ITV Good Morning Britain: Employer prioritises the mental health of staff by paying for a mental health nurse as staff transition to working from home


A business headquartered in Worcester and with an office in the City of London is offering all of its 70 staff free mental health treatments every month from their own homes. The treatments are with a mental health nurse due to the staff transitioning to working from home because of the Coronavirus lockdown. 11 members of staff have accepted the caring offer to have mental health sessions via video or phone calls with the nurse, and the number is increasing weekly.


Staff have been invited to see mental health nurse Carie Workman and discuss anything they wish to. When making the booking, they do not need to say what their problem is in order to maintain confidentiality and to encourage staff to come forwards.


Founder and CEO of SJL Insurance Services, Simon Lancaster said: “Three weeks ago we arranged for nearly all 70 staff to work from home in response to the Coronavirus lockdown. I decided to keep the mental health service that we started offering last June, as opposed to cutting costs and abandoning it for now, because I think now more than ever it is needed given the massive environmental and lifestyle change during the Coronavirus lockdown. Fortunately, because people can now do video calls and mobile phone calls, staff are still able to have an almost identical service with a mental health nurse from their new home office.”


SJL Insurance Services account executive Ellie Bould said: “I thought that the mental health sessions that SJL Insurance Services were giving would stop when we started working from home and so I felt happy to see that instead of stopping them, they have just changed the format of them. It helps to speak to someone who is neutral yet professional, who can empathise with and understand my problems. There is such great camaraderie down at SJL Insurance Services that we all can’t wait to get back in the office and work side by side again and so for now these sessions are helping me enjoy working from home more.”


SJL Insurance Services team leader Dan Ingram said: “I don’t know of any other company that gives staff free sessions with a mental health nurse and for me it’s been invaluable being able to still access these sessions on a telephone call that I can still carry out in private. I’ve visited therapists before to manage my negative thinking patterns, despite all that is great in my life, but seeing the mental health nurse at SJL has changed my life for the better like never before.”


Carie Workman, mental health nurse at New Beginnings said: “SJL Insurance Services is the only employer that I know of that is giving free mental health sessions to staff during lockdown. SJL recognise and acknowledge the importance of continuing to support their staff’s mental health and wellbeing especially now more than ever due to the Covid-19 situation.


“It is a big change for many people, working from home, feeling isolated, missing staff morale and support from colleagues. This can have a negative impact on mental health and well-being.


“In providing professional support during this period it has helped staff to discuss their concerns, have coping skills and strategies put in place as well as feel listened to. Talking to a professional who is neutral, understanding, who can offer advice and support is extremely important for positive mental health and well-being.”


With an almost equal 50:50 split between female and male employees at SJL, the firm wants to help all staff. According to the Mental Health Foundation, in England, 75% of suicides are men, for whom suicide is the most common cause of death for males aged 20-49. Women are more likely than men to have a common mental health problem and are almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with anxiety disorders.

About SJL Insurance Services
SJL Insurance Services was established in 2001 and has gross written premiums of over £20 million per year. It is predominantly a commercial and business insurance broker, with some personal insurance clients. SJL Insurance Services’s headquarters are in Worcester, and it also has an office in the City of London. The Company is an official Lloyd’s of London broker, with clients across the UK and outside of the UK.


About New Beginnings
Carie Workman from New Beginnings is a Registered Mental Health Nurse as well as being a therapist, working with children, adolescents and adults. She is also trained in ADOS – Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, 3di- computerised interview covering all aspects of mental health, EMDR- Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing for PTSD, phobias, trauma, depression etc. Mindfulness and CBT/DBT. She runs her own private practise called New Beginning with a Consultant. Carie’s treatment rooms are in Cheltenham, Solihull and Knowle. Carie works with local businesses in supporting employees with their own mental wellbeing which has had a very positive effect within the workplace. Carie also works with private individuals in their own homes but not during the Coronavirus lockdown, so instead is offering sessions via video call or phone calls.


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