Tim Ackroyd, Deloitte Health and Wellbeing Lead Deloitte has increased the focus of its mental health and wellbeing activities on prevention, and is using metrics to create demonstrable change. Rebranding its EAP as ‘Advice Line’ and raising its profile has meant that not only do more people use it, but they also seek help with problems earlier on.
In 2016 Deloitte has increased its focus on prevention, by ensuring our people have access to the right mental health resilience tools, and the right mental health support when needed. We continue to deliver our resilience workshops and encourage early disclosure across our business, and we have recently launched ‘This is Me’ within Deloitte to reduce stigma and encourage open conversations about mental health. Six individuals from different grades and areas of expertise came forward to talk about their experience of mental health. The campaign focuses on anxiety and depression because data tells us these are the most prevalent mental health conditions at Deloitte, and we know encouraging early disclosure helps people get access to the support they need quickly. A short ‘teaser’ film on the Deloitte intranet has been viewed over 3,000 times so far, and the participants have received unprompted emails from colleagues across the firm thanking them for sharing their experiences and saying how inspirational they are.
This is just one of a number of steps we have taken since we signed the Time to Change pledge in 2013. We have worked with Mind to increase disclosure of mental health issues, extended our popular resilience development courses across different grades, and enhanced them, and over the coming months we will share individual in-depth stories of our ‘This is Me’ participants to continue the conversation. We believe in keeping the conversation going by looking at mental health in many different ways.
In May, we hosted a panel discussion on mental health in the BAME community, with the support of CMHA. It was led by Deloitte’s multicultural network, one of ten diversity networks in the firm, and our CMHA Senior Sponsor Rebecca George (Lead Partner for Public Sector and Vice-Chair of our board) sat on the panel. In September this year we hosted a conference for Unwired (in partnership with others, including CMHA), called Wellness 16, which explored mind, body and spirit, and included a presentation from our Managing Partner for Talent, Emma Codd, about Deloitte’s approach to health and wellbeing.
Metrics are a great way to support and demonstrate sustainable change. We have gained real insight into how our actions are making an impact for our people through participating in the Mind Workplace Wellbeing Index pilot, and are looking forward to participating in the inaugural Mind index this winter. The index is designed to benchmark wellbeing among different organisations, and will give us some robust metrics to work with.
One area where metrics have led to demonstrable change for us has been with our EAP, which we overhauled this year. Our metrics had shown us that use of the EAP was far lower than we expected. So, to raise its profile within the firm we rebranded it as ‘Advice Line’, marketed it differently and enhanced the service by including more face-to-face counselling sessions and open access to online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Significantly more people began using the service following the relaunch, and we also found people began contacting us and our EAP provider with problems earlier on, before they developed into more serious issues.
Increasingly, we are building our approach to sustaining good mental health into ‘business as usual’. Within Deloitte there is a focus on how leaders can enable their teams to develop resilience and maintain good mental health, and how they can support them when needed. Promoting and supporting mental health is not an HR initiative; it is a business-led initiative.