The Worst Day of My Entire Life (So Far)

Michael Rafferty

By Michael Rafferty
Families for Depression Awareness Volunteer

June 18, 1992 was the Worst Day of My Entire Life (so far). The parenthetical disclaimer is important, but more about that and the day itself a little later.

I am an extrovert. I’m quick with a joke, trending toward the irreverent or sarcastic but just as often self-deprecating. When someone needs help with something, I’ll offer mine. I will celebrate a colleague’s success–sometimes with suppressed envy but, among the Irish, envy is a high compliment.

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Can Organization Handprints Improve Employees’ Mental Health?

Eileen McNeely

Eileen McNeely, RN, C., M.S., PhD.
Co-Director Sustainability and Health Initiatives for NetPositive Enterprise (SHINE)

It has long been recognized that physically healthy employees are good for an organization’s financial health. To that point, discounts on gym memberships which began as an innovative employee perk, are increasingly common as employers look for ways to incent employees to adopt healthy life-styles. Behind these perks is the continuing increase in employee health insurance premiums.

According to a 2015 HealthAffairs report with references to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average health insurance annual premium for employer-sponsored family coverage in 2014 was $17,544 per employee. In an effort to keep the rising cost of health insurance premiums in check, employers have deployed a variety of financial incentives such as discounts on employees’ share of health insurance premiums for:

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How to Get What You Need For Workplace Success

Seigert

Tips for seeking ADA accommodations
Mark Siegert, PhD

If you are struggling with a mental health issue, you may be inclined to hide your condition from your co-workers or employer; and you might worry that sharing behavioral health information could alienate you from your peers and that it might damage your career.

While these considerations are serious, there is a comforting piece of reality you should know: many of your co-workers are also struggling. Recent research suggests that at any given time, 20 to 25 percent of the workforce has a diagnosable mental health condition and 18 percent has an active substance abuse problem. That means that right now, one out of every four or five employees has a mental health issue. Picture your co-workers in a room. Yes, on average, at least one out of every five has, or if diagnosed would have, a mental health diagnosis.

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Why I Talk About My Depression.

Shirley Cresci

How workplace conversations about behavioral health can maximize our career potential
Dr. Shirley Cresci, Director, Behavioral Health Services, Prudential

I was diagnosed with dysthymia—persistent mild depression—several decades ago. Prior to my diagnosis and treatment, depression robbed me of joy and my authenticity. Because it was not debilitating depression that kept me from getting out of bed each day, however, I minimized it. I convinced myself my sadness and low self-worth was just me, not any kind of problem.

I experienced the effect of my depression through all aspects of my life, but especially in my early work choices. As a single mother with no college degree and a poor sense of self-confidence, I pursued jobs that were outside of my goals and ambitions. My past work life was about underachievement.

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