'Mental health support is the number one most-asked-for area of support'

Virgin Pulse: winner of a silver medal at the 2023 HRD Service Provider Awards

'Mental health support is the number one most-asked-for area of support'

At Virgin Pulse, employees live by the motto of changing lives for good, says regional director, APAC, Hussein Hamka.

“We're all about driving health and behaviour change for employees around the globe,” he said.

The wellbeing solution company received the silver medal in the Corporate Health and Wellbeing category at the 2023 HRD Service Provider Awards. And Hamka sat down with HRDTV to discuss the prioritisation of mental health and the proactive measures it provides to drive employee wellbeing.

Mental health support

In the video interview, Hamka described the rise in the need for mental health support over the past five years.

“What we see is employees are struggling with mental ill health and that really comes out in various ways, whether it's stress, burnout, anxiety,” he told HRDTV.

He went on to discuss how the COVID pandemic also played a part in affecting employee mental health.

“People had to really find new routines in a way to actualise their health and the way they live,” he said. “And so what we've seen since then is a huge increase in mental health want and need.

“We know that employees look at their employer in the first instance for support. And so employers are actually being proactive and saying, ‘How can we help?’”

The most asked for area of support

From Virgin Pulse’s surveys internally, and through the industry, it has found that “mental health support is the number one most asked for area of support”, Hamka said.

“What we know is there's a need there, we know we have to do something about it,” he said. “When it comes to mental health as well, what we've realised is, of course, it's different for everyone.

“So when you come and work with us, it's important for us to help you identify what's your root cause, what are the true area? Things like cost of living, financial health, the big things at the moment – that can affect your mental health. And so by understanding and identifying that, we can actually support you through health literacy and behaviour change to build that area of health.”

Preventative measures for wellbeing

When asked about the proactive measures Virgin Pulse offers to drive employee wellbeing, Hamka said the first step was identifying the health of the individual.

“We essentially do that with a certified health risk assessment, which helps individuals understand their high, medium and low risks,” he said. “And of course, that self awareness then drives the ability for the individual to be mindful of what might be a health risk in the future, and start applying proactive and preventative measures through engaging in health literacy or behaviour change pieces.”

And when it comes to the key trends Hamka has noticed in wellbeing, he pointed to the focus on psychosocial risks.

Psychosocial hazards within the workplace and supporting individuals to be authentically themselves is a really big topic at the moment,” he said. “And organisations are really focusing on ways to make sure that every individual feels safe in the workplace.”

Recent articles & video

New business owner dismisses worker via phone call: Is it unfair dismissal?

Fired for 'disrespecting' co-workers? Chef cries unfair dismissal after walkout

Unemployment rate sees uptick to 3.8% in March: ABS

JCU confirms underpaying casual employees

Most Read Articles

WA introduces changes to long service leave regulations for local government workers

Remote worker speaks out about 'unfair dismissal'

Firm offers more leave days for in-office workers: reports