Press release 6 September 2023.
As World Suicide Prevention Day approaches, GRiD reminds employers that it is imperative to communicate support for mental health clearly and regularly, as employees need to be reminded that expert help is available should they need it.
It’s crucial that communication includes alerting employees to the availability of support and how to access it confidentially and independently, outside of office hours.
Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for GRiD, said: “Even the most comprehensive of employer support programmes for mental health issues will not save a life if it is not communicated regularly so staff know how to access it in their darkest hour.”
Types of employee support
While some employers may have specific suicide-prevention schemes in place or provide other bespoke support, most employers who offer group risk benefits (employer-sponsored life assurance, income protection and critical illness) are likely to find that they have a range of support included as standard.
This includes a wide and varied approach for the individual and the business, as Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) are usually embedded into the benefits, as is other mental health support, including early intervention, fast access to talking therapies, signposting to mental health first aid training, ongoing regular support and contact.
While suicide prevention may not be the primary reason for the purchase of employee benefits, the products and services have evolved to provide vital support for those employees who are suffering from stress, anxiety or depression. Employers have a duty to ensure they promote this aspect of their benefits packages so employees can access the support that’s been designed for them.
Sadly, the group risk industry knows just how serious an issue suicide is: data from GRiD’s Claims Survey 2023 shows that under Group Life Assurance policies, insurers paid 436 claims for suicide in 2022. While the financial support payable after a suicide is a help for a loved one’s dependants, employers have many powerful tools at their fingertips to help prevent these tragedies in the first place.
Katharine Moxham concluded: “I’m proud to represent an industry that offers such wide-ranging support to those struggling with their mental health. However, these measures have a limited chance of success if employees are not clear about what is available and how to access that support when they most need it.
“This World Suicide Prevention Day, where the theme is “creating hope through action”, we would encourage employers to act by taking the time to review their communications around mental health support, as it could genuinely save an employee’s life and help put them back on the road to recovery. Suicide is never an inevitability.”
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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 sector, promoting the value to UK businesses of providing financial protection for their staff, enhancing their well-being and improving employee engagement. Our membership includes insurers, reinsurers, intermediaries and those operating in (or with other interests in) the UK group risk market. Together this forms a collective wealth of experience built over many years. Under the chairmanship of Paul White (head of technical, Howden Employee Benefits & Wellbeing) 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