A Partnership for Better Mental Health
I made a conscious choice 7 years ago to return to working directly in the public interest. That’s not to say that working for private organisations is bad, but I wanted to do more with my small contribution to humanity than simply enrich remote city shareholders. Although the work we do at Delt is not world changing, the work our customers and shareholders do is simply amazing.
The 17th edition of the Global Risks Report from the World Economic Forum looks at what people see as the biggest risks to health, happiness and our future as well as the rate of change in some of those risk areas.
When I was a child, well before the Good Friday agreement, the threat of terrorism was a constant, if slightly remote concern. Having lived through 9/11 in the US, being in the air at the time of the World Trade Centre attacks, terrorism and its consequences became very much front and centre. Working for the government, at the time, my car got searched for bombs every day as I went into the office. My team were responsible for opening all incoming mail in an airtight room to intercept any anthrax that had been mailed to us. Terrorism hasn’t gone away and the perception of its risk hasn’t changed all that much either. Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the level of concern about terrorism has risen by 1.6%.
Compare that to risk concern increasing around IT Infrastructure Breakdown at 2.4%, Technology Governance Failure at 4.5% or Adverse Tech Advances at 5.3% and I find surprisingly that being CEO for a Tech Company carries a greater weight of responsibility for perceived societal risks than domestic terrorism. Fortunately, any consideration of needing to change jobs is moderated by finding Mental Health Deterioration near the top of the list at a 23% increase. That’s really something to be worried about. I suspect everyone has seen evidence of this over Covid. Certainly, every employer has.
As a company we are investing even more than before in employee wellness, in mental health first aid and providing support wherever and however we can. In collaboration with Devon MIND we are hosting a series of lunchtime talks to help broaden awareness. However, the magic in Delt lies not so much in what we do, but in what our customers do. It is for this reason that I am so inspired by the work we are doing with Devon Partnership NHS Trust who deliver services that really matter to people with mental health and learning disability needs – in Devon, the wider South West region and nationally. Their 10 year plan and our ability to materially contribute to it, gives me confidence that whilst we might be small, our goals and impact have always been rightly big.
Giles Letheren, Chief Executive Officer