suicide
- Encouraging employees’ active participation in a range of initiatives that support mental health and well-being
The insurer says it has released its new policy at a time when many Australians are facing mental health challenges.
It says that according to a new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Australians’ levels of life satisfaction have dropped significantly during the pandemic, and more than a third of people (36.7 percent in August 2021) report feeling lonely some of the time.
MetLife says the report also found that, on average, mental health has a greater impact on life satisfaction than physical health.
It adds that research* it commissioned found half of respondents are suffering mental ill health due to the pandemic and 70 percent of employers say mental health is the most important aspect of employee health to focus on in the wake of the pandemic.
The statement says that MetLife has seen an increase its own employees accessing key mental health services such as the Employee Assistance Program, demonstrating the increase demand for workplace support.
Allyson Carlile, Head of People & Culture at MetLife Australia, says that the insurer is committed to promoting positive mental wellbeing and believes that supporting the mental health of its employees is key to the organisations’ success and sustainability.
She says they want everyone at MetLife to have a role in building a safe and healthy environment and culture.
…we are encouraging our leadership team to share a mental health promise for World Mental Health Day…
“To ensure we are providing meaningful support, we are encouraging our leadership team to share a mental health promise for World Mental Health Day and asking our staff to actively contribute and provide feedback on our policy. The policy will be reviewed regularly and updated to reflect the needs of our employees.”
The statement says that forming part of the action plan, MetLife will continue to partner with SuperFriend to provide employees with access to MySuperFriend, an online learning platform offering interactive mental health and wellbeing training modules and resources, which can be blended with facilitated workshops to embed skills and capabilities.
MetLife will also create a hub of information and resources including content from the Black Dog Institute, and MetLife’s own 360Health program, an end-to-end health solution that includes tools, resources and information for holistic health management. It features Mental Health Assist, a fully digital mental health program for employees and customers.
* MetLife research conducted between 26 Aug – 11 Sept 2020 and included 339 employers and 1,037 employees.