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Developing Inclusive Model to Help Address Top Mental Health Issues
A new global survey from Verizon Media, Made of Millions and the research firm Culture Co-Op reports that coming out of the pandemic, 87% of company managers identify the mental health of their workforce as their number one concern. Furthermore, 73% of these managers stated employee mental health was either not an active part of their company dialogue or that little to no action had been taken to address employee mental health.

Wisconsin’s corporations are finding themselves on the frontlines of a burgeoning mental health crisis. After a year that has tested our workers mental wellness on a historic scale, companies now recognize that the need to address employee mental health outweighs the taboos and challenges that surround it.

WI SHRM’s “Accommodate in Place” initiative is designed to facilitate conversations between employees experiencing hardship at work and their HR representative, while giving the HR professional a set of tools to help them design the best solution to meet the needs of the team member.  

The four largest components of the initiative are:
  • Develop, implement, and interpret a business climate survey focused on current levels of disability inclusion and accommodation in the workforce, 
  • Gather resources, publish, and support a community that provides best practices for designing legal accommodations for employees experiencing challenges from apparent and non-apparent disabilities.  
  • Develop and teach how to facilitate an empathic and emotionally intelligent, supportive conversation where people will feel safe exploring and understanding the nature of their hardship and how best to advocate for themselves and others in the workplace.
  • Implement a state-wide training, publish the methods, then promote Accommodate in Place as a national curriculum for businesses.  

There is a gap between recognizing mental health as a workplace issue and creating a company culture that effectively addresses it.  And stigma is a big reason why.  Beyond stigma, a lack of clear language to address mental health challenges and intersectional factors is a major challenge to helping establish and emotionally secure and safe environment for team members. 

Additional roadblocks to workplace change include the sheer diversity of needs, frequent calls for top-down advocacy that don't address the full picture and an over emphasis on professional culture that dissuades people from seeking help.  Accommodate in Place will assist in providing language guidance which is a crucial step in creating open dialogues between managers and their teams.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Accommodate in Place initiative please attend WI SHRM’s Leadership Conference on Aug 5th & 6th at the Ingleside Hotel in Pewaukee, Wisconsin, or contact Matt Glowacki, DEI Workflex Director,  diversitydirector@wishrm.org

For more information about the Verizon Study, here is that link as well.  

https://www.verizonmedia.com/ourcompany/mind-together

 
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