Welcoming our newest Founding members

Published Wed, Sep 1, 2021

The Corporate Mental health Alliance Australia (CMHAA) might be a new organisation, but we are growing every day, and were delighted to recently welcome three new member organisations.
Welcoming our newest Founding members

We had originally planned an in-person event to welcome skin health specialist Galderma; IT consultancy Avanade; and health insurer nib Group (nib) but due to the current situation and ongoing social distancing restrictions, we adapted to the virtual and shared a morning tea on Microsoft Teams instead. Our new members said hello over a virtual cuppa and shared why they have joined and what they hope to get out of being part of the alliance.

Ercument (Arj) Ates, Managing Director of Galderma, decided to join the CMHAA to help remove the stigma associated with mental health. He felt that being a member of CMHAA allows Galderma to share insights and best practices with other companies. He noted mental health is said to affect 45% of Australians in their lifetime and costs Australian workplaces over $10b a year. Yet, many organisations are not equipped to respond or adapt to this rapidly evolving and growing challenge. “We want to actively make a difference,” said Arj, who has also joined the CMHAA’s board. “Not only in our own organisation but also in our community and for the 13 million workers in Australia.”

Avanade is also motivated by a determination to better support its employees “Over the past 18 months, we’ve experienced profound changes to our work and personal lives. Boundaries have blurred and we’re faced with additional pressures from isolation, managing home-schooling and concerns for job security – all of which have taken a toll on our mental health and wellbeing” said Mac Ghani, Avanade’s Global Growth & Strategy Executive who is based in Australia. “Here at Avanade, when the world changed overnight, we doubled down on our commitment to our people. We expanded our flexible working arrangements and remote capabilities to support our people and help them manage additional responsibilities at home.”

Through its membership of the alliance, Avanade hopes to raise awareness about the importance of mentally healthy workplaces, provide more tools and resources to support its people, and make a genuine human impact on the quality of life and wellbeing of Australians.

Sharing similar sentiment, Martin Adlington, Group Chief People Officer from nib said they joined the CMHAA to learn and grow. “I’m old enough to remember a time where it wasn’t okay to talk about mental health. But nib is all about making a difference,” explained Martin. “So, we want to use the capabilities of our organisation to make that difference and make it that little bit easier for folks going forward.”

He was proud for nib to be a founding member of the CMHAA. Coming together with leading organisations across the country to share resources and knowledge will allow nib to continue to deliver a mentally healthy workplace, seeking best-practice advice and examples that can apply in real-world scenarios to ensure the better health and wellbeing of their people.

He noted “While mental wellbeing has always been a priority, providing the right tools, technology and leadership to achieve cut through to our people is more important than ever as we embrace a new way of remote working, which we like to call ‘life at nib’.”

A deep-seated belief in the importance of workplaces supporting mental health is something shared by all the CMHAA’s members. We hope that by creating healthier, more inclusive workplaces for employees, this can have a ripple effect that will benefit every Australian in the workforce today. It’s an ambitious goal, which is why we couldn’t be happier to welcome our new members on deck.

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