Promoting Mental Health Across GovCIO

  • Article

GovCIO is celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month by spotlighting employee champions dedicated to promoting mental well-being, both within and beyond the workplace.

The GovCIO team is a diverse workforce, including veterans, military spouses, working parents, and individuals from various backgrounds. This month, we’re uniting to share experiences, encourage open dialogue, and reduce the stigma surrounding discussions about mental health.

Spotlight on Stephanie Kazakoff

Maintaining Mental Well-Being

Prioritizing mental health is crucial, especially for individuals like Stephanie, juggling roles as a project manager, mother, and military spouse. With life’s constant transitions and numerous responsibilities, maintaining mental well-being is paramount for showing up as your best self.

Investing in Our Military Communities

Amidst two decades of continuous warfare, the mental well-being of veterans and service members has emerged as a pressing concern, drawing attention from both the media and those with personal military ties. While posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression are often spotlighted, they represent just a fraction of the mental health challenges faced by this community. Research suggests that around 14% to 16% of deployed US service members in Afghanistan and Iraq struggle with PTSD or depression, but it’s vital to recognize the broader spectrum of issues, including suicide, traumatic brain injury (TBI), substance use disorder (SUD), and interpersonal violence.

These challenges extend their impact beyond the individual, profoundly affecting service members and their families. While combat and deployments heighten the risk for mental health conditions, the strains of general military service should not be overlooked. These issues don’t adhere to a linear timeline, with certain periods proving especially stressful, such as during proximity to combat or when transitioning from active duty.

Understanding and addressing these multifaceted mental health concerns is imperative for supporting the well-being of veterans, service members, and their families alike.

Learn More About Veterans at GovCIO

Spotlight on Renita Thompson

Addressing Stigmas and Support

Recognizing the significance of mental health in the workplace, Renita highlights the importance of open communication and supportive leadership, as demonstrated by her manager’s proactive approach.

Acknowledging the stigma surrounding mental health, particularly in the African American community, Renita encourages open dialogue and seeking support from trusted sources. She emphasizes that mental health challenges shouldn’t be faced alone but require understanding and care.

Mental Health Diversity

Research supports that before the pandemic, one in five adults in the U.S. dealt with mental illness. Now, that figure has soared to about 80%, encompassing issues like anxiety, depression, and isolation.

In response, employers, like GovCIO, have become more proactive in supporting their employees’ mental well-being. Managers are encouraging open dialogue, while organizations are creating spaces for employees to connect and seek support, such as Employee Resource Groups (ERGs).

Additionally, the pandemic has brought to light racial disparities in mental health care access. Asian, Latino, and Black individuals face barriers accessing services compared to their white counterparts. Acknowledging this, DEI&A efforts are increasingly incorporating proactive mental health support.

Social Responsibility at GovCIO

Mental Health Stats

One in five U.S. adults live with a mental illness.
Will meet criteria for a mental health condition in their lifetime.
Adults don’t receive mental health treatment when needed.

Spotlight on Jaclyn Evans

Utilizing Resources to Prioritize Your Mental Health

Initially hesitant to address her struggles, Jaclyn eventually realized the importance of prioritizing her mental health for her children, professional success and ultimately — herself. In her experience, prioritizing mental health has not only improved her own life but also enhanced her effectiveness at work.

Jaclyn’s journey underscores the importance of supportive workplace environments where mental well-being is valued, and accessible resources are provided for all employees.

Benefit of Workplace Resources for Mental Health

As workplace stress levels continue to climb, employees often hesitate to seek help. A myriad of stressors, from co-worker conflicts to overwhelming workloads, coupled with concerns about job security and personal issues, can impact job performance. While businesses strive to address factors like work-life balance and job security, they may overlook the impact of employees’ personal lives on their work.

According to the American Institute of Stress, personal issues contribute to 20% of workplace stress. Fear of job loss often leads employees to keep these concerns to themselves, fearing repercussions. However, the effects of personal stressors inevitably spill over into the workplace.

To assist employees in managing these challenges, many companies, including GovCIO, offer Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs). These programs are designed to provide support and resources for employees facing personal and work-related issues.

Learn More About Life at GovCIO

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We’re always looking for fresh and exciting talent. If you like what you see, we may be an awesome fit for you. Check out our Job Search page to view our open positions.

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Black and white photograph of Mount Rushmore.
Black and white image of Mount Rushmore with dark blue background color.
Black and white photograph of Mount Rushmore.