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Discuss what the components that you would typically find in a mental health and wellness program
Briefly describe the components of the organisations you researched
What kind of programs and activities were involved/offered?
Be sure to include information about their EAP programs and referrals
How were cultural considerations factored into the programs, if at all
Include any information about gender-specific or sexual orientation-specific components
How effective were these programs? Are there statistics or research outcomes? How did they measure the effectiveness, if at all?

Components of mental health and wellness programs

Mental health wellness for the working force is extremely important. An organization with physically fit and mentally sound employees can contribute massively for the profit outcome of the organization (Barden et al.2015). Any corporate organization that undertakes wellness programs solely does so in order to promote fitness both in terms of physical and mental health. The key components that are included in any wellness program comprises of the following factor:

  • Inclusion of lab screening and diagnostic testing: Reputed corporate houses organize lab screening and diagnostic testing at frequent intervals for the employees, free of cost. According to Sun et al.(2013) effective physical and mental wellness schemes are the most advantageous schemes that must be under taken at the administration level by all organizations to ensure a positive environment. It is because, the employee workforce comprises of a number of employees who are prone to health issues such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular issues. Incorporation of these diagnostic tests saves the financial cost of undergoing these screening tests on the personal level and at the same time, there is a common notion regarding fear and apprehension that has been reported that prohibits the employees in undergoing these screening tests, but the inclusion of compulsory health check-up and tests make it accessible for all the employees.
  • Inclusion of program aimed at development: In order to promote health and wellness of the employees, the organizations include wellness schemes such as awarding a bonus to the employees who quit smoking as reported in (Richard 2014). These schemes keep the employee force motivated and at the same time uphold the virtue of fitness of the employee force.
  • Proper utilisation of technology: Most of the corporate houses are including the concept of distributing fitness trackers that are linked to the smartphones. These fitness trackers can perform a wide range of functions such as tracking the number of steps taken every day to the number of glasses of water consumed every day. These devices serve as reminder devices and help in keeping the employees motivated and committed to fitness (Mattke et al.2013).
  • Increasing importance on mental health and sleep: The organizations are emphasising on promoting the wellness in terms of mental health and sleep that are considered to be the primary requisite for a healthy employee. The organizations are trying their best to uphold the virtue of the fact that a healthy employee reflect a healthy organization. According to scientific evidences, mental health wellness have been the most ignored aspect (Nell et al.2013). A lot of importance have been given to physical fitness with the inclusion of wearable smart devices that can measure steps and promotion of initiatives such as ‘walk and talk’ but sleeping is not something that can be compiled with any other work. According to statistical evidences it is found that on an average more than 44 billion dollars are spend to combat the problem of depression of the employee workforce. This makes it extremely evident that organizations must include a professional counsellor on a mandatory basis and successful organizations do not entertain the concept of working over-time. The whole idea is to ensure that the employees get ample amount of rest and get to spend quality time with their family after work.
  • Interactive and Informative sessions: Organizations adapt these wellness schemes with the inclusion of interactive sessions which serve as a tool of socialisation thereby promoting mental wellness among the workers and at the same time promoting physical well-being.

The wellness components included in the organizations that were researched included the incorporation of mindfulness interventions to relieve stress and frustration in the employees by including a one-day mental awareness program. In the one-day workshop the organization invited motivational speakers who talked about adapting a positive approach towards work but at the same time try and maintain a balance between professional life and personal life (LaMontagne et al.2014). To maintain the balance is extremely important.

Often the employees mix up both the aspects of life which are both important and that results in frustration, anxiety, depression and loss of self-esteem. The workshop comprised of the speaker talk about the practical struggles of life and the approaches that can be taken to tackle it effectively. Prior to the workshop, in order to evaluate the variables of hope and mental health efficacy a questionnaire was created and it included interviewing 24 participants, one week just after the workshop and three months after the workshop (Doyle et al.2017). The questionnaire was based on semi-structured and open-ended questions that helped in developing an in-depth understanding of the participant mental perception and related behaviour. The results revealed a rise in the hope and self-esteem level of the workers and the response also included an acceptance to the narrative form of motivation that was administered. Participant feedback included the desire for the incorporation of such programs on a regular basis in order to relieve their stress in terms of workload.

According to scientific evidences, it has been recorded that the organizations including employee assistance programs (EAP) can generate a 9 percent hike in the employee productivity and decrease frequent absenteeism of the employees by almost 2 percent (Dimoff and Kelloway 2013). Inclusion of professional counsellors who are available to interact with the employees either in person, over the phone or via internet has evidently generated positive mental wellness among the employees. It has also been reported that inclusion of stand-up shows in the organizations help in promoting mental wellness as is suggested by the common notion  ‘Laughter is the best medicine’ especially when it comes to mental well-being (Goetzel et al.2014). The employee-assistance program includes two important considerations to maintain a member portal that is accessible to employees of the organization on 24 hour basis and at the same time maintain confidentiality so that the employees do not feel that their personal data is being infringed upon while availing the service. The organization that has been has been considered for research includes mental wellness schemes in terms of accessing and identifying the stress areas of the employees and accordingly adopt measures to combat the problem with inclusion of positive and motivating leadership and a supportive workforce. Further, the organization also took an initiative to include the guidelines of Mental Health First Aid and accordingly provide awareness among the workforce not to compromise on their mental well-being.

Components of the researched organization

The counsellors that were employed in order to reduce the stress and the level of dissatisfaction among the employees were trained with respect to cultural competency that made it possible for all the employees of the concerned organizations to access the counselling cell. At the same time, the counsellors did not keep a stigmatized approach on the basis of sex, culture, sexual orientation or race so that the counselling aid was accessible to all without any biasness coming to the front.

The programs were all incorporated based upon the similar idea of promoting wellness among all the individuals irrespective of the racial, cultural or gender background. The degree of effectiveness of the program was evaluated on the basis of the feedback and response generated on implementation of the programs. The responses of the employees were collected on the basis of survey responses or responses to the questionnaires that were semi-structured in theme, supplied with open-ended questions to be able to evaluate the response in a critical way and also develop an in-depth understanding (Churchill and Gillespie 2014). The results obtained yielded positive feedback which is suggestive of the fact that corporate houses must undertake mental wellness programs so as to cater to the emotional stress and work related frustration among the employees. From the literatures that have been discussed above, various forms of improvement schemes such as initiation of a counselling program, one day workshop on mental wellness promotion, wearable sleep and mood tracker and organization of social events contribute heavily in promoting a positive work atmosphere for employees all over the world.

References:

Barden, S., Conley, A. and Young, M., 2015. Integrating health and wellness in mental health counseling: Clinical, educational, and policy implications. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 37(2), pp.152-163.

Churchill, S.A. and Gillespie, H., 2014. The desirability of wellness program and incentive offerings for employees. Benefits Quarterly, 30(1), p.48.

Dimoff, J.K. and Kelloway, E.K., 2013. Bridging the gap: Workplace mental health research in Canada. Canadian Psychology/Psychologie Canadienne, 54(4), p.203.

Doyle, L., de Vries, J., Higgins, A., Keogh, B., McBennett, P. and O’Shea, M.T., 2017. A mixed-methods longitudinal evaluation of a one-day mental health wellness intervention. Health Education Journal, 76(2), pp.244-256.

Goetzel, R.Z., Henke, R.M., Tabrizi, M., Pelletier, K.R., Loeppke, R., Ballard, D.W., Grossmeier, J., Anderson, D.R., Yach, D., Kelly, R.K. and Serxner, S., 2014. Do workplace health promotion (wellness) programs work?. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 56(9), pp.927-934.

LaMontagne, A.D., Martin, A., Page, K.M., Reavley, N.J., Noblet, A.J., Milner, A.J., Keegel, T. and Smith, P.M., 2014. Workplace mental health: developing an integrated intervention approach. BMC psychiatry, 14(1), p.131.

Mattke, S., Liu, H., Caloyeras, J., Huang, C.Y., Van Busum, K.R., Khodyakov, D. and Shier, V., 2013. Workplace wellness programs study. Rand health quarterly, 3(2).

Nel, J.A., Jonker, C.S. and Rabie, T., 2013. Emotional intelligence and wellness among employees working in the nursing environment. Journal of Psychology in Africa, 23(2), pp.195-203.

Richard, M.A., 2014. Employee assistance programs: Wellness/enhancement programming. Charles C Thomas Publisher,pp.111-115

Sun, J., Buys, N. and Wang, X., 2013. Effectiveness of a workplace-based intervention program to promote mental health among employees in privately owned enterprises in China. Population health management, 16(6), pp.406-414.

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