Norwich Union Healthcare welcomes increase in counselling services

Article date: 12 March 2009

Norwich Union Healthcare welcomed the announcement made by the Government on Monday to bring forward plans to offer counselling for those facing unemployment, debts and relationship breakdowns due to the current economic climate.

Recent research by Norwich Union Healthcare is association with PPC Worldwide has shown that counselling dramatically increases the likelihood of someone remaining in work and returning following a period of absence. Only 0.5% of employees not working were considering returning at their first session, raising to 8% at their last counselling session with three quarters (74.7%) stating that the sessions had helped them improve their wellbeing.

Alex Marshall, national account manager for Norwich Union Occupational Health also believes that employers are in a great position to offer support: "It is absolutely key that as well as this increase in public services, employers help support employees and dependents through the various life events that they are having to deal with as a direct and / or indirect effect of the current economic climate. Support systems like Employee Assistance Programmes are a simple way to manage mental wellbeing and help employees take preventative action as well as providing advice on a whole host of areas such as financial worries, debt and redundancy."


For further information, please contact:
Amber Chable
Telephone: 02380 359383

Notes to editors:

About the research
PPC Worldwide conducted a total of 843 face to face referred cases which were dealt with over a 12 month period. Employees were asked whether they were at work, or planning to return.

A further study asked 1,300 employees who took part in face to face counselling how it had affected them.

About Norwich Union Healthcare
Norwich Union Healthcare was founded in 1990 as the healthcare arm of Norwich Union and now provides a range of private medical insurance, income protection, occupational health and group life products and services that cover over 2,400,000 lives. It is one of the largest providers of income protection and private medical insurance in the UK.

Norwich Union Occupation Health, a sister company of Norwich Union Healthcare, provides occupational health solutions and services to a wide range of industry sectors. By utilising their large fleet of purpose built mobile clinics and approved medical centres, staffed by a team of experienced occupational physicians and nursing staff, the services are designed to meet the individual needs of clients.

Norwich Union Healthcare is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority and is a member of the Association of British Insurers and the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Norwich Union's news releases and a selection of images are available from Aviva's internet press centre at

About Aviva
Aviva is Norwich Union's parent company. The global brand, Aviva plc, was launched in July 2002 as the new name for CGNU plc. A world leader in the provision of financial services, Aviva is the world's fifth-largest insurance group and the largest insurance services provider in the UK. They are one of the leading providers of life and pension products in Europe and are actively growing their long-term savings business in Europe, the Asia Pacific region and North America.

Aviva's main activities are long term savings, fund management and general insurance. With premium income and investment sales of £49.2 billion and £359 billion of assets under management, the group has more than 57,000 employees servicing the needs of 45 million customers in 27 countries around the world.

Aviva, as a member of the international business community, recognises its corporate social responsibility commitments in its various roles which include insurer, investor, employer and consumer. In 2007 Aviva invested over £6.75 million in numerous community and charitable activities worldwide.

From 1 June 2009, Norwich Union will be known as Aviva.

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