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GRiD research: mental health support from employers is the priority for employees

Press release 7 October 2020.

World Mental Health Day – 10 October 2020

Out of the four key pillars of wellbeing (mental, financial, physical and social), mental wellbeing is the number one priority that employees believe their employer should be responsible for supporting, with half (49%) of employees choosing this over the other areas of wellbeing, shows research* from GRiD, the group risk industry body.

And when asked about which area of wellbeing the individual employee would most like to have support for, mental wellbeing was again the top priority, with a third (34%) choosing this over the other areas.

Whilst the research shows a clear desire for mental health support over and above other areas of wellbeing, a significant number of employees also want their employer to provide financial (29%), physical (22%) and social (16%) wellbeing support too. Of course, all of these areas affect mental health, so help in any of these areas will have a knock-on effect of supporting mental wellbeing too.

For many, the first port of call for mental health support will be the NHS, but with the pressures the NHS faces, employees are likely to have to wait a long time to get the help they need. When people have mental health challenges, it’s imperative that they get help as quickly as possible to improve outcomes.

Employees are clearly looking to their employer for support, and although supporting mental health is rising to the top of the corporate agenda, many employers may be at a loss as to how to go about doing this, or feel they need to set aside a huge fund. However, there is a wealth of support at their fingertips within group risk benefits (employer-sponsored life assurance, income protection and critical illness), and these frequently come with embedded support, including fast-track access to professional mental health support, at no extra cost.

Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for GRiD, says: “Accessing mental health support independently is a minefield given the practical difficulties people face in gaining access to the right kind of help for them, and funding support privately can be prohibitively expensive. The theme of this year’s World Mental Health Day is ‘Mental Health for All’ and calls for greater investment, but that investment may not have to be as significant as many employers think.

“Employers would do well to look at the mental health support that’s included within their group risk purchase (such as access to an Employee Assistance Programme, fast access to talking therapies, apps for managing mental health and more). Accessing the mental health support that’s fully funded by group risk providers, not only saves time and cost, but most importantly, lives.”

Mental ill health was the second main cause of claim under group income protection policies in 2019, clearly demonstrating the value that many employers and employees receive for mental health from group risk.

 Mental health issues are as varied as physical conditions. Whilst each condition can differ in severity from person to person, the acuteness of the illness depends on a number of factors and comes in many shapes and forms, from mild anxiety to severe psychotic episodes. As such, various types of support may be required and this can include providing access to therapy, treatment and counselling.

Employers who make good use of group risk embedded mental health support can meet their employees’ expectations and help them on their journey back to good mental health.


*Research undertaken by Opinium on behalf of GRiD amongst 1,165 employees between 24 and 28 January 2020.

Employee research:

Which, if any, of the following, do you feel it’s the responsibility of your employer to provide support for? Please select all that apply.



Base Size: All Workers


Social wellbeing, for instance, encouraging social connections, supporting my sense of belonging, giving me the flexibility to do things I enjoy as well as working

27 %


Physical wellbeing, for instance, access to physio and rehabilitation

32 %


Financial wellbeing, for instance financial support if I’m unable to work long-term through ill-health, disability or injury

36 %


Mental wellbeing, for instance with access to counselling, mental health first aiders within your company

49 %


None of these

30 %



What is your top priority of what you would like to be supported with, from your employer?



Base Size: All Workers


My mental wellbeing

34 %


My financial wellbeing

29 %


My physical wellbeing

22 %


My social wellbeing (e.g. encouraging social connections, supporting your sense of belonging, giving you time to do things you want to do)

16 %



For further information please contact:

Sharon Mason 
SMUK Marketing and PR 
Mob: 07747 611773
Land: 01252 843350

Katharine Moxham
Spokesperson for GRiD
Mob: 07887 512508

Notes for editors

About GRiD

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 Steve Bridger (MD Group Protection, Corporate, Aviva UK Insurance) 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


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