1. Is there a plan in place to address wellness and mental health?
Farnan says this is probably the most important question to ask about your company. She says the team at Burrell realized once COVID hit gaps in addressing mental health and wellness were realized. If a team member loses a loved one or is experiencing significant stress, it can and likely will impact their work. Having a plan that lays out what the health and wellness opportunities are, who the team member can talk with, what time off is available, which mental health services are accessible and how open the office is to sharing personal information like this can make tough times like loss or stress much easier to navigate.
2. How are you talking about mental health at work?
“Prior to COVID, and throughout history, mental health has been stigmatized and difficult to talk about.” Farnan says. “But when we moved into COVID, we saw a 15% increase in demand for our mental health services. That’s from students, teachers, health care workers, CEOs and employees.” Suddenly, everyone was impacted by the pandemic and stress was especially high. Farnan says the increased stress is a big reason why Burrell’s services saw a spike in demand. Not only were people not used to talking about their stress and grief at work, they didn’t know if they could, and perhaps did not realize how much they needed to and deserved to. For those who need an easily accessible place to feel plugged in, focus on self-care, practice mindfulness and meditation, and support and feel connected to a team who is ready to help connect anyone to more traditional therapies, Burrell launched the Be Well Community on Facebook. The daily 30-minute live session gives followers a chance to go through some guided meditation, breathing exercises and self care check-ins.
3. How are your team members doing?
Farnan says this question might seem basic, but it often gets missed. Asking your team how they’re doing can reveal some pretty big needs. And it’s not just the team that likely needs to unload their stress. Farnan says she’s seen an increase in the number of executives and business leaders who need an outlet and community where they can safely talk about their stress and grief.