We launched our UK mental health and well-being employee network – WeMind – back in 2017. We caught up with Simone Mills, our Group Head of Design who also co-leads the WeMind Committee to hear what they’ve been up to and what they’ve got coming up for the rest of the year.
Firstly, what does the WeMind Committee do at Hiscox?
WeMind’s work is all about reducing stigma by improving education and mental health awareness, and promoting well-being through a programme of events and activities. This includes events such as expert external speakers and Q&A panels - and well-being activities such as Pilates, walk and talk clubs, running groups, and a gardening club. We also have a monthly newsletter that goes to all UK employees sharing real stories about mental health issues and educating on topics such as resilience, stress, anxiety and depression.
What’s been your personal highlight?
For me it has to be setting up the ‘walk and talk’ group in the London office. We lead fortnightly lunchtime walks, where employees are taken to and from nearby landmarks, to get away from their desk, get active, meet new people ... and talk! I’m the first person to stay at my desk and work through lunch, so this initiative is actually benefiting me, as well as many others.
I’m also extremely proud of the Committee introducing mental health awareness training for over 100 people managers, and providing mental health first aid training across our UK offices. We know the training has helped – we currently have 47 first aiders who have been called to assist with a small number of employees with stress, anxiety and sleep issues to name a few. To know that we are making a difference means everything to us.
What’s coming up next?
Lots! As well as more mental health awareness training and first aid training for staff, we’ll be continuing our well-being programme of activities with new events and newsletter updates. We tend to focus our activities around quarterly themes and we’ve got two more for this year – Healthy body, healthy mind which will see us host an event on sleep and It’s ok to not be ok which ties into Movember and Men’s Health Awareness Month. We’ve also secured access for staff to a suicide prevention webinar in aid of World Suicide Prevention Day. But our work doesn’t end there! Our intention is to make WeMind a global employee network, with assistance, guidance and support for all of our people no matter where they are in the world.