Monday 31 October 2022: Bermuda-based Markel Bermuda Limited has long held that good mental health is vitally important. In fact, a gift from the insurance giant to Bermuda Hospitals Board’s (BHB) Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute (MWI) during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic helped improve MWI’s service offerings.
“The theme of World Mental Health Day, which was celebrated on 10 October, was Make Mental Health and Wellbeing for All a Bermuda Priority,” said Preston Swan, BHB acting chief operating officer and VP of MWI clinical operations.
“Markel Bermuda Limited’s donation to us certainly demonstrates that the company already has this firmly established in its culture. We not only thank them, but also salute them,” he added.
Markel Bermuda donated audio-visual equipment to MWI during the pandemic so treatment for clients requiring mental health services was not interrupted. The gift also allowed MWI inpatients to meet virtually with their families and loved ones.
“The equipment proved invaluable,” said Mr Swan. “It allowed our clients to interact virtually with their clinical teams. In fact, in many cases the virtual meetings were preferred by clients and have continued.”
“We recognise that for many, there is a stigma associated with physically attending MWI,” said BHB Chief of Psychiatry Dr Anna Neilson-Williams. “The Markel Bermuda gift gave our clients a choice in accessing our services. Being able to attend their sessions from their homes was a welcome change for many of them and in several instances boosted their spirits.
“This is particularly significant as clients were largely negatively impacted by the stresses of being in lockdown and the pandemic itself. That they were able to continue their therapies in that climate is important.
“Equally valuable was that our inpatients were able, thanks to the equipment, to maintain connections with their families and loved ones during the lockdown and post lockdown as, out of necessity, we reduced visitation considerably.
“And the equipment, although specifically intended for use during the pandemic, continues to benefit clients as we still use it,” she added.
“It is heartening to learn that our gift has had this impact on MWI clients and staff,” said Markel Bermuda Limited HR Business Partner Sarah Randall. “At Markel, we recognise the importance of proactively attending to our mental health and certainly ascribe to the theme set for Mental Health Awareness in Bermuda this year – Make Mental Health and Wellbeing for All a Bermuda Priority. We are pleased our gift has aided the community in this goal.”