Mental Health: Let’s Talk About It

Earlier this year, PCI made the decision not to return to our offices.  We will continue to work virtually.  

We have office space in three states – all of which we are looking to sublet.

Work from home.  Work from anywhere.  That is our new reality.

There are some definite benefits to the “Work from Anywhere” model.  

Starting with avoiding commuting to work.  Each week we get hours of our life back.  Turns out this is a big deal.  The research suggests “the more time you spend getting to and from work, the less likely you are to be satisfied with life.” 

But there are also some real concerns with working virtually.  

Concern #1?

Mental health.

One of the other benefits from working from home is (potentially) fewer distractions which allows us to focus and get our work done.

But what are these distractions we are avoiding?

People.

Yes, we are better able to focus, but we also miss out on the dozens of daily, in-person interactions with our colleagues.  Which can lead to feelings of isolation.  

Looking at social media, it’s easy to look at highlight reels of other people’s lives and fall into the trap of thinking it’s only us who struggles.  We can all “turn it on” or “turn it up,” but that doesn’t mean the seemingly put-together people we see each day on Zoom don’t struggle.

At PCI, we are having conversations about how we can best support our associates who are experiencing mental health challenges.  

Step one is awareness.  Always.  Later today we will hold a meeting open to all our associates to create some space to talk about mental health challenges and the resources we provide.  

Several of our associates are planning to share their personal experiences about the importance of being proactive in addressing mental health issues.  

When my wife Julie died from cancer in August of 2018, my youngest daughters and I participated in a grief counseling program through a local church that made a tremendous difference in our lives.  I had also been married previously and went through a painful divorce. I plan to share during our meeting today how meeting with a counselor was a key step for me in moving forward.

We will also review some of the terrific services we make available to our associates in addition to our health insurance plan.  We have partnerships with several firms with expertise in different areas:

  -MINES & Associates: provider of virtual counseling services available to all PCI associates and family members

  -Marketplace Chaplains: personalized and proactive chaplain care

  -PCI THRIVES: an internal Wellness Platform provided by Prevention Cloud

  -Twice weekly Mindfulness Meditation + weekly Chair Yoga led by Eric Mosley, Black Mat Yoga

I would also be interested in any ideas or programs your organization offers.  Please feel free to reach out to me directly at dclancy@publishingconcepts.com.

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Reflection:  What are my feelings and assumptions around mental health issues?  Are there actions I could take to better support myself, my colleagues, family members or friends?  

Action: Journal about the questions above.

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