Stories of our impact

Ending the silence on mental health

Helping our people get support when they need it

Speaking up and seeking help can often be the hardest step to take for people suffering with mental health issues. An estimated one in four adults have experienced a mental ill health in the past year – equivalent to 83 million people affected[1].

Our firm has a long-standing commitment to supporting our people with mental health issues, and we’re focusing on ensuring that we always provide a culture that allows them to talk about their health concerns openly while getting the help they need.

Breaking the stigma

In the Netherlands, one of our consultants, Katalijn Ritesma van Eck, took charge of breaking the stigma of mental ill health. With help from the Deloitte Impact Foundation, the not-for-profit organisation in the Netherlands that supports society projects, Katalijn teamed up with the Dutch suicide prevention organisation 113 (113Zelfmoordpreventie). She brought together ten multinational companies for a day at Deloitte’s Greenhouse to look at how to challenge the taboo around mental vulnerability in the workplace.

As a result of this session, the companies established the Corporate Depression and Suicide Prevention Network, or Cordesprit, whose aim is to break the stigma and prevent burn-out, depression and suicide. 113 Suicide Prevention has since hired former parliament member Mei Li Vos to take the network to the next level. Together, they have created a digital campaign to stimulate openness about vulnerability (How are you really doing?), organised interactive sessions for and with the members of the network and developed training and interventions on the topic.

Are you okay?

In the UK we’re seeing great progress in challenging the stigma that so often surrounds mental ill health. This has in large part been driven by the efforts of organisations such as Heads Together, Mind and the City Mental Health Alliance.

In 2018, we achieved silver in Mind’s Workplace Wellbeing Index for the second year in a row and were able to improve on our scores from the previous year through targeted actions. These included working with Mental Health First Aid England to design a four-hour mental health first aid workshop. Over 530 of our most senior leaders have been trained to spot the signs of poor mental health, and have the skills to initiate a safe conversation with our affected professionals while signposting available mental health support.

Just as critical, we’re encouraging our people to feel confident about speaking openly on mental health. Our ongoing “This is me” campaign in the UK is a series of videos featuring our people sharing their stories and talking about how they sought help. Our “Are you okay?” campaign, launched this year, is focused on encouraging mental health conversations at all levels, with an emphasis on how to spot the signs that someone is struggling, initiate a safe conversation, and signpost to the support available.

Across NWE we’re working to promote positive mental health. We hope that by focusing our efforts on supporting our people to find the help they need, when they need it, it will be easier to speak up and seek help.

Healthy body, healthy mind

Health and wellbeing are at the core of Deloitte and our Belgium teams have launched exciting initiatives to promote an active and healthy lifestyle.

Energise@Deloitte is a wide-ranging programme consisting of an online platform with activity trackers, sports events, ambassadors and office activities. It’s designed to improve the health and wellbeing of the firm’s professionals, regardless of their goals or fitness level, and combines with the firm’s Culture@Deloitte, which promotes attendance at events, from music to art house films.

The firm also gained special mention in the ‘Wellness’ category of CBRE’s Office Space of the Year, a national contest aimed at rewarding the best workplace in Belgium. CBRE, the global commercial real estate firm, recognised our Gateway building in Brussels for the importance of its light and green space , clean and flexible desk policies, and the on-site gym and relaxation areas for everyone to use.

An holistic approach

Encouraging positive mental health can take many forms, including open conversations, offering support to those who need it and ensuring the workplace is a positive environment that promotes wellbeing. Our NWE network is proud of the success so far and will continue its efforts so everyone feels supported with their mental health, both inside and outside of work.

[1] Figures from the World Health Organisation Regional Europe


Will Black

HR, Talent and Restructuring Public Relations Manager

+44 (0)20 7007 8242

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