“Happy New Year!” 

“New Year, New Me.” 

“Out with the old, in with the new!” 

We are all surrounded by well wishes, sentiments for setting resolutions, and starting with a clean slate this time of year. With the stroke of midnight on New Years Eve, there is a consensus of thought that we can reboot and move forward with positive intentions for the year ahead.  

As you take those first steps toward your goals, I encourage you to take one step back and look at the environments around you. Are you setting yourself up for success? What supports and resources do you need or want to make your day to day a safer, healthier, and more welcoming place for yourself and those you care about? 

When we talk about environments, let’s think about the places we are spending our time. Did you know that the average American will spend 90,000 hours of their lifetime at work? That’s one third of our lives in an environment that has the potential to impact our mental health and wellbeing. When we look at the work week, 60% of our waking hours are on the clock. How much of the rest of the day is spent preparing for, decompressing from, commuting back and forth, and even sharing the events of your workday outside of “office hours.”  

Have you ever experienced the “Sunday Blues” where you waste your day off stressing about the workweek ahead? Have you gone straight to the couch or even your bed after work because you were physically and emotionally drained? Have you found yourself calling out sick to cope with the burnout of your workload? You are not alone. 

According to an assessment of over 11,000 workers in the US, 80% of participants reported their workplace stressors were negatively impacting their relationships outside of the workplace. This ripple effect is impacting our communities in a variety of ways, which is why focusing on workplace mental health is so important.  

The APA’s 2022 Work and Well-being Survey reported that 81% of workers are actively job searching for a work environment that supports mental health. If finding a healthier work environment is part of your New Year’s resolution, I encourage you to consider advocating for change in your current organization. Mind Share Partner’s 2023 Mental Health Report shows that “employer investments in the experience of work are having a new positive impact on mental health.” When an employer invests in the wellbeing of their staff, they see an increase in retention, attract new talent, prevent burnout, and see a return of $4 for every dollar invested in mental health.   

You have the opportunity to advocate for the work environment you deserve, and MHC is here to help. Contact collab@mhconn.org and ask for an info packet you can share with your leadership team for the MHC Collaborative program. This annual membership is for organizations ready to improve their work environments with a focus on mental health, safety, inclusion, and the overall well-being of their staff. We offer a thorough assessment of your current work environment, strategic guidance based on our findings, trainings and interactive workshops, and resources to aid in your workplace mental health efforts.  

Within your first year of membership, your organization will receive:  

  • Thorough assessment of your workforce culture, environment, benefits, policies, procedures, and employee experience   
  • Delivery of findings and recommendations that identify gaps and address needs to improve the mental health of your work environment   
  • Support for leadership in creating an action plan for implementation   
  • Customized trainings and workshops on workplace mental health, DEI, cultural humility, communication, self-care, and more  
  • Monthly coaching and engagement with MHC staff  
  • Access to resources, templates, and guides to boost workplace mental health initiatives  

Utilize the “new year, new me” mentality, honor Mental Wellness Month, and advocate for positive change for the new year for your work environment by contacting collab@mhconn.org. Our team is ready to partner with you to ensure a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year!