Good mental health is very fundamental to maintain good physical health. And you want your employees to experience total workers’ health, right?
The fact that the mind and body cannot be separated produce an inseparable relationship between physical and mental health. Despite the fact that a striking connection, the integration of the two fields in Wellness Worksite programming still has not happened in a meaningful way. Wellness Worksite practitioners need to better understand the relationship between physical and mental health so that they can intervene more effectively with employees to improve results in both fields.
It is important to address physical and mental health integration for the following reasons:
• Individual mental health status or the presence of mental illness such as depression or anxiety can affect the ability of individuals to conduct the behavior of promoting health that handles their physical health status. Therefore it is important that individuals have a better understanding of the integral relationship between all their health aspects.
• Chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, or cancer can have a profound impact on one’s mental health.
• Individual mental health status affects individual abilities to participate in their care and recovery from chronic diseases.
• Family members and caregivers of people with chronic diseases are also influenced psychologically thus have the potential to cause them to ignore their own health.
Integrating all health aspects of the Wellness workite program requires partnerships and integration at various levels. Integration and partnership allows partners to utilize their strengths and resources and to work on shared goals. Integration needs to occur at the program level, the policy level, between vendors and potentially between employers and community-based resources.
The elements needed to support integration include:
• Make business cases through collection, analysis, and dissemination of data on the connection between all aspects of employee health. Data must also show how integration and partnerships can advance the mission and purpose of the employer’s core.
• Develop champions at each level in the organization. While integration requires leadership and motivation from above, it is best to have a champion at each level to start, implement, and maintain integration.
• Establish an integration management work team to maintain integration efforts. Integration efforts cannot be maintained if only a few work jobs.
• Develop integrated intervention based on the needs or gaps identified where positive results and initial victories can be achieved. Early, look for simple, targeted interventions, and within the scope of the mission, resources, infrastructure, the existing partner program initiative process.
• Monitor, measure, and evaluate integrated initiatives by setting goals, measuring, and collecting appropriate data. Evaluation can include process processes, output and results from evaluation strategies. They can include assessing access to access and satisfaction with care, service, or programming, determining the effects of policy changes in results or services, and making cases for cost benefits and / or cost effectiveness.
Programming is one of the main areas where integration can and must be implemented. The four levels we see for physical health programming can also be applied to other health areas. These are: awareness, education, lifestyle and environmental policy / change.
The topic of traditional core physical programming has included physical activity, nutrition, sleep and stress management. The four core programming areas also have implications for mental health like us