Episode 37: The business case for behavioral health

January 4, 2022

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Episode details

To ring in the new year, CEOs from the American Psychological Association and MaineHealth join host Clare Morin to discuss why investing in behavioral health in 2022 is not just good for your employees but also good for your business.

  • The psychological fallout of the pandemic has only just begun. The pandemic unleashed a tsunami of stress that will continue to be felt even once COVID-19 is gone. [3:50]
  • This is a long-term project for employers. Military studies have shown that people who experience traumatic events often don’t show signs of stress and anxiety until 18 months after the event had taken place. [5:40] “This is going to go on for years.” (7:00)
  • Behavioral health is a huge factor in retention. Employees who report feeling stressed at work are three times more likely to look for other jobs than those who do not report feeling stressed. [8:00]
  • Leaders should set the tone. It’s important for leaders to create space for employees to seek help by sharing their own struggles and showing vulnerability. [10:25]
  • Make resources easy to find. For resources to be effective, employees must be able to use them. Ensure they are accessible, intuitive, and ideally available on demand. [12:00]
  • Early intervention saves lives and money. Mental health is a continuum and it’s more humane and more cost-effective to intervene before an employee is in crisis. [13:15]
  • Ensure employees feel heard when making major decisions. Mental health problems are often caused by a feeling of a lack of control. Giving employees choices and input into decisions reduces stress. [14:40]
  • Showing care can help employers compete. “It’s a huge strategic opportunity for employers to demonstrate genuine and authentic caring as a retention, as a recruitment, as a development opportunity,” says Dr. Andrew Mueller, CEO of MaineHealth. [18:40]
  • This crisis is manageable. “If we create work environments that are supportive of mental health, making sure they have access to services when they need them, it can make all the difference for your employees,” says Dr. Evans. [20:15]

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Arthur C. Evans Jr., PhD

Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice President, American Psychological Association

Dr. Arthur Evans is CEO of the American Psychological Association, the leading scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the U.S. With over 122,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students as members, APA promotes and disseminates psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve lives — a mission consistent with Dr. Evans’ life work.

He previously served in public policy positions — as commissioner of the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disability Services in Philadelphia and as deputy commissioner for Mental Health and Addiction Services in Connecticut. He has also held faculty appointments at Yale University’s and the University of Pennsylvania’s Schools of Medicine. His career has centered around equity and social justice, and his work has been nationally and internationally recognized, including multiple awards named for Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

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Andrew T. Mueller, MD

Chief Executive Officer, MaineHealth

Andrew Mueller, MD, is CEO of MaineHealth, a not-for-profit integrated health system consisting of nine local hospital systems, a comprehensive behavioral healthcare network, diagnostic services, home health agencies, and 1,700 employed and independent physicians. With more than 22,000 employees, MaineHealth is the largest health system in northern New England and provides preventive care, diagnosis and treatment to 1.1 million residents in Maine and New Hampshire.

Prior to joining MaineHealth in April 2021, Dr. Mueller served as president and chief executive officer of Centra Health in Lynchburg, Virginia, and previously as president of Novant Health’s Greater Charlotte market. He received his medical degree from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and served in the Air Force as a staff family physician and flight surgeon. Dr. Mueller’s innovative and compassionate approach to leadership draws on his breadth and depth of experience as a practicing physician, a physician-executive and a veteran.

About the host

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Clare Morin

Unum Content Marketing Manager

Clare Morin is the Content Marketing Manager at Unum and a journalist who’s spent the last 20 years interviewing hundreds of thought leaders on topics ranging from wellness to culture, finance, human resources and technology. Born in the UK, raised in Hong Kong and based in the U.S. since 2009, she brings a global outlook to the HR Trends studio.

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