Be kind. business program to improve mental health in Michigan workplaces

Training at University of Michigan Health-WestThis article is part of MI Mental Health, a new series highlighting the opportunities Michigan children, teens and adults of all ages have to find the mental health help they need, when and where they need it. This is made possible with funding from the West Michigan Mental Health Foundation, the Community Mental Health Association of Michigan, and Community Mental Health (CMH) agency members.

The Mental Health Foundation of Western Michigan‘c Be kind. business program uses the train-the-trainer method to deliver an action plan for mental health in the workplace. The The American Psychological Association reports that the US economy loses more than $500 billion each year due to workplace stress. A Stanford study found that workplace stress resulted in almost $190 billion in costs and almost 120,000 deaths annually. By reducing workplace stress, be kind. business program not only benefits the company’s bottom line, but also helps employees and their families access the mental health care they need. Kristi Buck, executive director of the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan, spoke with MI Mental Health about her workplace mental health program.

Christy Buck, Executive Director, Mental Health Foundation of West MichiganQ. What types of jobs are involved in your program?

A. We’re in workplaces big and small, manufacturing, schools, real estate businesses — we’re in any company that wants to provide mental health and suicide prevention education to their employees. It could be to improve a wellness product program they already have in place, or they’re starting something new, something that employees have requested. The conversation right now among companies, businesses, schools and communities is mental health.

Q. How do you integrate be nice. business program at work? Should you have a mental health professional do this program?

A. We usually work with the company’s HR or benefits department. Our program is seen as an extension of a wellness or employee assistance program, which is often a benefit that is offered and employees don’t even realize it exists or understand its purpose. So be good. the business program attracts people to take advantage of a benefit they may have at their fingertips. When we train, we like to start at the top, making sure CEOs and people in charge know the importance of providing employees with this information.

Be kind. business training.Q. Does the business need to hire a mental health professional to run this program?

A. No, it makes it so easy. It’s a tool – an action plan to use – when someone might be at the beginning of what might be a mental illness. It can be distress that takes over their ability to go to work, do their job, or have a great attitude about their job. Often mental health affects those key things that make good employees. There may be stressors going on in their lives. There may be stressors going on at their job. There may be stressors that they are genetically predisposed to, a mental disorder, and suddenly this is their first time struggling.

Q. Can you describe the action plan?

A. What makes us good. the unique program is that we have an action plan to implement: Note. Invite. A challenge. Empowerment. It is noticing and recognizing changes in someone’s behavior that have suddenly occurred, that they have changed their attitude, their presence, their work or their relationships at work. This invitation lets that person know what I’ve noticed has changed. The program challenges that person to access some of the resources. And then, ultimately, empowerment, helping that person feel better, find and access needed resources that they didn’t know existed.

Q. How does providing mental health resources in the workplace reduce reluctance to seek help?

A. When people realize we’re having this conversation where they work, and they can know where they can go to get help, it brings hope that something can improve. Often when someone is in this moment of this struggle, this disappointment, this suffering, we hear that they have lost hope. When you start, be good. conversation, suddenly, wow, things could potentially get better. People have these conversations with each other: “You don’t have to feel this way,” or “Your son or daughter doesn’t have to feel this way.” Often what we bring to work are potentially things that happen outside of work.

Q. How does a business register to be good? How do they start?

A. They can go to our website, Go to the “Our Programs” tab and click on “Businesses”. They fill out the form and it goes to the right person here at the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan. A meeting is then organized for the business concerned. They may want to sign up right away. Or maybe the next step is another meeting that needs to involve another layer of people, depending on the size of the company. The fee for the program depends on the size of the company.

Photos courtesy of the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan

The MI Mental Health Series is made possible by funding from the Michigan CMH Coalition: Center for Health and Research Transformation, Genesee Health System, Mental Health Foundation of Western Michigan, North Side CMH, Northern Lakes CMH Authority, On the spot, Sanilac County CMH, St. Clair County CMH, Summit Point, Washtenaw County CMHand Michigan Community Mental Health Association.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *