14 March 2017 ,  —


International SOS Partners with Workplace Options to Offer Emotional Support and Wellness Solutions with its Integrated Medical & Travel Security Risk Mitigation Services

As mental health in the workplace rises on the corporate agenda, it is increasingly important for organisations to consider the well-being of their mobile workforce.   Accounting for over 38% of the total global workforce1, pressures can be particularly acute on individuals on both short and long term assignments.  In the UK alone, 11.5m working days were lost due to work related stress, depression or anxiety in 2015/16 and accounted for 37% of all work related ill health cases and 45% of all working days lost2

mental health picture main

In response to this growing need, International SOS, the world’s leading medical and travel security risk services company, has partnered with Workplace Options (WPO), to provide a seamless service of rapid response psychological support where it is needed, alongside its health and security advice and on the ground support prior to and during a business trip or expatriation.  The global short term counselling service is also extended to managers, local employees and families and can be provided in over 60 languages. 

Neil Nerwich, Group Medical Director of Assistance at International SOS comments, ‘Whether caught in a security incident, working off-shore for weeks, or the pressure of heightened travel and security risks3, the stresses on a mobile workforce can be great and varied. To fully support our clients and their mobile workforce, we recognised the importance of being able to provide seamless access to emotional and mental wellbeing support, alongside our health and security risk management expertise.  By partnering with WPO to offer a global programme, we are now able to quickly provide appropriate counselling which can support the traveller and manager when needed, and prevent longer term effects.’  

Dean Debnam, CEO, Workplace Options comments, ‘Rapid response psychological support is proven to decrease the potential psychological impact and improve recovery times, whether following on from a traumatic incident or a quick response to everyday stress.  Providing a mobile worker, or impacted individual, with a smooth transition into counseling support will ensure the fastest possible assessment and treatment. All clinical calls begin with an assessment, which determines appropriate intervention and therapy concentrates on helping individuals identify the skills, strengths and resources that are already present and moves them towards a solution.”

The counselling method is tailored to a mobile workforce: phone, videocall or face to face with support in over 60 languages. The assessment covers the presenting issue, supporting problems, support systems, coping strategies, background information, and a risk assessment and the outcome is a plan that covers the short-term focus including goals agreed upon with the participant.  

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Notes to Editors:

Please click here for an Emotional Support case study.

Emotional Support provides the following benefits:

Stress impacts Business Continuity

Exposure to new environments, minor medical conditions or simply being too far from loved ones can impact your mobile workforce.  These events trigger stress and anxiety.  This can lead to distraction, business disruption or even something more serious.

Peace of Mind

In times of stress or anxiety, your workforce needs professional emotional support often and at short notice, and in their native language.  Timely support can make the difference between controlling a situation and an event becoming out of control.  Easy access to services through a single point of contact helps your people make the right decisions at a critical time.

Wellbeing – Wherever, Whenever

Our short term counselling support services assist your people with the psychological issues, whenever, wherever.  Your mobile workforce may have their medical, safety and emotional needs addressed by a single incident manager, in a holistic way via a single assistance number. 

About International SOS

International SOS is the world’s leading medical and travel security risk services company. We care for clients across the globe, from more than 1000 locations in 90 countries.

Our expertise is unique: More than 11,000 employees are led by 1,400 doctors and 200 security specialists. Teams work night and day to protect our members. 

We pioneer a range of preventive programmes strengthened by our in-country expertise. We deliver unrivalled emergency assistance during critical illness, accident or civil unrest. 

We are passionate about helping clients put Duty of Care into practice. With us, multinational corporate clients, governments and NGOs can mitigate risks for their people working remotely or overseas.

Who we are, infographic

About Workplace Options:
Workplace Options helps employees balance their work, family and personal needs to become healthier, happier and more productive, both personally and professionally. The company’s world-class employee support, effectiveness and well-being services provide information, resources, referrals and consultation on a variety of issues ranging from dependent care and stress management to clinical services and wellness programs.
Drawing from an international network of credentialed providers and professionals, Workplace Options is the world’s largest integrated employee support and work-life services provider.  Service centres in the US, UK, UAE, Ireland, Portugal, Belgium, France, Canada, Singapore, Japan, India and Indonesia support more than 53 million employees in over 78,000 organisations, across more than 200 countries and territories.  To learn more, visit

The global mobile workforce is set to increase from 1.45 billion in 2016, accounting for 38.8% of the global workforce, to 1.87 billion in 2022, accounting for 42.5% of the global workforce, Strategy Analytics ‘Global Mobile Workforce Forecast Update 2016-2022’
Health & Safety Executive ‘Work Related Stress, Anxiety and Depression Statistics in Great Britain 2016’ 
International Travel: Risks & Realities: The New Normal for Business, an Ipsos MORI research study conducted among 1,119 business decision makers across 75 countries.  Research was conducted online using representative panels in the period October 6 to October 26 2016.