Headstrong campaign to help UK business improve mental health in the workplace
AXA PPP healthcare has teamed up with a former rugby player to raise awareness around the need to treat mental and physical health as combined.
The Headstrong campaign, which adopts a ‘whole health' approach to mind and body, has been created in partnership with Richie Norton.
Known for his own personal battles with mental health challenges following the end of his rugby career, Norton is now a health and wellness expert and founder of The Strength Temple.
The initiative, which will run throughout the year and launched for Mental Health Awareness Week, promotes a ‘complete health' ethos hinged on tools and approaches to balancing and connecting physical and mental fitness.
"Physical and mental health are two parts of one whole," said Richie Norton. "Our mental wellbeing is so crucial to how we navigate life and the inevitable challenges we all face but few of us approach mental fitness in the same way we do diet or exercise. The mental assault course that is daily life is not categorised in the same way tough-mudder or boot camp might be, neither is the way we approach mental health or how we celebrate the victories that come with achievement in that space.
"Working with AXA on Headstrong is incredibly important work for me, giving people the tools to help themselves at their own pace and on their own terms as part of a single mental and physical health approach. A healthy body is lost without a healthy mind and vice versa. We're aiming to change the nation's mindset around health, getting them talking about and interacting with mental and physical health as a complete concept."
‘Stake in the ground'
Dr Mark Winwood, director of psychological services at AXA PPP healthcare, added: "Despite the attitudinal shifts around mental health we still have a long way to go when it comes to normalising the topic. Mental health is often excluded from regular conversation where physical health is a common topic. 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."
"We're delighted to be launching Headstrong this week," said Tracy Garrad, CEO, AXA PPP. "We see it as a statement of intent and the first step in an important direction. 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."
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