By Tina Meketa, University Communications and Marketing
The University of South Florida is responding to a global demand for guidance on how employers can address mental health. In partnership with the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, the USF College of Behavioral and Community Sciences is offering a free, online course designed to help managers and employees become more well-versed in addressing mental health and its impact on their organizations.
Mental Health and Wellness in the Workplace is a seven-session course that covers symptoms of some of the most common mental and behavioral disorders, how to identify behaviors that may suggest an impairment and how to approach the employee. It will also include information on available resources in an effort to help businesses attract and retain top talent.
“Every year businesses lose billions of dollars due to mental and behavioral health issues experienced by members of their workforce or their family members. These financial losses can be attributed to absenteeism, a decrease in productivity and medical claims. In addition, there are considerable reputational repercussions due to high employee turnover, job dissatisfaction and poor morale. Identifying workers at all levels of an organization with mental or behavioral health issues and securing assistance for them is essential,” said Julie Serovich, dean of the USF College of Behavioral and Community Sciences.
A new, two-hour session will be released each week beginning June 12 with all sessions becoming available at the end of July. The course features 40 speakers from organizations and corporations across the country, such as Tampa Electric, Bealls and USAA. The group of professionals includes executive coaches, intervention specialists and several USF faculty and staff members who have an expertise in mental health and human resources.
“There’s no question that the past several years have had an incredible impact on the mental health and well-being of the more than 160 million people in the US workforce,” said Clara Reynolds, president and CEO of the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay. “Major events – from the pandemic to social unrest and now financial uncertainty – have taken their toll on our communities. Now, more than ever before, it is critical that we build healthy organizational cultures to protect workforce well-being, while at the same time acknowledging the economic impact mental and behavioral health issues can have on a business.
Upon completion of Mental Health and Wellness in the Workplace, participants have the option to earn a certificate and digital badge from the USF Office of Corporate Training and Professional Education for a $179 fee. Information on how to register can be found here.