Atradius rolls out mental health awareness initiative

Trade credit insurer Atradius has put in place a team of mental health first aiders. The 13-strong team at the firm’s headquarters have each received specialist training in mental health and employee wellbeing so they can spot the signs and symptoms of mental ill health issues.

Awareness of mental health in the workplace was emphasised following new guidance released by the HSE on Mental Health First Aid. In January 2019, MPs debated a parliamentary motion on updating health and safety legislation to put mental and physical first aid on equal footing in the workplace.

HR manager at Atradius, Anne Middleton said the insurer takes its responsibility in this area very seriously.

“As an employer, we have a responsibility for the health and wellbeing of our staff – something we take seriously. While it’s a legal requirement to have physical first aiders in the workplace, it is not currently compulsory to have mental health first aiders. However, mental health is an important part of an individual’s wellbeing and we want to ensure that the right support is there for our staff, whatever their problem.

The insurer also recently held a mental health awareness day to highlight some of the issues and to make colleagues aware of the changing attitudes to mental health. Regular monthly initiatives have been put in place to highlight the impact that poor mental health can have on wellbeing and a number of activities have been provided to support wellbeing.

Research by mental health charity Mind found one in five employees reported having called in sick to avoid stress at work. The HSE estimates that 15.4m working days are lost to work-related stress, depression or anxiety

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