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Three year collaboration with Z Zurich Foundation & Zurich International promotes positive mental health & wellbeing in schools

December 6, 2021

Isle Listen – the leading mental health and wellbeing charitable initiative – is celebrating a very successful first year of a three year collaboration with the Z Zurich Foundation and Zurich International.

Despite the immense challenges caused by the pandemic, the ground-breaking program to promote positive mental health and wellbeing in schools across the Island has already reached out to more than 11,000 students in the last academic year via school assemblies, PSHE lessons and workshops.

Commenting on the success of the collaboration, Isle Listen Chief Executive Andrea Chambers said: “The pandemic has highlighted the importance of mental health. Through our joint drive with the Z Zurich Foundation and Zurich International, we have a shared ambitious objective to remove the stigma that surrounds mental health and to empower our Island’s young people with the skills to navigate 21st century life. The lasting impact is that young people with greater capacity for learning and emotional resilience will have improved transitions into the workplace.”

It is also providing additional benefits for Zurich International employees here on the Island. This includes training 12 employees as Mental Health First Aiders, one of whom is Head of Customer Services Daniel Pickering. “All of our Mental Health First Aiders come from a variety of roles,” he says, “and that means everyone in the business knows someone that they can approach if they need help. Before the training I wasn’t able to spot the slight changes in people’s behavior, or what it meant – but now I can. Being able to support colleagues and see the improvements in their mental health is very rewarding.”

Aalish Bridson, Strategic Assistant at Zurich International, says that having additional mental health and wellbeing support is a massive benefit to all the company’s Isle of Man employees. It’s good to know that there’s always someone there to talk to,” she says, “whether it’s an issue about work related stress, life stress or literally anything else. Knowing that there are colleagues who can understand what you are going through and signpost the most appropriate resource is invaluable, and I think more places should have a resource like that.”

Nigel Simpson, Head of International Markets at Zurich International and a member of the MCH Psychological Services board, the charity behind Isle Listen, said that Isle Listen and Zurich share the goal of removing the stigma surrounding mental health. He added: “Having conversations, both in the office and the community, about how to achieve that is really important to us and Isle Listen. That’s the main reason why we were supportive of this collaboration to improve mental health in the Isle of Man. There are still two years remaining in the program which is being supported by the Z Zurich Foundation and Zurich International, but in a challenging first 12 months the Isle Listen team have made a great start.”

The Z Zurich Foundation is a charitable foundation funded by various members of the Zurich Insurance Group [the global insurance business which includes Zurich International] and the main vehicle by which Zurich delivers on its global community investment strategy. Ruth Adamson, Z Zurich Foundation EMEA Regional Engagement Manager, commented: “Isle Listen’s aim for everyone here on the Island to feel emotionally empowered and effectively supported with their mental health is shared by the Z Zurich Foundation. We know there is a growing need to help children and young people – here on the Island and elsewhere – so Isle Listen’s vital work to reach out to school pupils and students is perfectly aligned to the Foundation’s broader objectives.”

Isle Listen hosted a presentation at the Manx Museum on November 25th to report on the impact its vital mental health support and education services are having in the Island’s schools, community and workplaces.

If you want to find out more about how your business could benefit from collaborating with Isle Listen, and in doing so support their vital work, then please email getinvolved@islelisten.im

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