Employee Wellness Programs are also an effective way to educate staff members/parents
about substance abuse, sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, depression,
mental illness, learning disabilities, and other issues that affect adults,
children, and teens. Arming parents, other relatives, and concerned friends
with information is a way to prevent problems in the future, for themselves
and their children.
Workers may not be comfortable attending Employee Wellness Programs entitled
“Substance Abuse and You” or “Dealing With Depression,”
fearing they have “self-identified” just by their presence. However,
when much of that same information is billed as “Teens and Substance Abuse”
or “Recognizing the Signs of Depression in Teens,” there may be
a full house for the presentation.
Once this happens, the levels of awareness are raised. An employee who is concerned
that he or she is actually depressed can attend and gain life-saving information.
Using this type of approach in Employee Wellness Programs goes beyond raising
awareness among parents whose children are struggling with personal problems.
Mental health topics are often difficult to introduce. There is still some
stigma attached to being “mentally ill” or having alcohol problems.
A benign way to bring information into the workplace is to use Employee Wellness
Programs and the National Screening Day programs. These are dates that have
been set aside annually to increase awareness about various problems. They include:
- Alcohol Abuse and Addiction (April)
- Anxiety Disorders (during Mental Health Month in May)
- Depression (October)
- Eating Disorders (February)
There is a wealth of information available web-based that can be made available
to your staff members at no cost as part of your Employee Wellness Programs.
All it takes start this into Employee Wellness Programs is some type of notification
in the form of an e-mail with an introductory statement and some links.
Local mental health clinics, medical schools, and hospitals usually provide
free employee health screenings on designated days so that anyone can come in,
take a test, and get information and a referral for care if appropriate. You
could arrange with a local provider for a block of time for your staff members
to participate in the screenings, or talk to them about coming into the workplace
to provide them.