May is Mental Health Awareness Month
Conversations about mental health were already on the rise when COVID-19 hit and impacted more than just our nation’s physical wellbeing. Many experts believe pandemic-induced anxiety, isolation, and social distancing caused the spike in depression, suicidal thoughts, and substance use that’s held steady ever since.
If nothing else, though, the increase in mental health challenges has helped make mental health a more commonly-discussed topic. And nowhere is this more welcome than in construction. You see, in addition to high rates of substance abuse, the construction industry also experiences alarmingly high numbers of suicide. Danella takes these realities seriously and works hard to support and boost employees’ mental health.
How Danella Can Help
Danella’s health benefits plan includes a robust Wellness Program designed to foster overall wellness. Enrollment is voluntary for eligible employees. If you didn’t opt into the Wellness Program when you enrolled in health benefits but are interested in joining now, you can sign up during annual open enrollment. In the meantime, you can still participate in events available to all staff (the majority of benefits are exclusive to Wellness Program participants).
So what do you get by enrolling in the Wellness Program?
The short answer: A lot.
Cultivating overall wellbeing through awareness initiatives, preventative practices, and one-on-one as-needed coaching, the Wellness Program isn’t just valuable; it’s also – for many – enjoyable.
Coaches can assist Wellness Program participants with everything from mindfulness to personal hurdles and goal-setting. In scenarios where a psychologist is needed, your coach can pair you with a right-fit pro.
One-on-one sessions with coaches take place virtually, on the phone, or in-person, depending on availability and preference. In-person meetings are most common at Danella’s corporate office but are on-hold until COVID restrictions are eased. Wellness Program participants can speak to a coach as often as desired (meetings take place on average about once a month), and participants can access more than one coach at a time if needed.
Group Offerings and Webinars
Wellness Program group offerings – open to all – include webinars held quarterly and offered at two different times (3pm and 7pm, so you can choose the one that works best for you). An upcoming topic is “Beyond Blue – Understanding Mental Illness” – recommended for anyone navigating a personal situation or just interested in learning more about mental health.
Monthly “Coach Chats” are also available to both Wellness Program participants and non-participants. These are another chance to hear a professional’s take and tips on various aspects of mental health. On-demand half-hour “cafe” webinars are another ongoing option for all.
What About Privacy?
Outside of group activities and events, the Wellness Program is 100% confidential. Any one-on-one engagement with coaches or other professionals is not shared with Danella or anyone else. If there is a success story a coach is interested in sharing with the Wellness Committee, it requires permission from the participant – and even then, names are redacted.
Can the Wellness Program Help in a Mental Health Emergency?
Sometimes you need more than the Wellness Program can provide. If you feel your situation heightening, ask your Wellness Program coach to point you to the right professional. If you’re experiencing a mental health emergency including suicidal thoughts, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s hotline, which is available to everyone: 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is another resource: 1-800-273-8255.
Individual states also have their own crisis hotlines. For Pennsylvania’s, call 1-855-284-2494.
You can also call 911 if you’re experiencing an emergency.
If you’ve held off on mental health support because you worried about backlash or perception, rest assured: Times are changing. De-stigmatization of mental health treatment is alive and well, and the choice to pursue support or treatment will not impact your employment with Danella. If you’re struggling, call a crisis hotline or take advantage of Wellness Program offerings available to you. If you work at Danella and are not enrolled in the Wellness Program but need to speak with a coach, talking to your Human Resources contact. Danella’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) assists individuals and their families dealing with any number of issues including mental health.