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A Call to Action Reach out and make connections with others during Mental Health Awareness Month

A Call to Action

Reach out and make connections with others during Mental Health Awareness Month

By Gretchen Raines

Gretchen Raines is People Operations Manager at Verdical Group. She provides valuable support and resources to our team members by administering benefits, assisting with policy and procedure updates, processing payroll, ensuring compliance with employment laws, collaborating with the leadership team on recruitment and hiring needs, handling employee concerns, and organizing team-building events.

Workers are in crisis.

The evidence is abundant and clear. All we have to do is read the results from surveys conducted by Mental Health America, American Psychological Association (APA), The National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the World Health Organization (WHO). In our post-pandemic world, people are struggling with their mental health more than ever. We struggle at home, at work, at school, in plain sight, and behind closed doors. They are our friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, people in the checkout lane at the store, and strangers we pass by on the street. Sometimes they are us.a

Impact on our work.

We spend a lot of time at work and with our colleagues – about a third of our life. Despite our attempts to “leave our baggage at the door” or “put on a happy face,” the truth is that the struggles we face don’t magically disappear when we arrive at work, and these issues have a direct impact on our ability to perform our jobs effectively. Individuals suffering from chronic issues take more time off from work; are less focused, less engaged, and less creative while at work; have lower morale; and are more likely to leave the company if they fail to obtain the support and resources necessary to help them, causing high turnover rates. All these factors can affect a company’s ability to achieve its goals. After all, what is an organization but a group of individuals working together to achieve common goals? People are any company’s most valuable asset, and employers should actively seek ways to address the growing mental health problem.

What does Verdical Group do to address health and wellness?

A supportive, safe, and healthy work environment, highly trained management team, and embracing a culture of authentic communication can be part of the answer.

At Verdical Group, our company is driven by a team of people who love what they do, and we know this passionate purpose is an intrinsic part of each team member’s life happiness. We understand that life itself can be challenging at times. That’s why our company values and our amazing team of individuals are so important in helping each other to navigate difficult obstacles – whether inside or outside the office.

Verdical Group offers numerous programs to address the health and wellness of our team members, including:

  • Flexible work schedule with the opportunity to work from home or in-office.
  • Health Insurance that includes access to many mental and physical well-being programs, including:
    • Our Wellness Webinar Series
    • Online self-help tools to help us stay mentally and physical healthy
    • One Minute of Wellness videos
    • Online Fun Fitness videos
    • Free access to meditation apps
    • Health Insurance access to apps that offer Counseling
  • A dedicated Wellness Chat that provides a safe space to share thoughts and ideas related to all kinds of wellness, including mental wellness.
  • Weekly Full Team Meetings where we share our inspirations, challenges, and health and wellness updates for the week.
  • A Financial Wellness Series allows for paid time to be spent learning about managing personal finance. (Finance-related stress can be troubling.)
  • Fun social activities where we get together in-person for a hike, bowling, mini-golfing, board game days, etc.
  • Volunteer activities, including our Annual Beach Clean-Up for Earth Day. We’ve also volunteered at a composting hub and many of our team members have volunteered their time speaking at schools to share their knowledge with students.
  • A Monday Morning Mindfulness / Meditation series to start the day off centered.
  • Regular team building activities, including an annual dedicated full-day Team Building Retreat in June and during our Annual Planning meetings in December.
  • Best of all, VG embraces a culture of open communication, cooperation, inclusion, and respect among all team members.

A call to action.

However, even when a company, like Verdical Group does face the challenge, make significant efforts to support its team members, and provide meaningful resources and programs… each individual person must take the first step to reach out and make connections that will support their mental wellness.  As I navigate the path of my own mental health struggles, I am reminded just how hard it is for some people to ask for help. I consider myself strong and independent, not needing help from others. Particularly as a woman and a mother, I feel a heightened expectation that I should be able to balance my work responsibilities with my personal obligations without any outside help. I am usually the one people ask for guidance or resources. I am the one who takes care of everything and everyone at home. Who needs help? Certainly not me. I’ve come to see this is just tragic thinking and will only lead to ultimate failure.

So, this is a Call to Action. My challenge to you is to reach out to the people in your circle this month during Mental Health Awareness Month and make a connection. Invite the friend for a coffee, surprise your partner with a date night, call a family member you haven’t talked to in a while (this should definitely be your mom), go for a walk with a neighbor, talk to strangers at the grocery store, smile at others as they walk by. It might just be the connection they needed. It might just be the connection you need.

Be well.

 

References:
Mental Health America

American Psychological Association (APA)

The National Institutes of Health (NIH)

World Health Organization (WHO)
Lyra 2024 State of Workforce Mental Health Report