The components of a mental health and wellness program include the vision and mission statements. The next components id the goal of the program. These goals are realistic in nature reflecting the needs of both the employees and the management. Object is another component which like the goals is involved in the provision of specifications of steps and actions taken to accomplish the goals that are set by the organization in terms of mental health and wellness programs (Arena et al., 2013). Another component is the timeline take it planned in accordance to the set objectives and the goals. This is then time that would be required of implementation the programs and for the evaluation of the program. Often the budget is also one of the identified components of such programs. One of the key components is the communication plan which is required to increase the employee awareness regarding the program. The operation plan of the program should be involved in driving participation of the employees of the organization (Cawley & Price, 2013). The communication methods might involve the employees in the process of planning and implementation. It might also thrive to involve the president of the company to encourage employee participation. Digital media like emails, internet postings and other like the company newsletters and the bulletin boards can be used to spread awareness. The implementation plan is most important component of this program as it provided detailed information about the initiatives taken for the workplace wellness. This will make the individuals responsible for the responsibilities making them associated with the offering of the program. Finally, another key component is the evaluation plan. This helps in analysing that how well is the wellness program working. It also evaluates the rate of participation and the participant evaluation using the appropriate evaluation tools (Baxter et al., 2014).
The organizations searched for this study comprises of the St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, Delta Hotels and Rodale. The organizations have been involved in using two mindfulness-based interventions with effective participation of all its employees along with frontline health-care workers and also its leaders. The results of this wellness programs depicted that the programs helped to significantly decrease depression and anxiety in its workers along with work stress and helped to increase the focus on empathy towards oneself and towards others. Using the results obtained after the conduction of this mental health and wellness program the organisation also involved in the implementation of an employee and family assistance program (EAP) (Richard, 2014). Additionally, there were interventions like the drug plan and the extended reports of absence. Through these programs the organization was successful in encouraging the staff in seeking ways that were informal in nature to apply mindfulness using the mind, spirit and the body. The strategies of EAP included the conduction of wellness school seminars on issues such as resiliency, being well during the shift work and providing successful transition to retirement. Additionally, there are provisions of fitness classes for the complimentary groups; along with the promotion of transportation to work actively through bike rack locations. Provisions of outdoor spaces such as a spiritual garden and labyrinth is present. From the introduction of its wellness strategies, the organization St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton has seen increases in its response rates to its employee engagement surveys. Additionally, there is increase in employee participation in the wellness program year-over-year. This has shown a 14.7 per cent decrease in claims of long-term disability in terms of musculoskeletal injuries along with a 31-day decrease in average days which are lost (St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton. (2018).
The Delta Hotels and Resorts in Toronto is one of the companies that has implemented the mental health and wellness programs for its employees. It has been commitment to engaging its employees and not only in satisfaction. According to Delta, there is a difference in engagement and satisfaction. The engagement focuses on the effects more than the benefits of productivity along with responsibility and a sense of accountability. Therefore, the groups providing leisure and entertainment took on mental health recently as one of its main focal point in order to improve the engagement metric which is most important. In order to benefit the other companies as well, Delta hosted a Mental Health Week with the objective of focusing on the current mental health issues and the mental illness within the countries which would help to get rid of some of the stigma that surround such concerns. The organization also offered ways for employers for encouraging their employees for working through the workplace mental health-related complaints which are very common like stress, depression and anxiety (Rodale Books – Rodale Inc. 2018).
Rodale is the publishing company which has given publications like Women’s Health and Men’s Health and is involved in promotion of a healthy lifestyle of wellness, fitness, and nutrition with its employee offerings. Rodale also provides access to The Energy Centre along with their facilities of on-site athletic gym with had free fitness classes in addition to meditation room. There is also an Organic Farm attached to the Table Eatery cafeteria that provides organic and locally-sourced food. There is an outdoor trail present on the campus and access to Rodale Institute an organic garden for growing fresh produce (Delta Hotels Toronto. 2018).
To promote mental health and wellness programs in the workplace setting it is required to set measurable goals and to involve the employees in developing solutions. When involved in such a program that will help to promote wellness program at a workplace, I would like to play the role of leader responsible for bringing the change in the workplace setting. The primary objectives of developing such programs are to engage the employee in such a way that will benefit the work culture. Some of the benefits of the mental health and wellness program include increase in the number of productive employees (Goetzel et al., 2014). Such programs will also help to decrease the amount of office stress. This also has an impact on the health of employees where the prevalence of colds, flu and illnesses will reduce. There will also be a marked decrease in the office related injuries. The emotional health of the employees will be much better.
To develop the wellness programs some fundamental steps are required to be followed in the workplace setting. These steps include setting of goals that help to benefit the company and the staffs. A team needs to be formed that will help create the employee wellness program. The team is often led by the Human resource and includes the executives of the organization along with the other employees who are interested to promote a healthy workplace (Mattke, Schnyer ; Van Busum, 2013). Once the team is formed, planning needs to be started for program development. A budget also needs to be developed along with the research ideas. Inputs should be considered from the employees as well for the program development. To develop a successful wellness program, the develop team should be always open to feedbacks to improvise the programs.
To develop a quality wellness program certain components and activities can be included in the program that covers the areas of health of the employees. Such activities might include the fitness activities where the employees can be engaged in on-site gyms in the office premises. Often such facilities are not feasible; therefore, instead the organization might reimburse its employees for the purchases which are related top fitness to encourage the staff to join after work exercise groups (Mattke, Schnyer ; Van Busum, 2013). Some general health benefits can also be included like in winters, the employees can be given flu shots and here should be provision of wellness rooms where the employees can tend to their needs which are personal.
Mental health and stress release activities can be implemented. To reduce issues of depression and anxiety stress needs to be decreased. To do so there must be closing time of the office which ensures all the employees leave the office at a reasonable time. There might be provision of activities like yoga classes which helps in stress release. The employees should also be involved in social activities like office book clubs or game nights. Certain activities of community service can also be included like organising of volunteer day or encouraging the employees to organize fundraisers for causes. Finally, certain team building activities might be implemented which will help the team members to bond among themselves. The activities might involve jogging groups or book clubs or organization of volunteer days. Such events will help the employee to come closer and bond well (Richard, 2014).
For better implementation of the mental health and wellness programs, proper evaluation is required that will ensure the baseline measures that are built on the information obtained from the assessment. Evaluation might include reviewing of important information by involving focus groups and group activities. There can be use of absolute metrics along with relative comparisons so that a meaning picture of success of the program is received. Rating scales can also be implemented for increasing the accuracy of the evaluation. Open ended questions can also be used to increase the depth of the evaluation (LaMontagne et al., 2014).