Last month, our Ohio regional manager, Jennifer Weitzel, set a fantastic example for the practices in her region by initiating a discussion about emotional wellbeing in the workplace at a regional dinner. Inspired by the Life at VetCor program that focuses on overall employee wellbeing, Jennifer sought to engage hospital managers and their teams in a new and exciting way. To do that, she invited a guest speaker to present at dinner.
The discussion, which emphasized the importance of being open about emotional health at work, was led by Dr. Robert Secor of Avita Health System, an Ohio-based community health organization. He talked about various ways practice teams can cope with stress, how to recognize when a team member may be struggling with their mental health, and how to open up a healthy dialogue about emotional wellbeing at work. He also provided all attendees with take home assessment sheets to help them better understand what to look out for.
Of all the things Dr. Secor talked about, Jennifer was most surprised when he discussed how to recognize when a team member might be in need of help. Assessments are helpful and Google can tell team leaders what symptoms to look for, he said, but what they really need to notice is change. Change in demeanor, personality, and appearance is a key indicator that someone may be struggling. Like many others who attended the dinner, Jennifer said that it made so much sense, although she had never thought of it that way prior.
Jennifer encouraged the leaders to treat emotional wellbeing concerns and mental health diagnoses like they would any other physical health issues and, above all, promoted kindness. As Dr. Secor said, there is no such thing as “normal” and, instead, we need to focus on being functional - and coping with stress is one way we can do that while setting a positive example for others.
Needless to say, the dinner was received exceptionally well. When Jennifer followed up with the attendees the next week to discuss customer service, stress relief, and wellness in smaller groups, she urged them to take what they learned and apply it at their hospitals. One of her suggestions included placing a semi-private wellness board at each hospital to allow team members read some words of positivity, take copies of the assessment sheets, and learn about the resources that are available to them. Personally, we think it’s a great idea - and we’d love to hear from you if you give it a try!
If you’re struggling with your mental health or emotional wellbeing, please keep in mind that we offer several resources to help promote mental and emotional wellbeing:
When we say we care about our team’s wellbeing, we mean it, so take advantage of these resources and don’t hesitate to reach out to HR if you have any questions at all.