Innovating to redefine traditional employee benefits, Promoting all aspects of physical and mental wellbeing
The pace of life in Hong Kong is rapid, and work stress has become one of the biggest occupational health challenges faced by many professionals. In addition to affecting employees' physical and mental health, the World Economic Forum has estimated that mental health problems could cause about US$16 trillion in economic losses worldwide in 2030 . Given this, AXA Hong Kong is launching the “Mind Health” programme, the first employee mental health care scheme in Hong Kong. As part of its “payer-to-partner” commitment to customers, “Mind Health” also redefines traditional employee benefits with tailor-made initiatives for corporations to enhance workplace mental health, benefiting employees in a broad spectrum of ways through the programme.
At present, AXA Hong Kong is the only insurance company that includes mental health in its employee benefits programmes. The concept of "Mind Health" was conceived a year ago, and has since been piloting in six multinational companies. It is expected to be officially launched in January next year to all customers under AXA Hong Kong’s employee benefit programmes. The "Mind Health" programme provides comprehensive mental health support in three aspects, namely "education", "prevention" and "treatment" for employees with different needs, allowing them to enhance awareness, reduce stigma and build up resilience to foster better mental health.
Koh Yi Mien, Managing Director of Health and Employee Benefits of AXA Hong Kong, said, “Professionals in Hong Kong generally have an intensive working life, and surveys indicate that one-third of people have experienced mental health problems during their employment , and that companies often do not provide adequate support for such issues. Although mental health care has been incorporated into our current employee benefits programmes, prevention is far better than cure. We hope that AXA Hong Kong's breakthrough initiative will increase both employers’ and employees’ awareness of mental wellbeing, thus addressing the psychological needs of employees and improving the overall work productivity of companies in the long term, achieving a win-win situation.”
Currently, all of AXA Hong Kong's employee benefits programmes include psychiatric outpatient and inpatient care, whereas mental health care is an additional option to be subscribed. With the official launch of "Mind Health", employers will be able to add this programme for HK$25 per month (for each employee) on their new policy anniversary. Specialists will review the needs of individual companies and offer tailor-made programme content. Eligible employees will have free access to a range of digital tools including "Mood Gym", "Mental Health Guru" and "Smiling Mind", allowing them to conduct online learning and mindfulness exercises at any time and place. The Chinese versions of “Mood Gym” and “Mental Health Guru” will be ready in April next year.
Aside from online personal learning, AXA Hong Kong will arrange four mental health lunch and learn sessions a year for companies participating in the "Mind Health" programme. Clinical psychologists will conduct talks and exercises on mindfulness, as well as share real-life personal cases to encourage employees to communicate positivity so that mental health issues will no longer be a stigma. Employees can also seek help from an on-site life coaches for private guidance, or access the "Oxford VR" virtual reality treatment to handle their mental stresses more readily. If the employee is seriously troubled, AXA Hong Kong will first arrange an expert for assessment and speedily refer the case to a psychiatric clinic or psychology professional for follow-up.
 Survey by World Economic Forum 2019: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/01/lets-make-2019-the-year-we-take-action-on-mental-health/
 “Mental Health in the Workplace: survey of Hong Kong employees in professional service firm”, published by The City Mental Health Alliance in Jan 2019, revealed 37% of respondents had experienced mental health issue at workplace: