A Focus on Mental Health and Well-Being in the Workplace
Article by Melanie Tarantelli, Director of Human Resources, Endeavor Health Services, January 28, 2022
You may already be aware of stress in the workplace, but nine out of ten employees report that their workplace stress affects their mental health (Mental Health America Mind the Workplace 2021 Report). Physical health has always been important to employers, but due to stigma, and cost, mental health was never a priority. Times have changed for the better! One positive aspect of the COVID pandemic is employers discovering how important it is to focus on mental health. Over the past year at Endeavor Health Services, we have strengthened our Wellness Program with a balanced emphasis between physical and mental health, sustaining an increased awareness of an employee’s overall well-being.
Focusing on employees’ mental health allows companies to flourish. “Wellness increases productivity and investing in employee wellness increases company loyalty and improves recruitment” (Katherine Ponte, NAMI, June 2020). Fostering a culture where employees feel safe, supported, and comfortable means that both the company and employees can thrive. The peace of mind associated with having stable employment for our staff and their families is essential. This also provides consistency for our clients, which is crucial to their treatment.
We are consistent in supporting and growing our employee Wellness Committee Program. We meet monthly to plan and implement engaging wellness activities throughout the year. This year, we held a staff wellness retreat day that took place at Beaver Hollow in Java, New York. It was full of team-building activities, food, games, Halloween costume contests, and connections. We have also continued our online wellness webinars and seminars through our health insurance vendor partnership. The activities that seemed to engage employees the most, also cost the least, include healthy cooking demonstrations, music therapy sessions with singing and guitar playing, an agency-wide wellness journal, wellness BINGO, a scavenger hunt, and a step challenge.
Our Wellness Program helps staff to focus on mind, body, and spirit, and to develop an improved sense of well-being. For that, we are all grateful.
For more information about Endeavor Health Services, please visit www.ehsny.org