Investing in mental health benefits us all


Investing time and money in mental health across the workplace is not just about return on investment, it’s simply the right thing to do. Bupa’s General Manager of Wellbeing and Safety, Chanel Nesci, writes that workplaces have a legal and moral responsibility to provide a safe place for employees.

Our mental health plays a vital role in the way we interact with the world and when our mental health suffers, it can impact every aspect of our lives, including our work. In my role, I’m passionate about investing in mental health and wellbeing which includes providing physically and psychologically healthy and safe environments for our people.  An effective approach to workplace mental health is unique to each organisation and their specific needs and risk profile. Our approach addresses promotion and prevention through to early intervention, recovery, and crisis management, with a focus on engagement and success measures. Our ‘returns’ are also demonstrated in many ways - which are sometimes not black and white.

To support health promotion, this year, we’ve invested in mental health by partnering with This Way Up to give each team member, and eligible health insurance customer, free access to an online mental health program. Eighty per cent of people who do an online program with TWU say they feel an improvement, as a result. While a focus on wellbeing and health promotion are important aspects of our approach, we emphasise that psychological health and safety is not about training people to be healthier, or more resilient - it’s about creating work environments and designing work that enables them to be the best version of themselves, to keep them physically and psychologically healthy and safe and also seeking their feedback about how to improve.

At Bupa, our Executive Leadership Team has supported a dedicated Psychological Health and Wellbeing team since 2016 and have a standing agenda item at their leadership meetings, to discuss mental health. This speaks to the commitment we have to our people in understanding any current and emerging issues, and prioritising solutions, with the decision makers.

Chanel Nesci, Bupa Psychological Health and Safety Leader and registered Psychologist

For me, good mental health means I can manage the challenges of life, while still being able to do the things I enjoy, work toward my goals, and feel a strong sense of purpose.

Chanel Nesci, Bupa Psychological Health and Safety Leader and registered Psychologist

For me personally, good mental health means that I can manage life’s challenges, while still being able to do the things I enjoy. This includes spending meaningful time with my family and feeling able to be really present, working towards accomplishing my goals, and feeling a strong sense of purpose. My work plays a big part in that, which is one reason why I am so motivated to help make work a great place for everyone. 

For workplaces and leaders who may be at different stages of the psychological health and safety journey - I know it’s not always easy. I do believe that we can all find small ways to be a part of the change, now more than ever before. If you don’t know where to start, reach out to a trusted Psychological Health and Safety specialist or service provider to help you out, because organisations must provide their people with a psychosocially safe place to work - and we all deserve that.