Podcast Episode 13

Episode details

Dr. Kristen Lee, Ed.D., LICSW, is an award-winning behavioral science professor, clinician and author. To coincide with Mental Health Awareness Month, we bring together Dr. Lee and Unum’s Laurie Mitchell for a two-part discussion about mental well-being and resilience. 

  • The World Health Organization has classified “burnout” not just as a mental health issue but as a workplace condition. The uncertainty of the current pandemic is making burnout even more of a risk. [02:17]
  • In resilience research, the term “protective factors” is used to explain practices in our daily lives that nourish and edify us. Many of these routines have been disrupted during the coronavirus pandemic. [04:47]
  • Despite the challenges, modern brain science shows we are a species wired for adaption. We have a lot within our control that can help us, such as nutrition, hydration, proper sleep and getting out in nature. [06:25]
  • Be aware of your “reserve capacity.” We need what are called “break rituals.” Scientifically grounded self-care is about deliberate attention to mind and body. All these actions have a cumulative effect. Make deposits of self-care into your own bank to sustain yourself through complexity. [09:12]
  • Employers should encourage this personal self-care, but also make sure employees are aware of the resources available to them, such as employee assistance programs (EAPs), counseling, apps that can support traditional care, and behavioral health teleservices. [14:52]
  • On May 26, tune in to Part 2 of this episode: Organizational approaches to mental well-being.


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New: Unum Behavioral Health
A better way to keep your employees healthy and productive

Kristen Lee headshot

Kristen Lee

Behavioral science professor, clinician and author

Dr. Kristen Lee, Ed.D., LICSW, known as “Dr. Kris,” is an award-winning behavioral science professor, clinician and author. As the Lead Faculty for Behavioral Science at Northeastern University, Dr. Kris’s clinical, research and teaching interests include individual and organizational well-being and resilience. She is the author of RESET: Make the Most of Your Stress, winner of the Next Generation Indie Book Awards Motivational Book of 2015, and author of Mentalligence: A New Psychology of Thinking: Learn What It Takes to Be More Agile, Mindful and Connected in Today's World. She is the host of Mentalligence Radio and her Ted talk, The Risk You Must Take, has over 309,000 views.

Laurie Mitchell headshot

Laurie Mitchell

Assistant Vice President, Global Wellbeing & Health Management at Unum

Laurie Mitchell took a slightly nontraditional career path for a registered dietitian nutritionist and has been leading comprehensive employer-sponsored population health and well-being strategy for more than 22 years. Her work focuses on actively engaging employees in their well-being through a mix of innovative programs, benefits, policies and health-forward environmental approaches. Before joining Unum, she held similar positions at MaineHealth, an integrated health care delivery system in Maine; Public Service Enterprise Group, an energy company in New Jersey; and Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. She also had a private nutrition practice in NYC.

About the host

Clare Morin headshot

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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