Editorial – 1 October 2020

World Mental Health Day 2020 is just over a week away, on Saturday 10 October. The date marks a significant opportunity for people to take stock of how important caring for our mental health is, especially in the year that the world faces COVID-19. According to the World Health Organisation, given past experience of global health emergencies, it is expected that the need for mental health and psychosocial support will substantially increase in the months and years to come.

Now, more than ever, with the ongoing uncertainties of the health and economic crises, governments, employers and individuals alike must make mental health a priority. Claire Farrow outlines great free resources anyone can use to promote participation in this year’s World Mental Health Day, but which are especially useful for employers.

And you can find out some of the most innovative ways global employers are supporting the mental health of their workforces in 2020 by attending our global digital Make a Difference events series happening in the next 45 days across three countries. MAD World Summit UK takes place 8 October, Make a Difference Summit US in association with Mind Share Partners happens on 15 October and Make a Difference Summit Asia happens on 11 November.

Dan Willis, co-founder of Well Good argues that the traditional approaches to supporting mental health in companies are becoming less effective in 2020, given the unprecedented challenges they’re facing. He stresses the need for leaders to be innovative in the support they offer and the importance ongoing data collection plays in ensuring the impact amongst staff. You can learn more from Dan at the Exhibitor Showcase at MAD World Summit on 8 October.

We know that one of the most effective ways a company can help raise awareness and break stigma around mental health is for leaders to share their own personal experiences. Make a Difference Summit US speaker Dr. Ollie Malone, VP of Human Resources for Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, shares about the impact this has made toward the success of their mental health strategy.

In a MAD World Summit speaker preview interview, Rachael Davidson, Chief Counsel at National Grid Ventures, emphasises the importance of manager commitment and compassionate leadership to successfully support staff mental health and wellbeing through the COVID-19 crisis.

Jan Gerding, Bosch Nordics’ HR Director reveals the most successful elements of their trailblazing wellbeing programme, in place since 2006, which have focused on support around stress management and ongoing education and awareness raising campaigns to help break mental health stigma.

There is a lot to learn from a company which has prioritised employee wellness for 100 years. In this Make a Difference Summit US preview interview, Director of Behavioural Health for American Express’ Healthy Minds programme, Dr. Charles Lattarulo gives insights into the key initiatives which have been most supportive for staff through COVID-19.

Finally, Make a Difference Asia’s Cheryl Liew gives a sneak peak into the agenda for the 11 November event, which will feature a very impressive line up of C-Suite leaders from across the region!

We hope you find this week’s issue enjoyable and valuable!

Well wishes,
Heather Kelly
Online Editor, Make a Difference News


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