Press release 14 March 2017
Tragically, people are far more likely to die by suicide in the construction industry* than from falls. At a time when the sector needs as much support as possible for the mental health of their staff, Group Risk Development (GRiD) – the industry body for the group risk industry - wants to remind employers that support is available via Group Risk products to help their people at the most difficult times in their lives.
Many employees feel they can’t talk to their employer about their mental health, and this can be particularly true in male-dominated cultures such as building and construction. Employers too, don’t always know how to broach the topic or how to support good mental health in the workplace. However, support is accessible from Group Risk products (employer-sponsored life assurance, income protection and critical illness).
Key triggers that affect mental health can include worries about finances, relationships and feeling unable to cope. Support is available for all these areas. For instance:
- Employee Assistance Programmes are often attached to group risk products and offer employees access to professional counselling and practical advice and support, including issues such as debt management, relationship problems or health matters.
- Products that provide a level of financial support and that relieve money worries during times of long-term illness also provide rehabilitation support and help employees get back to health, reducing their time away from work and the associated impact on the employer.
- Even if an organisation limits who is covered by group risk products – for example, to a particular level of management – it is often the case that all employees can access the additional services, which can support and improve mental wellbeing across the entire organisation.
While suicide prevention may not usually be a primary reason for purchasing group risk products, the added-value services offered by insurers can be a great support for mental health. And while the financial provision available may be well understood, it is equally – if not more – important, that the extra support is also communicated to staff. Such support can be accessed even if a claim is never made, so all employees can benefit, and GRiD is urging employers in the construction industry to make use of it.
Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for GRiD said: “Often, individuals with suicidal feelings may think others would not understand their problems or feel unable to raise any issues with close family, friends or colleagues. Group risk support services could just provide that absolutely crucial support for someone in desperate need. We’re urging employers to not just implement group risk for their workforce and forget about it, but actively promote the benefits too.
“Some of these services could provide a vital lifeline for individuals who are having suicidal thoughts, have mental health problems or who are suffering with intolerable stress, anxiety or depression. Support is available and it’s important that all employees know it’s there and how to access it.”
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For further information please contact:
SMUK Marketing and PR
Mob: 07747 611773
Land: 01252 843350
Spokesperson for GRiD
Mob: 07887 512508
Notes for editors
Group Risk Development (GRiD) is the industry body for the group risk protection sector, promoting the value to UK businesses of providing financial protection for their staff, enhancing their wellbeing and improving employee engagement. Our membership includes insurers, reinsurers and intermediaries who have a collective wealth of experience built over years of operating in the group risk protection market. Under the chairmanship of Lee Lovett, CEO of Ellipse, GRiD aims to promote group risk through a collective voice to Government, policymakers, stakeholders and employers.
GRiD works with government departments and regulators involved in legislation and regulation affecting group risk benefits, and with other organisations involved in the benefits and financial protection arenas. GRiD also seeks to enhance the industry's standing by encouraging best practice and by participating in industry-wide initiatives such as the professional qualification in group risk managed jointly with the Chartered Insurance Institute.
GRiD’s media activity aims to generate a wider awareness and understanding of group risk products and their benefits for employers and employees.
GRiD's dedicated spokesperson, Katharine Moxham, provides expert media comment on a full range of group risk issues.
Follow Katharine Moxham on Twitter @KMoxham