MetLife launches mental health policy to support staff wellbeing
Sydney September 30, 2021
MetLife Australia has announced the launch of its mental health policy and action plan, to protect, support and promote the mental health and wellbeing of its employees.
The launch of the policy and action plan coincides with Mental Health Month (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; and encouraging employees’ active participation in a range of initiatives that support mental health and wellbeing.
MetLife has released its new policy at a time when many Australians are facing mental health challenges. 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% in August 2021) report feeling lonely some of the time. The report also found that, on average, mental health has a greater impact on life satisfaction than physical health.
Research* commissioned by MetLife found half of respondents are suffering mental ill health due to the COVID-19 pandemic and 70% of employers say mental health is the most important aspect of employee health to focus on in the wake of the pandemic. MetLife has seen an increase its own employees accessing key mental health services such as the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), demonstrating the increase demand for workplace support.
Allyson Carlile, Head of People & Culture at MetLife Australia, said: “MetLife is committed to promoting positive mental wellbeing, and we believe that supporting the mental health of our employees is key to our organisations’ success and sustainability.
“We want everyone at MetLife to have a role in building a safe and healthy environment and culture. 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.”
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 a variety of 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, award-winning 360Health program, an end-to-end health solution that includes tools, resources and information for holistic health management, and features Mental Health Assist, a fully digital mental health program for employees and customers.
The launch of MetLife’s mental health strategy comes just days after the organisation was shortlisted in the Mental Health Matters Awards for MetLife’s Crisis Call Management process and tool, launched in December 2020 in partnership with SuperFriend.
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* MetLife research conducted between 26 Aug – 11 Sept 2020 and included 339 employers and 1,037 employees.