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September 30, 2021

World Mental Health Day – October 10, 2021

World Mental Health Day has been recognized for almost 30 years; openness to talking about mental health has dramatically increased over the years. Over 47 million (19%) of American adults are experiencing a mental illness. The percentage of adults reporting serious thoughts of suicide is 4.34%. Many who do not have diagnosable conditions may still be struggling to cope. You are not alone in your challenges and you are not alone if you need assistance.

How COVID-19 Has Affected Mental Health in the Healthcare Workplace

The global pandemic has affected everyone and put significant pressure on our stress levels and mental health. Those working in healthcare have gone through many quickly evolving transitions and have had to adapt to a different workplace. This includes changes in roles, work location/platform (virtual for some) and ways in which we interact with co-workers and patients.

This year, the World Mental Health Day theme is Mental Health for All, calling for more significant investment and greater access. The workplace can support this theme by highlighting programs that are currently in place to encourage employees to notice changes in both their own mental health and that of their colleagues and to get or offer help as needed.

How to Encourage Open Conversation in the Workplace – Make Time to Ask RU OK?

World Mental Health Day can serve as a reminder to encourage open conversation and raise awareness of the signs of distress and the support available at Mass General Brigham.

Most people will spend more than 90,000 hours of their life at work, meaning their co-workers are often those who interact with them the most. Given the time spent together and the bonds developed through work, many of us are in a good position to notice when a colleague is struggling and recommend that they are worthy of the same concern and care that we provide to our patients.

A simple question, asked between co-workers, can help create a culture of caring that can make all the difference. Mass General Brigham Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is encouraging you to reach out a colleague and ask, “RU OK?”

It Starts with You

RU OK? inspires and empowers employees to support anyone struggling. The program also:

  • Increases mental health awareness
  • Provides employees with tools and resources
  • Reduces stigma related to mental health
  • Directs those in need to Mass General Brigham EAP Resources

Expand Your Toolkit

For these reasons and more, Mass General Brigham is embracing the RU OK? program during World Mental Health Day and every day. Learn the warning signs. Please practice this program by taking the time to ask a colleague “RU OK?” when you are concerned.

Below are some resources and special EAP Events that you might find helpful in coping with your own mental health challenges, or those of a colleague, friend or loved one. Everyone has a unique set of experiences and mental health needs. Some may be able to manage on their own and others may need a professional assessment and referral. The EAP is here to help.

EAP Webinars supporting Mental Health & Well-being


  • Disrupting Negative Thoughts

    October 6, 2021
    12:00 pm — 1:00 pm
    Register here
    Are negative thoughts normal? Yes, but problems can arise from the importance we give them. This session will discuss gaining control over negative thoughts, and turning them into neutral or positive ones.
    Presented by Mass General Brigham EAP


  • From Stress to Resiliency: Coping with compassion fatigue

    October 13, 2021
    11:30 – 12:30 pm
    Register here
    This sixty-minute interactive webinar will offer several strategies for managing day to day stress and combatting compassion fatigue. It is geared towards those in the helping professions who may be experiencing feelings of exhaustion, frustration, anger and depression, especially in this lingering time of Covid. It may also be helpful for employees experiencing Secondary Traumatic Stress – a negative or disquieting feeling driven by fear and work-related trauma.
    Presented by Adam Mintz, LMHC, EAP Consultant


  • The Benefits of Gratitude & Kindness During Stressful Times

    October 15, 2021
    12:30 – 1:15 pm
    Register here
    Studies suggest that expressing gratitude not only improves one-on-one relationships, but also has a positive impact on one’s mood and overall disposition. This webinar will offer some simple techniques and strategies for incorporating more gratitude in your life and provide an opportunity to exercise that gratitude muscle.
    Presented by Adam Mintz, LMHC, EAP Consultant


  • Yoga at your Desk: a Tool to Combat Anxiety and Stress

    October 19, 2021
    11:30 – 12:15 pm
    Register here
    This relaxing Yoga webinar offers a calming breathing technique, stretches and awareness of proper body alignment to help focus your mind and restore your balance.
    Presented by Lisa Goss Staffiere, LICSW, CEAP, RYTSenior EAP Consultant, Registered Yoga Teacher


  • RU OK?

    October 20, 2021
    11:30 – 12:15 pm
    Register here
    This EAP webinar is designed to help employees feel comfortable checking-in with colleagues to see how they are doing. Using the “RU OK?” Mental Health Awareness framework, this presentation will guide you through why, when and how to approach a colleague about whom you have concern, so that you feel equipped to respond.
    Presented by Shira Davis, LICSW, CEAP, EAP Consultant


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For more information or to discuss mental health concerns please contact Mass General Brigham Employee Assistance Program at 1-866-724-4EAP or request an appointment via our online form for confidential assistance.

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