New support for whole health of globally mobile populations

Healthcare providers are treating the latest pandemic of stress and burnout with the launch of new products designed to support whole-employee health, whatever the individual’s location.

Happy professional man on headset and laptop
The growing numbers of international remote, hybrid and globally mobile employers are not immune from the health impacts of workplace stress. Global health service company Cigna’s 2021 study showed 89% of globally mobile employees suffered from workplace stress in the previous 12 months. 
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Filling the gap for globally mobile healthcare

The huge rise in international remote and hybrid work also brings it own wellness challenges – loneliness and the pressure to always be connected among them.Yet while over half (56%) of globally mobile employees look for mental health support from their employer, only 30% receive it.One in ten (12%) of globally mobile employees say their stress is unmanageable and 29% report physical symptoms, like headaches and stomach pains, due to workplace stress.The impact of workplace stress has prompted the CIPD to release new line manager guidance to help teams boost their resilience.In the global people context, new products and services are being developed by clinical experts to support multinationals and international organisations’ global workforce.Cigna has announced the launch of a new initiative aimed at multinationals and international organisations to help them support the mental health of their global workforce. It has been developed for employers to proactively support and address the full range of employee mental health challenges, from those who want to remain well during a crisis through to those with more severe conditions.

Being proactive about wellbeing support

The latest Marmot Review reaffirms the role of employers and businesses in supporting the health of their employees and local communities. It suggests that how a company embeds health and wellbeing support into its culture and practices could be given much more weight in ESG reporting, to the point of ESG becoming ESHG, such is the importance of health to individuals, communities and economies.Commenting on the need for the new whole-employee initiative for globally mobile workers, Arjan Toor, CEO at Cigna Europe, said: “Change is constant, and people have been adapting to all sorts of change since the beginning of time. However, while human resilience is built in, the last two years have been an unprecedented test of endurance, and many of us have had to find new ways to cope with life’s daily pressures. “Add to this the war in Ukraine, climate change and the cost of living crisis that can trigger anxiety, fear and overwhelm, and we can see the increased mental and psychological strain many are facing.“As the Whole Health partner of choice for many of the world’s crisis responders, international peace-keepers and global corporations, we have decades of experience of supporting people facing challenging and stressful situations, whether at home or on assignment.” 

A suite of health services to support the whole employee 

Cigna’s new services to support the whole globally mobile employee includes a breadth of products and services will allow employers to meet the needs of every type of employee – no matter where they are in the world and no matter where they are on their well-being journey, from local or globally mobile employees to professionals working for IGOs and NGOs. It includes:
  • Cigna cCBT, designed to help employees’ overcome barriers in personal and medical settings
  • Elevate, an extended clinical intervention programme designed to address the needs of participants with a formal diagnosis of depression or anxiety
  • EARP by Konterra, where international humanitarian staff receive tailored support through the Employee Assistance and Resilience Programme (EARP™)
  • Konterra Ad-Hoc Services, offering a range of tailored mental health and resilience services
  • IEAP, offering professional counselling, resources and information to help employees address short-term mental health issues caused by pressure at work or at home.
“We’re moving away from thinking about transactional healthcare,” continues Arjan Toor. “These new products and expanded services, our Whole Health ethos and preventative care approach will support employers to connect their people with the best care, at the right time, and in the right place – no matter what challenges they are faced with. With the right support, anyone with a mental or emotional health concern can still thrive”.Dr Peter Mills, Clinical Director at Cigna Europe, added: “Hypertension, heart attacks, strokes and weight gain are just some of the health concerns linked to mental health issues. The impact of poor mental health is significant but very often preventable, and recovery is possible for many people.“Employers should be focused on empowering employees to take a holistic and preventative approach, and developing a proactive mindset, when it comes to looking after their Whole Health. It’s not about getting employees back to physical well-being as soon as possible, it’s about creating healthy behaviours that can minimise the chance of physical or mental illnesses from occurring at all."

Read more about the Great Return and workplace wellbeing in the Spring 2022 issue of Think Global People.

To explore more widely the growing importance of wellbeing at work, why not join us on 9 June for the results of the Think Global People and Relocate Awards and the Future of Work Festival?

Read more global health and wellness news here.

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