How Pathways at Work is Helping to Prioritize Mental Health in the Workplace

Source: Yahoo Published: July 21, 2021

Once stigmatized and even taboo, mental health has thankfully become more mainstream. Despite an increase in mental health awareness, people still find it tough to get the support, information, and help they need. That’s where employers can make a huge difference.

More than half of the U.S. population holds down at least a part-time job. In other words, most people deal with employers on a regular basis. Therefore, employers can play a frontline role in bringing mental health resources and support to their team members.

To be sure, companies can’t be expected to tackle this important matter without help. While some try DIY methods, they tend to be inadequate because they’re not created by experts in the health field. That’s where Pathways at Work comes into the picture.

Offering Employees a Path to Mental Wellbeing Amidst a World of Changes

Pathways at Work is a program offered by Pathways, one of the biggest providers of behavioral health services in the United States. Pathways at Work offers customized live webinars, on-demand training workshops, interactive discussions, and other tools to organizations’ employees.

Each Pathways at Work program is thoughtfully and expertly developed by behavioral and mental health specialists. Certified professionals lead all presentations and discussions, fostering an environment of trust and openness among participants. Popular program courses address common mental health concerns, as well as how the pandemic and recent racial and social injustice have impacted employees’ mental health.

Partnering with Pathways at Work affords organizations several key benefits through the personalized approach to managing the emotional needs of their employees.

1. Reduced stress and anxiety across the workforce.

Many people are living with increased stress and anxiety. Perhaps they’ve had to return to work after telecommuting since Covid began. Maybe they’re dealing with financial problems at home due to a partner’s recent unemployment or illness. Whatever the reason, they may be burned out, or close to it—and that’s not good for them or their employer.

Being able to learn ways to take care of their mental health proactively can help employees become more engaged in all aspects of their lives. A proactive approach to behavioral health also allows them to practice healthy coping and communication methods. The more confident they feel about addressing their emotional needs, the more likely they are to be productive and content day to day. In fact, one company partnering with Pathways at Work was able to identify early warning signs of burnout among its people. The company then worked with Pathways at Work to implement a customized series of workshops to address its 200 employees’ most pressing mental health concerns to stave off problems.

2. Improved use of mental health and general healthcare benefits.

It’s hardly a secret that employees rarely utilize the health-related perks available to them through their companies. For instance, Employee Assistance Program (EAP) usage often hovers below 10% of any given organization’s population. This means that many workers either don’t realize they have the resources and benefits available, or they don’t feel comfortable taking advantage of them.

After undergoing Pathways at Work sessions, team members are better equipped to identify and address the mental health stressors in their lives as they arise. They may also have less reluctance to get mental health help when they need it most. They also may be more inclined to make and keep medical appointments with their primary care providers. The upshot of increased preventative healthcare visits can be less absenteeism, lower turnover, and higher morale, not to mention early detection of acute and chronic diagnoses.

3. Heightened sense of camaraderie among colleagues.

Workers who like each other tend to work better together, and more efficiently toward common goals. Of course, the reverse is also true: employees who feel disconnected from one another hold back their creativity and ideas. In a highly disruptive, competitive economic environment, companies want their teams to feel free to innovate. Implementing Pathways at Work programs and discussion groups can fuel a sense of togetherness among coworkers.

This heightened camaraderie may even spill over into strengthening an organization’s core culture overall. Each corporate culture is made up of many factors, including the bonds that employees have with one another. Going through workshops side by side allows workers to better relate through common experiences. As a result, they further their connections, which encourages them to see their workplace as a collaborative and inclusive environment.

4. Reinforced positive responses to common workplace stressors.

Every employee can expect to experience moments of heightened stress. Customers get upset. Miscommunication with coworkers creates built-up tension. Vendors go out of business and cause supply chain nightmares. Nevertheless, employees who have undergone mental health and wellness training have the tools and perspective to respond to stressors in healthier ways.

Let’s face it: Managers and executives can’t intervene every time a stressful moment occurs. This means that workers need to understand how to deal with issues constructively on their own. Pathways at Work’s training workshops and other tools are designed to provide recommendations for handling difficult situations. The training workshops incorporate the specific situations employees find stressful and address them in real-time with constructive responses and coping methods. Including these real-world scenarios during workshops allows participants to put their learning into action and feel less overwhelmed in their daily lives.

Years ago, mental health wasn’t something that most employers spent time considering, let alone talking about with teams. Fortunately, society has come to appreciate the advantages of having a workforce that prioritizes healthier living. Pathways at Work is making it easier and more convenient for all organizations to look out for their most important resources— their employees.