Hi Ruth, great to have you on board here at Neyber, tell us a little bit about your back ground.

I’m joining Neyber with over 15 years experience within the employee benefits and health & wellbeing industry. My experience involves setting up my own wellbeing consultancy, developing an in-depth understanding of employee wellbeing and the impact it has for organisations.

Alongside working with Neyber, I also work with The Counselling Foundation who provide counselling and counselling training for people with mental health issues. Bringing these two roles together seemed like the obvious choice for me.

Why now? Why do we need to be thinking about employee health and wellbeing, and in particular, financial wellbeing?

I have always been passionate about preventative health and living a balanced lifestyle. However, without access to the right tools and support this is hard for most to achieve.

In recent years I have seen many organisations start to put financial wellbeing and mental health at the top of their HR agenda, but it’s time for more movement.

With 5 million employees taking time off work each year, it’s reported 31% is due to a mental health issues. This staggering statistic is only set to grow with millennial's displaying the highest levels of anxiety, depression and thoughts of suicide of any generation.

95% of people with depression say they spend more when they are ill and people with financial difficulties are 4.5 times less likely to recover from mental ill health.

I believe that now is a great time to work with organisations to help deliver a holistic approach to financial, mental and physical wellbeing. Education and training is key to supporting a change in culture and breaking down stigma.

This week is mental health awareness week, what more can employers do to remove the stigma and support employees?

Mental health awareness week is a great time to get some focus on a much-deserved topic but employers need to make continued, consistent efforts to open conversations around mental health. For example, I’ve seen Senior Business Leaders share their struggles and stories to help break down the barriers. The more that employers can initiate conversation, and offer or implement support networks, then the closer we get to abolishing the taboo.

Employers who are committed to doing something to improve the mental health of their staff should sign the Time to Change Employer Pledge to start taking action. Time to Change work with over 700 employers across all sectors from FTSE 100 to local government, to develop action plans to get employees talking about mental health. Their plans include events, training and much more.

This sort of thing demonstrates a commitment to your employees and takes some much-needed positive steps towards being part of the solution.

How do your roles at Neyber and The Counselling Foundation work together?

I am excited to be working with both Neyber and The Counselling Foundation as both organisations are aligned with their mission to support communities and vulnerable people.

Supporting Neyber and their clients to address wellbeing issues and to work with the mental health charity to continue their valuable work is my own personal mission.

I am pleased to have joined such a creative, innovative and supportive organisation, helping people being at the heart of everything they do.

If you want to learn more about what steps you can take then sign up to our webinar with mental health expert, Ruth Hutchinson, and our financial wellbeing expert, Heidi Allan, on Thursday 17th May, from 11.00am to 11.30am:

Stress in the workplace: Hear how other organisations are building preventative campaigns & overcoming mental health stigma