Cbus Super chief executive David Atkin will replace retiring REST Industry Super chief Damian Hill as SuperFriend chair.

SuperFriend is a not-for-profit mental health foundation, funded by superannuation funds and group insurers, focused on helping employers implement workplace practices that reduce the incidence of suicide and the impact of mental illness.

Mental health-related claims are a large and growing component of the costs associated with the default group life insurance provided via superannuation.

Hill was the inaugural chair of SuperFriend, holding the role for 11 years. He flagged plans to step down earlier this year, shortly after announcing he would retire from REST.

Atkin joined the SuperFriend board shortly after. Cbus has been a partner fund of SuperFriend since its inception in 2007.

SuperFriend chief executive Margo Lydon thanked Hill for his “unwavering commitment” to helping the organisation deliver on its mission over the last 11 years.

“We will be sad to see Damian leave and we thank him for his incredible service, dedication and substantial contribution in growing SuperFriend to what it is today,” Lydon said. “We also warmly welcome David as the incoming chair, and look forward to working closely with him and the board, to continue SuperFriend’s success and impact in saving lives and creating thriving workplaces for the members and staff of our partners.”

Sunsuper executive general manager, customer and technology, Teifi Whatley was appointed to the newly created position of SuperFriend deputy chair. Whatley was a founding director of SuperFriend and is chair of its program committee and nominations committee.

Outgoing AMIST Super chief executive James Thomas is standing down from the SuperFriend board, creating a vacancy.