New Vhi Health Insights Report finds that Mindfulness can be effective in addressing Mental Health Issues

Low levels of life satisfaction suggest that mindfulness can help  employees cope within a demanding workplace

14th November 2018 – Vhi today published the second in a series of in-depth research reports into the health of Ireland’s corporate employees. The Vhi Health Insights report entitled A Route to Mindfulness: Finding the way to better health in the workplace, was commissioned to get a better understanding of what mindfulness is, as well as establishing the role that mindfulness can play as a therapeutic tool for corporate employees. It also aims to provide employers with a practical guide to effective implementation of the practice within the workplace. The report was overseen by an expert group (1) and the research was conducted by B&A(2).

This report was developed following the findings of earlier research carried out this year by Vhi which focused on mental health in the workplace. This report found that more than 60% of corporate employees considered mindfulness a highly effective method for dealing with mental health issues.

Other key findings included the following  

  • 23% of corporate employees are not satisfied with their work life balance
  • 75% of corporate employees report being too tired from work to do household jobs at least several times a month
  • 15% of corporate employees are extremely satisfied with their life as a whole
  • 18% of corporate employees have attended some form of mindfulness course in the past and more than 75% report the course had a positive impact on their   personal health and well-being
  • The proportion of corporate employees in Ireland claiming that work life balance issues occur at least several times a month is higher than the EU average
  • 21% of corporate employees are classified as within a ‘high stress group’ 

It also found that there were two reasons corporate employees are most likely to practice mindfulness, firstly  as a tool for learning to cope with life as a whole and secondly to deal with mental health issues.

Commenting on the report, Josephine Lynch, Director, Mindfulness Centre, Dublin and part of Vhi’s Expert Group said: “The research found that significant numbers of corporate employees are finding it increasingly difficult to balance work and life, manage stress and find satisfaction in their lives but a large number of corporate employees are open and willing to attend a mindfulness course and this is very encouraging.  Mindfulness can help anyone seeking an effective way to manage day to day life, however it is not a quick fix option and in order to fully benefit from it, practice must be delivered in a sustained and disciplined manner.”

Recommendations from Vhi’s Expert Group: 

The Vhi Expert Group made a series of recommendations in response to the findings. 

  • Understand the need for practice over an extended period;
  • Be aware that the meanings associated with the term ‘mindfulness’ have been blurred, and are, in some cases, contradictory
  • Within the workplace, Managers should complete a full mindfulness course prior to wider implementation.

Mr John O’Dwyer, Chief Executive, Vhi Group said: “As Ireland’s largest health insurer, Vhi is committed to deepening our knowledge of the challenges to health and wellbeing and exploring the most innovative and effective responses to those challenges. We have been offering a broad range of solutions for our corporate clients for many years to help support those in the workplace who are suffering from stress and other mental health issues.  Our research shows that young corporate   employees in particular are  under  significant strain and pressure in relation to health and wellbeing and we sought to clarify how  practicing mindfulness can help and  by  providing employers with a guide to effectively implement the practice in  the workplace.”

Vhi’s offers a range of services to corporate employees with a focus on emotional wellbeing, including an eight-week mindfulness programme. Through the implementation of its services, Vhi has observed many benefits to practising mindfulness, some of which include increased self-awareness, focus and emotional intelligence.

Today’s report is the second in a series of focused reports that Vhi will be releasing over the  coming months. The first Vhi Health Insights report, which focused on mental health in the workplace, was released in June 2018. The report identified that a high proportion of corporate employees in Ireland suffer from concerning levels of stress, anxiety and depression. The report also identified a lack of resilience amongst those under 34, while employees across all age groups expressed deep dissatisfaction with their lives.


Notes to Editor

(1) The Vhi Expert Panel are:

Rebecca Crane, Director, Bangor University Centre for Mindfulness Research, Wales; Richard Frost, Lead Mindful Employer Devon Partnership, NHS Trust; David Kavanagh, CEO, Mindlab; Josephine Lynch, Director, Mindfulness Centre, Dublin; and Maggie Richards, Meditation Teacher and Somatic Experiencing Trauma Therapist.

(2) Survey

The quantitative survey focused on those up to 45 years of age working in the corporate sector and included 301 employees from across all sectors who work in businesses of 100+ employees. The survey was conducted online via B&A’s own online consumer panel, Acumen.

About Vhi Group

Since 1957, Vhi has been helping people in Ireland to access the best value, quality private healthcare through its extensive range of diverse healthcare products and services.

With one million customers, they continue to be the market leader for health insurance in Ireland.

Their brand promise is 'When you need us, we're there' and this is true for practically every medical eventuality - whether you need cover for hospital treatment, daycare treatment, day-to-day