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News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

PAIG to launch mental health and wellbeing program for Pharma member companies

Health Industry Hub | May 18, 2020 |

The COVID-19 pandemic is leading to increased levels of stress, worry and anxiety. The associated uncertainty, disruption to usual routines, the need for working from home and self-isolation is having a significant impact on wellbeing and mental health.

In an interview with Health Industry Hub, Pharma Australia Inclusion Group (PAIG) co-chairs Lee Davelaar, Strategic Policy Manager at Pfizer, and Fiona Sheppard, Diversity & Inclusion Leader ANZ at Johnson & Johnson, discussed plans to bring forward PAIG’s mental health and wellbeing focus to assist member companies and their employees. PAIG is a special interest group of Medicines Australia with a vision to strengthen diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

PAIG aims to play an important role in helping organisations navigate mental health conversations in addition to its focus on flexible working, mindfulness and resilience training. The holistic approach to wellbeing seeks to enhance employees’ positive connection to their workplace and build a sense of purpose to drive engagement and productivity. The four components of a holistic approach to wellbeing include physical, financial, social and psychological / emotional.

PAIG is partnering with Willis Towers Watson to deliver a novel mental health and wellbeing program to PAIG member companies.

Ms Sheppard said “COVID-19 has brought the mental health and wellbeing conversation to the forefront. It has opened the door for us to have a platform to have those conversations. With the delivery of this program we need to acknowledge that each of the member organisations is in a different place in their employee wellbeing journey. The new program format will enable us to deliver content to more people by tailoring it to their needs.”

Mr Davelaar explained that the PAIG program will incorporate six modules over a fortnight. It has been adapted from a face to face delivery to an online format in line with the current COVID-19 environment. The updated program is a combination of short online sessions, podcasts, videos, self-learning and small group discussions to diversify content delivery and maximise employee engagement. It will also better support the member organisation with respect to where they are in their mental health and wellbeing journey with their employees.

PAIG was founded by Kirsten O’Doherty, former Vice President & General Manager of AbbVie ANZ, Melissa McGregor, former Managing Director of Pfizer ANZ and Kathy Connell, Senior Director, New Ventures of Johnson and Johnson Innovation.

PAIG member companies include MSD, Eli Lilly, AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, Takeda, Merck, Janssen, Amgen, Roche, Astellas, BMS, Gilead, Biogen, Novo Nordisk, Novartis, Pfizer and AbbVie.

In alignment with the Federal Government’s mental health initiative the #SelfcareInHealthcare campaign has been launched to encourage Pharma, Biotech and MedTech industry professionals to take action on mental health during COVID-19. LinkedIn post.


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