tips of 2 best systems
The global pandemic and other life pressures have increased mental health challenges for caregivers, making mental health benefits a must for healthcare employers.
During a webinar, Caring for caregivers: How to address healthcare’s mental health crisis held in February, hosted by Becker’s Hospital Review and sponsored by Lyra, Chris Jackson, Regional Vice President of Lyra Health, moderated a discussion between Shawn O ‘Connor, Regional Chief Nursing Officer at Chicago-based Amita Health, and Heather Sprague, Director of Human Resources at Adena Health System in Ohio, on best practices from their mental health program.
Four key pieces of information:
1. The mental health needs of caregivers are on the rise, calling on employers to provide strong mental health benefits. According to a new Lyra survey, the number of employees saying their mental health had declined over the past year was 31% in 2021, up from 24% in 2020. Of employees surveyed, 59% said their health mental state was affecting their ability to do their job. in the past year and 33% sought mental health care in 2021, up from 19% the previous year.
However, despite the growing importance of mental health, many employees are dissatisfied with the support provided by their employer. “Employee perceptions of their employer regarding mental health issues are not as positive,” Jackson said. “We see a split of around 50%, with only half of employees believing their employer cares about their mental health.” Employers also tend to overestimate the ability of their benefits to effectively address workers’ mental health issues. While 76% of benefits managers surveyed said they believe their company’s benefits effectively meet the mental health needs of their workforce, only 44% of employees believe their current benefits effectively meet their needs. in mental health.
2. For employers, programmatic approaches need to be holistic and flexible. Of employees, 84% said it was important for employers to provide comprehensive and robust mental health benefits. This means a benefit that covers the full range of employee mental health needs and a variety of ways to access care.
Adena Health System employees appreciate the availability of mental health telehealth visits. “We rolled out a holistic wellness program last fall,” Ms. Sprague said. It goes beyond questions about diet and physical activity to provide support for financial, mental and spiritual well-being. “We try to look at the whole person because everyone has unique needs.”
3. In offering programs to support employee mental health, best practices include involving leadership and managing stressors throughout the day. “Employees haven’t always been able to pursue programmatic options like employee assistance programs or virtual support groups,” O’Connor said. Lack of time is often cited as an obstacle. “Today we are [AMITA Health] look at how we can create a way for [caregivers] to feel positive, energized, and renewed right now.” Adena Health is doing the same, offering pastoral rounds during shifts, setting up “being rooms” for mindfulness exercises, and providing comfort chairs. massage for breaks.
Both organizations emphasize the importance of leadership involvement and visibility. “Our culture has been very open,” Ms. O’Connor said. “If leaders themselves have contacted employee assistance programs and are willing to share their personal experience, it helps reduce stigma.” Ms. Sprague added that Adena prioritizes leadership training. “We need to train our leaders to recognize what’s going on and how to be in a moment with someone who might need a break,” she said.
4. Addressing mental health issues will be key to attracting future caregivers. “The impact on mental health has a definite effect on the pipeline of new caregivers,” Ms O’Connor said. Having strong, holistic mental health support as part of a benefits package can help. “We have to approach it from a multidisciplinary point of view; it can no longer just be a standard recruitment.” said Mrs. Sprague.
If you want to know more about this information, you can download Lyra’s State of mental health at work in 2022 Refer here.
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