Episode 33:  Best practices for behavioral health at work 

September 9, 2021 

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Episode details

The pandemic continues to disrupt daily lives as the Delta variant of COVID-19 sweeps through the country. The rate of stress-related disorders has also started to rise again amid ongoing unpredictability. In this episode, we speak to two behavioral health experts on how employers can best support employees this fall. 

  • Employers play a vital role in supporting employee mental health. Providing support may look different in hybrid and remote working situations, but it’s all the more important and in even greater demand. [5:00]
  • Clear communication is key. Studies show that one of the largest sources of stress is unpredictability. Clarity, patience and flexibility are critical in these times. [7:35]
  • Make resources easy to find. It can be stressful for employees to have to search for support. Streamline mental health resources in one central hub to support employees, rather than overwhelm. [9:37]
  • The pandemic has accelerated virtual access. With the rise of digital access, care and support can be accessed at almost any time from nearly any location with no drive-time required. [11:10]
  • Create a culture of trust. Provide a safe place for people to open up and be vulnerable about what they’re feeling to promote understanding and enhance team building. [13:42]
  • Leaders set the tone. Prioritize executive education so that employees are encouraged to access resources by seeing examples and role models among the leadership. [15:57]
  • We remain in challenging times: all hands on deck are needed. Resources like Mental Health First Aid empower employees to become advocates for organizational well-being. [17:20]
  • Additional resources: Webinar, Supporting behavioral health at work.

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Kerry Ressler

M.D., Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, McLean Hospital and Professor, Harvard Medical School

Kerry J. Ressler, M.D., Ph.D., is the Chief Scientific Officer at McLean Hospital, a world-renowned psychiatric hospital in Boston, and a professor at Harvard Medical School. His work focuses on translational research bridging molecular neurobiology in animal models with human genetic and epigenetic research on emotion, particularly fear and anxiety disorders. He has published over 300 manuscripts ranging from genetic basic molecular mechanisms of fear processing to understanding how emotion is encoded in the brain across animal models and human patients.

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Swapnil Prabha

Vice President, Workforce Wellness Solutions — Unum Group

A thought leader in the insurance industry, Swapnil Prabha's work is helping to shape the digital future of employee benefits. She has helped to develop solutions such as Unum Behavioral Health, which addresses the full continuum of mental health for employees from baseline measurement to a complete range of easily accessible resources and therapeutic interventions. She also leads strategic direction and capability priorities for Unum Leave Logic — an industry-leading leave education and planning SaaS solution.

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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