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AXA PPP targets link between mental and physical health

Insurer has teamed up with former rugby player Richie Norton

AXA PPP healthcare has launched a mental health initiative designed to close the gap between mental and physical health literacy and acceptance.

The insurer said Headstrong represents its commitment to promoting a “whole health” approach, raising awareness around the parity between mental and physical health and the need to see them as one. 

Tracy Garrad, AXA PPP healthcare’s chief executive, said mental illness and wellness has become a critical health fight for the UK.

“Headstrong is a stake in the ground for how we hope to evolve the national conversation around mental health by approaching our mental wellbeing as we would our physical health,” she explained.

Research suggests that despite the significant strides taken to address mental health, Brits remain more comfortable, literate and embracing of physical fitness than mental fitness.

Four in 10 British workers say fear for their job prospects or job security would stop them talking openly about a mental health problem. 

Dr Mark Winwood, director of psychological services at AXA PPP healthcare, said: “We talk about going to the gym, going for a run or attending an exercise class with pride, but as a society are reluctant to discuss how we keep our minds healthy, let alone how we approach mental illness.”

Created in partnership with former rugby player Richie Norton, founder of The Strength Temple, Headstrong aims to improve employee wellbeing, balancing physical and mental fitness with equal importance and highlighting how the connection between the two is.  Headstrong launches in Mental Health Awareness Week 2019 and will run throughout the year.