The Mental Health Minute

Articles and news about mental health issues

Companies offer mental health programs for workers

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Here’s an article that presents a hopeful glimpse of things to come.  The stigma associated with mental health issues, once a deep dark secret that you never spoke of, may be emerging from that darkness out into the light of health and help.  With the vicious cuts to mental health budgets, even for-profit organizations see the need to make help available and accessible for their staff.  This could be the beginning of a new era for those who suffer in silence and alone with issues of anxiety, depression, eating disorders, substance abuse or any of the myriad of other mental health issues.

The article below is lengthy and I recommend clicking the link to go read the entire piece.  That this is coming from Oklahoma really catches my attention.  Oklahoma is not known for being supportive of mental health issues, so this is really something to acknowledge and celebrate.


5/16/2010, 4:00 a.m. EDT
The Associated Press

(AP) — OKLAHOMA CITY – Not so long ago, business leaders were hesitant to even bring up the topic of mental health in the workplace.

Today, the atmosphere is changing, and companies are designing mental health programs to let their employees know that it’s OK to seek help for depression, anxiety or other issues. At a time when the state’s mental health agencies are facing deep budget cuts, the private sector is giving people tools to seek treatment while brushing away a bit more of the associated stigma.

“We are telling people that it’s OK we all have issues, and it’s really OK to say, ‘I need help,'” said Martha Burger, senior vice president of human and corporate resources at Chesapeake Energy.

Chesapeake launched a major mental health campaign this year that coincided with a new Employee Assistance Program that better suited its needs. Burger said it’s not a one-time campaign, but the beginning of an ongoing conversation about how and why to seek help for mental health issues.

The idea for the program arrived early last year as Chesapeake leaders noticed the toll of the bad economy on people everywhere. After collaborating with Dr. Murali Krishna, president and CEO of Integris Mental Health, and Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon, Burger said the company launched “Your Life Matters.”

Burger and McClendon appeared in a video sent to all employees, the first of several vignettes to be produced throughout the year.

“We simply said, ‘We realize you’re out there facing a lot of issues besides the things you face at work,'” Burger said. “We wanted to let them know that it’s OK to seek help. That was the message from the top, which was important.” […]

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May 18, 2010 - Posted by | Mental Health | , , , , ,

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