A ‘Check In’ service has been launched by Cigna Europe which includes a series of tools and “how-to-guides” to help workers and employers support each other during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
The new campaign, which is being supported by former Special Forces solider and Channel 4’s SAS Who Dares Wins Officer, Ollie Ollerton, encourages the public to perform ‘Stress Care Check-ins’, while raising awareness about the signs and symptoms of stress to help others provide support.
It will also educate company leaders and HR directors on how to support employees’ mental health and wellbeing and encourage a ‘check-in’ culture in their team.
The launch of the campaign follows new figures from Cigna’s COVID-19 Global Impact Study.
The insurer and healthcare provider has engaged over 13,000 people across 11 key markets including the UK.
The latest research – conducted in June – found that more than sevem in 10 (73%) people in the UK are currently stressed. Nearly one in three (32%) say finances are the primary cause of stress, followed by family (16%) then health concerns (14%).
More than half (51%) have noticed stress symptoms with a spouse or partner, with mental symptoms (32%) being the main indicator, followed by a loss of interest (25%) and productivity/concentration and/or physical symptoms (20%).
The study also found that almost half (48%) of Brits feel that they lack companionship and 56% feel that no one really knows them well, 28% do not feel that they have people they can talk to, and almost a quarter (24%) do not feel there are people they can turn to. One in five Brits (20%) do not expect life to ever return to normal.
Arjan Toor, CEO of Cigna Europe, said: “COVID-19 has changed the world. Change isn’t always good and is one of the biggest causes of stress. This extraordinary experience continues to impact us in ways we might not even realise, and it’s vital that we recognise the psychological impact this can have.
“We continue to face anxiety about life after lockdown, continued remote working and the social isolation it brings, not to mention the day-to-day financial worries and stress people have as we navigate our new ‘norm’.”
Toor said that the Cigna research shows that “checking in” with family, friends, neighbours and colleagues has helped stop stress levels from escalating during the crisis.
He added: “Our ‘check-in’ hacks will help educate and empower Brits on how to spot the signs if someone is needing support and teach them basic techniques to help one another. Cigna is committed to protecting the health, wellbeing and peace of mind of those we serve, and would urge people and businesses to treat this as seriously as they would basic first aid or mental health first aid and adopt a ‘Stress Care Check-in as company practice going forward.”