Case Study

Improving mental health awareness at a large commercial bank


A study by Deloitte reports an average return of £5 for every £1 invested in mental health.

Why invest in mental health?

Investment in employee mental health is good for business. Those companies that invest in the wellbeing of their staff see more engaged and happier employees who take less sick days and remain loyal to the business.

At the beginning of 2020, a study by Deloitte found that for every £1 employers spent on mental health interventions, they got back £5 in terms of less absence, reduced presenteeism and lower staff turnover rates.

Source: Mental health and employers: refreshing the case for investment, Deloitte 2020

The Challenge

Our brief was to help Scotiabank create better mental health awareness throughout their organisation. One of the main problems the business wanted to solve through our intervention was around the recognition of mental health problems in the first place.

“We wanted to help our line managers and senior managers be able to recognise when there are mental health issues showing within their teams,” says Lisa Syer, HR Director at Scotiabank.

“We needed them to be more aware if someone was in emotional distress or having some form of mental health issue,” she continues. “They also needed to have the skills to deal with any emotional issues, too, and we recognised that our managers needed mental health first aid training.”

“For instance, if an individual suddenly bursts into tears during an appraisal, we want the managers to have the confidence to reassure them, and signpost them to the best professional help if necessary.”

Our Solution

Following the initial ‘Lunch and Learn’ sessions we were asked to deliver five half-day workshops specifically on mental health first aid. Where the ‘Lunch and Learn’ sessions had been voluntary, attendance at these workshops was compulsory for all managers.

Along with these bespoke training sessions, designed to meet Scotiabank’s unique business challenges, Pinnacle Wellbeing Services created a mental health awareness and first aid booklet for managers to keep and refer back to. Scotiabank fed back that these were “a fantastic on-going resource”.

Syer adds “Our managers were reassured that they were not expected to become therapists, but that these workshops were designed to simply provide them with the skills and confidence to manage the process. They also learned how to be emotionally available, by not always rushing around and looking unapproachable.”


“Our managers are now far more present, which has created a much calmer and more open environment for everyone to work in, in the knowledge that any issues can be discussed with understanding and without judgement.”

Lisa Syer, HR Director at Scotiabank.

What did the client gain from this solution?
The ability to recognise the very first signs of mental health issues within their teams
Skills and tools to appropriately deal with emotional issues when they arise
Confidence and knowledge to signpost staff to the right professional help when needed

What would a great result look like for you?

Learn more about how our mental health awareness training can result in a more productive workforce for your business.