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Employers bringing mental healthcare to the workplace

todayMay 28, 2024 2

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO)–Many organizations have shared about mental health throughout the month of May, but this mental health month is not only for nonprofits, families or individuals, it’s also an issue many employers are working hard to address. The impact employers can have on mental health care in tonight’s Eye on KELOLAND.

“We walk the floor several times a day. We walk through the offices several times a day and we kind of take it on as a personal challenge to make sure people are up to their normal self,” Dakota Kitchen and Bath operations manager Tracey Ketchum said.

With right around 100 employees, operations manager Tracey Ketchum says everyone at Dakota Kitchen and Bath still feels like family.

“We try to make sure we know each and every employee well enough so that we can tell if they’re having a bad day,” Ketchum said.

They’re not only spending time helping take care of employees’ mental health, but also investing in making sure they always have access to help when needed.

“They can either text, they can call, they will video chat, they’ll set up an appointment and come right out here. We allow employees to go ahead and punch out, meet with that individual in one of our conference rooms and punch back in and go back to work if that works for them,” Ketchum said.

It’s a service Well365 is providing employers all over KELOLAND and around the nation, helping provide a more-hands on approach to health care over the traditional Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

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“Once they get vulnerable to wanting to say, yes, I would like to talk with someone, there’s a small window in which those individuals really have because that problem, you know, allows them to want to talk with someone in the near future. And so the fact that we’re able to be same day, next day response to work with them, that’s where the engagement comes in, where employers have seen that value in partnering with us because of that accessibility,” Well365 founder Trisha Dohn said.

Well 365 Founder Trisha Dohn says that immediate access to mental health care is helping far more people reach out.

“I think by offering a multitude of different ways, it allows again to meet people with where they’re at. Some people are going to be comfortable meeting with one of our providers on site. Someone may not be comfortable, so they want to come to our office and sometimes even just making that phone call is hard. So being able to text and get the provider more directly right then,” Dohn said.

In the past Ketchem says employees would have to reach out to a hotline and schedule an appointment with a counselor often weeks after making the call. She says better, quicker access to care has made a huge difference in her staff.

“I used to see maybe three to four people use it in six month’s time frame and we’re seeing at least that on a monthly basis now. It tells me that there are a lot of things out there that people do need someone to talk to, they need someone they can trust,” Ketchem said.

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“We need to change the mental health model that we’ve had in place for 20, 30 years. That model needs to change as our workforce has changed and that’s what we’ve been able to do with our team,” Dohn said.

Well 365 now has three full-time counselors who are constantly meeting with employees all across KELOLAND. An investment their clients say pays off two fold.

“It is a benefit for both. If we have happy, healthy employees, they show up for work. We don’t have absentee problems as well as they are here to get the work done. The more that they come in, the happier they are, the better our quality is, the better production that we do get out as well,” Dohn said. 

Well365 also provides mental health trainings for managers and employees so everyone on the team can help identify when one of their coworkers might be struggling. Ketchum says the program has been a huge tool for retaining employees in a competitive workforce.

Written by: The Dam Rock Station

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