October 6, 2019
Mental Health Awareness
Sharon Saia, MSW, LISW-S, CEAP

The week of October 6 is designated as Mental Health Awareness week by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). This could not be more timely as mental health issues are becoming increasingly destigmatized. The view to treat mental health as equally important as physical health is gaining ground. Mental Health issues such as depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders are common in the United States. According to the National Institute of Mental Health nearly one in five people have a mental health condition. Many do not seek treatment. Employers are also seeing this as a unique opportunity to assist their employees. Employees spend most of their time at work, and untreated mental health concerns can affect productivity and drive up health care costs. To this end, this week the workplace suicide prevention guidelines will be released, making suicide prevention in the workplace a health and safety priority. This dovetails with our priorities at Ohio State as outlined in the Suicide and Mental Health Task Force Report commissioned by President Drake. In the Report summary, “A Culture of Care encompasses a full, concentrated environment by the entire university community to outreach to one another.” Let’s look out for each other because as we all know, sometimes we need a little help from our friends. Your Employee Assistance Program can help you, your colleague, or benefit-eligible family member with five complimentary counseling sessions. Call at 1-800-678-6265 or submit an online counseling request using the HELP button on the EAP website.