How a brave customer made us break a global taboo

Photo: Are Næsset

We were intrigued when a global customer asked for our help with an internal campaign to create more awareness and openness around mental health. Together, we found a new way to communicate an important message in a way that made a global impact.

Scatec is a leading renewable power producer, with around 700 employees representing almost 50 nationalities in 23 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia and South America. The company’s ambitions with regard to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging definitively transcend borders.  

Needed expert assistance 

– We wanted to create awareness, reduce stigma, and contribute to better mental health and psychological safety at work through an internal campaign. We reached out to If Insurance to get expert assistance.

Psychological help is included in Scatec employees’ health insurance, and we wanted to see whether If could contribute to improving awareness for all our employees globally, explains Marianne Carpenter, who is Global Lead for Learning & Development at Scatec. 

It’s been a pleasant surprise to work with a supplier who wants more and dares to think outside the box.

Marianne Carpenter, Global Lead for Learning & Development, Scatec

Carpenter was responsible for the campaign together with her colleague Raquel Araujo, who is Senior Communications and Public Affairs Manager.  

– We wanted to merge awareness, personal narratives and a resources hub, creating a robust support network crafted by our own colleagues. Our top management were personally involved in the initiative, with one of our leaders courageously sharing his personal mental health journey, affirms Raquel Araujo.  

Driven by heartfelt motivation 

The request to If’s underwriter Janne Moen was the start of an exciting collaboration involving Thomas Tobro Wøien, who is chief psychologist at If Insurance. 

– The request was unusual, but we were touched by its heartfelt motivation: to remove the stigma and help employees to strengthen their mental health. We know that mental health problems are the second biggest cause of sickness absence from work in the Nordic countries. It has been educational for both parts, Thomas reveals. 

Livestreaming and local discussions 

If produced two webinars for Scatec – one for line managers on how to increase psychological safety and support their employees, and one for employees on how to cope with mental health challenges and how they can support each other at work. 

– The campaign ran for one month, with a variety of activities in multiple channels. With If involved, we started off with a masterclass for line managers. Then we livestreamed a learn@lunch session for all employees, which was followed by local discussions, explains Marianne. 

Mental health affects everyone  

Feedback from positively surprised managers and employees all over the world reveals that taboos were broken.  

– It is quite common to talk about mental health in the Nordic countries and in parts of Europe. In other parts of the world, however, there is a stigma attached to mental health and it remains a taboo subject. We have been told that it was mind-blowing to have an expert talk about mental health in the same terms as physical health – as something that we all have and that needs to be taken care of. If’s expert was mindful of speaking in simple terms, and thereby demystifying mental health, which proved to be a key to success, Raquel says. 

Empowering employees 

If’s chief psychologist is impressed by Scatec’s dedication. 
– Scatec produces power, but they also empower their employees. Their systematic approach to preventive mental health and creating a workplace with psychological safety is a great example to follow. Leaders sharing their stories reinforces the message, breaks down barriers, and makes it easier for others to come forward and show their own vulnerability, says Thomas Tobro Wøien. 

If’s underwriter Janne Moen agrees: 
– This is a unique pilot project, and it is also a perfect way for us to learn more about the needs of our industrial customers, she says. 

If collects such experiences in a learning hub for our customers, to help even more companies and employees.  


  • In the Nordic countries, mental health problems are the second biggest cause of sickness absence from work.  
  • Work is good for our mental health. It provides us with a daily structure and a sense of belonging.  
  • For common mental problems such as anxiety and depression, staying at work with support could be an important part of the recovery process. 
  • Psychological safety contributes to more productive teams and more engagement.  
  • Psychological safety is associated with better mental health, less perceived stress and fewer sick days.