Today, on the eve of World Mental Health Day, AXON’s Managing Partner, Miranda Dini, signed the Time to Change Employer Pledge, reinforcing the agency’s commitment towards ending the stigma around mental health in the workplace. The pledge is supported by a comprehensive Time to Change Employer Action Plan, which will be implemented in an effort to positively impact the way that AXON staff think and act about mental health in the workplace.
“As a communications agency dedicated to driving conversation around healthcare topics, it’s vitally important that we look internally as well as externally when it comes to health and wellness,” Dini said. “By signing the Time to Change Employer Pledge, we are deepening our commitment to our team here at AXON by building on our established wellbeing programme and extending our mental health training, support and information to promote openness around mental health.”
To qualify to sign the pledge, AXON developed a robust Time to Change Employer Action Plan that complements and enhances the agency’s extensive health and wellbeing benefits and programmes that are already in place. These include a broad spectrum of offerings, such as an annual wellness benefit, flexible working, and mindfulness classes, a Wellbeing Wednesday information and speaker programme, and support for charitable and awareness activities, among others.
AXON’s Time to Change plan includes important activities such as the development of robust mental health training for senior leaders and line managers, the rollout of wellness action plans, awareness-raising events and information, signposting to resources, and helping provide additional clarity around how to seek help should an employee be experiencing mental ill health. AXON will work to tailor and deliver these important activities by drawing on employee input via focus groups and suggestions.
“We believe that all health – whether physical or mental – should be treated with equal emphasis. We know that creating a safe space where people can openly discuss mental health challenges is something that requires ongoing effort and action, and the pledge is our way of re-affirming our commitment and helping to move the needle further towards our aim, ” said Elisabeth Mozel-Jury, a Director at AXON, and lead of the agency’s Wellbeing Programme. “We are looking forward to drawing on the Time to Change network and learning from others involved in this important social movement, as well as engaging our employees in our action plan to ensure we are working in ways that are most relevant and helpful for them.”
Today, AXON joins nearly 1,400 organisations, employing more than 2 million people, which have signed the Time to Change Employer Pledge to date. The AXON pledge signing took place at a dedicated Wellbeing Wednesday staff event, where senior leaders discussed the pledge and its importance to them personally and in the workplace, as well as sharing their personal reasons why they are passionate about reducing the stigma around mental health. AXON sister agency Madano also signed the pledge today, demonstrating its shared interest in, and commitment to, the initiative and its goals.
“By signing the pledge, AXON is demonstrating a real commitment to changing the way we all think and act about mental health in the workplace,” said Jo Loughran, Director of Time to Change. “We know it can be hard to talk about mental health, which is why we work with employers to encourage staff at all levels to open up; to talk and to listen. Too many people with mental health problems are made to feel isolated, ashamed and worthless, but with the right support, those of us with mental health problems can recover and have equal opportunities in all areas of life. Everyone’s attitude makes a difference and it’s fantastic to see organisations like AXON taking the lead.”
AXON and Wellbeing
At AXON, we believe that when people and organisations can speak openly about mental health, we can help to reduce stigma and to better support those in need. In 2018, AXON launched a formal Wellbeing Programme with its goal ‘to support employees in positively managing their own wellbeing and helping them understand how they can positively influence the wellbeing of others’. Alongside this, AXON invested in several employees gaining an accreditation from Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England as MHFA Champions, who are empowered to support colleagues’ positive wellbeing and to signpost employees and managers towards further specialised support. Earlier this year, AXON received the Excellence in Wellbeing recognition from Great Place to Work®.
Time to Change
Time to Change is a campaign to change how we all think and act about mental health problems, led by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness. It is funded by the Department of Health & Social Care, Comic Relief and the National Lottery Community Fund. Set up to create a positive shift in public attitudes towards mental health problems, Time to Change supports communities, schools and workplaces to open up to mental health problems; to talk and to listen. For more information go to www.time-to-change.org.uk.
At AXON, we simplify complex information to improve outcomes in healthcare, bringing together the right people with the right expertise to provide our clients with integrated, multichannel communications solutions. As an agency, we are passionate about healthcare communications and combine a personal touch with professionalism. Our expertise includes medical communications, public relations, clinical trial services and market access communications for pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device, animal health and functional food companies. AXON has an international reach, with offices in London, New York, Toronto, Copenhagen, Zug (Switzerland) and Brighton, and a worldwide affiliate network. Established in 2002, AXON is an AVENIR GLOBAL company.