At Bupa Dental Care, we want our colleagues to feel as healthy as can be, both physically and mentally. This means letting you know what support is available to keep you feeling good on the inside, as well as the outside.
Awareness days like World Mental Health Day act as a reminder to make sure you’re looking after your mental wellbeing every day and ensure that you feel empowered to seek support if you need it.
We sat down with Chantelle Harris, a Reward Analyst in our Rewards and Benefits team, to find out more.
Can you talk us through some of the wellbeing benefits available to our employed colleagues?
“We have a great variety of wellbeing benefits available including our 24/7 Anytime HealthLine which is not just for when you are feeling unwell but if you would like advice on things like how to stay healthy or give up smoking. We have the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), a confidential, free service for you and your immediate family, providing up to six counselling sessions. We also offer a Family Mental HealthLine (a dedicated service to parents and carers), and our new cycle-to-work scheme is also available to all employed colleagues.”
We’re also delighted to offer our colleagues access to our fitness partner, Gympass. Gympass offers unlimited access to live-streamed group classes, 1-to-1 personal training sessions, a network of fitness providers and health and wellbeing apps, all with one single flexible membership.
Our Bupa Health Cash Plan allows you to claim money back towards some of your everyday healthcare expenses and our virtual GP benefit provides access to a GP online or via a mobile device, anywhere, anytime.
What financial support is available to BDC employees?
“I think our financial benefits are excellent! We have the Wagestream app which allows you to access part of your following months’ wages early – to save on using credit cards or loans. MyBupaExtras provides instant discounts on our everyday shopping, such as at supermarkets and on clothing, across hundreds of retailers. We offer Salary Finance which can assist our colleagues with paying off debts at an affordable rate, directly from their salary. Finally, our Employee Emergency Loans also help with any unexpected and significant expenses, and again, the EAP provides free financial coaching to all employed colleagues.”
Can you talk us through your favourite wellbeing benefit and why?
“Wagestream is absolutely my favourite benefit; I have used it before when my MOT was a lot higher than expected and it just meant I didn’t need to use a credit card. It gives me real peace of mind knowing that I have that option if I ever need it and it’s money I’ve earned rather than lending from another source.”
Any final thoughts on the importance of mental health awareness?
“I think it’s really important we take steps to take care of our own mental health without putting pressure on ourselves, whether for you that means a visit to the gym every morning or a bubble bath with a book every evening. It’s also important to speak up where possible and to keep those conversations flowing with colleagues, friends and family.”
Additionally, we have developed an employee wellbeing programme called Personal Energy. Holly Atyeo, HR Delivery Partner and Mental Health First Aider, shares more about the new initiative:
“Bupa has created a great employee wellbeing programme called ‘Personal Energy’. The Personal Energy programme can help individuals take control of their energy levels by keeping a good balance in life. The programme is about raising self-awareness and identifying a small number of key things to help individuals stay energised and on top of their game, both professionally and personally. If energy drops, other areas of life can suffer such as mood, relationships, wellbeing and happiness. There are regular personal energy sessions which are run by personal energy coaches; employees can sign up to these as and when they would like to.”
Claire Shields, Practice Manager at The Raglan Suite in Harrogate, is one of the many employees to have benefitted from our Employee Assistance Programme and Healthy Minds initiative. Following the Covid-19 pandemic, Claire noticed she was struggling with her mental health and shares her experience:
“All of a sudden, I just felt like things weren’t right, and with difficulties at home, I started to have some negative thoughts. I knew I needed to get help and I realised that because I work for Bupa, I could use the EAP to get some treatment.
Having reached out, I’ve had a number of therapy sessions and they have been so helpful. It’s provided me with ways to deal with the negative thoughts and also manage my anxiety, which means I’m in a much better place than I was six months ago.
There is often a lot of stigma with the word mental health, and at first I found it very difficult to use those words, but having had the therapy, I’m now confident and proud to share my experience. I’m always very open with my team, reminding them that they have access to these company benefits and that help is only a phone call away should they need it.”
Stress, anxiety and depression are some of the most common mental health conditions that frequently go undiagnosed. 1 in 6 people experience anxiety and depression in any given week in England(1). However, you’re not alone and support is out there.
It’s important to recognise when we aren’t quite feeling ourselves and need some help. We can also play an important role in supporting the people around us, like our colleagues, friends and family.
Some of the early signs of poor mental health can be:
For our colleagues, Bupa Dental Care has a range of services to help you manage your mental wellbeing. Check with your manager/HR representative to see what’s available to you.
1Mind, 2022. Mental health facts and statistics.