In today’s fast-paced and competitive work environment, the significance of mental health cannot be underestimated. Recognizing the importance of creating supportive workplaces that prioritize mental well-being, we conducted a series of interviews with entrepreneurs who have successfully championed mental health initiatives within their organizations. Their valuable insights shed light on the strategies, communication methods, and training programs that can empower employees and foster a culture of mental health awareness and support.
Name: Natasha D’Arcangelo
Company: D’Arcangelo Counseling and Consulting
Check out more interviews with entrepreneurs here.
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What are some key strategies for organizations to identify and address early signs of mental health issues among employees? Share your insights and experiences on implementing proactive measures.
Natasha D’Arcangelo: Some strategies for identifying and addressing early signs of mental health issues among employees is to ensure that those in positions of managing others are trained in recognizing what those signs are by a mental health professional.
Things to be aware of are changes in mood, people that seem down, people that are isolating and keeping to themselves, people that seem more anxious or irritable than usual, a decrease in productivity or a worsening of morale. You can use surveys or evidence based tools such as the Pro-QOL (Professional Quality of Life Scale) for more objective measurements.
It is important that if a company wants to change the environment and make mental health conversations normalized, that education is part of the initiatives. When you have a clinician or mental health professional come in to speak to the organization, it helps to destigmatize conversations that happen moving forward.
How can companies create a supportive environment for employees to openly discuss mental health and seek help when needed? Share examples of successful communication and resources that have made a difference in your organization.
Natasha D’Arcangelo: Companies can create a supportive environment by fostering psychological safety. Employees will not feel supported if they do not feel safe to discuss things. This includes normalizing the concept that it’s okay to not be okay. Initiatives such as ERGs (Employee Resource Groups) that bring in experts on topics is a great way to support employees.
Another important piece of the puzzle is to explain clearly to employees what mental health benefits are available to them. I work with many clients who had no idea their company offered an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) or a certain number of sessions that employees get for free. Often, there is a concern that if they use services provided by their employer then it will not be confidential, but that is untrue.
Mental health professionals are bound by the same confidentiality laws as your doctors (HIPAA). Post what options are available to them openly and frequently and mention them at every meeting as a reminder to people they are available. It might also help if those in management talk about utilizing those benefits themselves.
What role can training and education play in fostering mental health awareness in the workplace? Share your experience with impactful workshops, seminars, or training programs that have contributed to a better understanding and support of mental health among employees.
Natasha D’Arcangelo: Training and education can help to normalize experiences that employees are going through. We often feel like we are the only ones who might be struggling but bringing in an expert to discuss mental health awareness topics helps to break down that barrier. Impactful workshops include Mental Health First Aid, QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) Training to prevent suicide and Forward Facing Professional Resilience for people in professional care giving roles.
It also helps to have someone come in that can speak to what a trauma informed workplace looks like. Bringing in an expert helps employees understand what signs and symptoms look like and when they need to seek out help.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to WellnessVoice and the host of this interview would like to thank Natasha D’Arcangelo for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Natasha D’Arcangelo or hier company, you can do it through her – Linkedin Page
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