Podcast Episode 14

Episode details

What can HR organizations do to help employees with their emotional well-being? In Part 2 of our conversation, two wellness experts — Dr. Kristen Lee, Ed.D., LICSW, an award-winning behavioral science professor, clinician and author, and Unum’s Laurie Mitchell — discuss how organizations can help inspire a culture of resilience. 

  • Have you listened to Part 1 yet? Listen here.
  • Before the coronavirus pandemic, there were many concerning indicators around mental health globally. Lifestyle and stress-related illnesses were surpassing communicable diseases, and burnout was being reclassified by the World Health Organization as a workplace condition and occupational risk rather than a health condition. The current COVID-19 health crisis is only exacerbating these risks.
  • Research is showing that resilience happens within a community. Organizations can create “a culture of health thinking and health giving,” where each person feels they are cared for.
  • In the Strong Minds at Work Report published by Unum last year, a disconnect emerged. When asked “what mental health resources are available at your company?” 93% of employers said they offered employee assistance programs (EAPs), yet only 38% of employees realized EAPs were available. It’s critical to have a strong communication plan.
  • Role modeling can be a powerful way to educate about mental health. Employees and leaders are encouraged to share their stories.
  • Mental health first-aid training programs, by organizations such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), are another way to provide support for the workforce.


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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.

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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

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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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