Q&A: How Business Can Cultivate Mental Health

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold and change in ways that create uncertainty and without a historical reference or a definitive ending point, heightened stress is sure to follow.  

The Lancaster Chamber is offering two mental health sessions for businesses to learn how to impact positive mental health in the workplace. The first session, Understanding Mental Health in Our Workplace: Part 1, is on December 8. The second session, Strategies for Supporting Workplace Mental Wellbeing: Part 2, is on December 15.

Both sessions will be led by Dr. Diller. Dr. Diller is a Licensed Psychologist and Director of WellSpan Employee Assistance Program (WSEAP). He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh, a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Loyola College in Maryland and a Doctor of Psychology Degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Hartford. He spent nineteen years in clinical practice, fifteen of those years at WellSpan Behavioral Health (WBH), now known as WellSpan Philhaven.

We interviewed Dr. Diller to hear his thoughts about the importance of mental health and why businesses are key in helping employees during this challenging time.

Q&A With Dr. Diller on Mental Health

Why is it extra important for businesses to be thinking about their employees’ mental health right now? 

Pre-pandemic we already knew that 20-25% of Americans were struggling with a mental health condition in any given year.  Now, with the cumulative psychological and emotional toll the pandemic has had on all of us, the most recent numbers show that now 50% of Americans are experiencing a mental health issue.  Those struggles and challenges impact every aspect of our daily life including our ability to be at our best at work. 

What would you say to encourage business leaders to attend this two-part mental health series? 

We can simply look no further than ourselves and really take a moment to reflect on the losses and challenges that the pandemic and all the other stressors have created in our lives. It gives us insight into what others may also be experiencing in their lives.  We welcome business leaders to join in this uplifting conversation about the impact of mental health and emotional wellbeing in the success of any organization fully realizing its collective strategic priorities, goals and mission. 

What can attendees expect to learn at these events? 

Throughout the two-part seminar attendees will learn about the impact of the pandemic and the 4th Wave of the Coronavirus which is that pandemic fatigue and psychological toll on each one of us, unique to our own life story.  Attendees will learn about the current state of mental health in the workplace, signs and symptoms of emotional distress, how to recognize those signs and what to do about it.  Attendees will walk away with resources and an understanding of ways to build and support a resilient workforce.

What other information is helpful for businesses and employees to know?

Right now depression remains the number 1 reason for disability worldwide.  Depression, anxiety, opioid addiction and suicide remain at all time highs.  This has a direct impact on every organization. The way we turn that around is to find a starting place to ground the opportunity for positive change and that starts by talking about it.  This series will do just that and also provide the attendees with opportunities to share and learn about creating a culture of caring which leads to resilience.  In short, when we lift others, we all rise and supporting the emotional wellbeing of our fellow coworkers provides the foundation of being at our best, at work, at home and in the community.

Register for these two crucial mental health learning sessions: Understanding Mental Health in Our Workplace: Part 1, on December 8, and Strategies for Supporting Workplace Mental Wellbeing: Part 2, on December 15.