Posts Tagged MINES & Associates
May is mental health awareness month – an issue that has implications on individuals as well as the organizations they work for. The importance of mental health and the employee is a frequently discussed topic in the field of HR. Does the employer have a responsibility for their employees’ mental health? How can offering mental health benefits help the organization? Although there are multiple perspectives, there are some ways that the employer can help support their employees through difficult times.
One common and inexpensive benefit that the vast majority of organizations provide to their employees is an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Yes, MINES and Associates is an EAP provider, and as such we see the issues that come to the table: low morale, family conflicts, substance abuse, and financial stressors to name a few. We also hear success stories of employees completing their counseling sessions and feeling that many areas of their lives have improved – including their job! Being the HR specialist of an organization which provides EAP services, it was easy to see where the value of an EAP lies. When an employee comes to you with a problem or suspicions of a mental illness, it’s reassuring to know that as an HR specialist, you have a great resource available where you can refer employees to clinicians that are better suited to help with these sorts of problems.
In addition to an EAP, there are other ways that you can regularly support your employees. Some benefits that our employees greatly appreciate include generous time off, the ability to work remotely, and encouraged open-communication. During times of stress, employees tend to appreciate time off to deal with personal matters. Working remotely allows the employee flexibility in their work. Finally, open-communication allows employees to bring forth concerns and needs without fear of reprisal. Your employees are the greatest asset of the company – show them that you care and support them!
Daniél C. Kimlinger, MHA
Human Resources Specialist
As we focus on Overcoming Addiction as this month’s wellness theme, it’s important to note that addictions not only affect the addict themselves, but have a huge impact on the family, friends, and loved ones who surround the individual.
While family members may focus more on the addict rather than themselves during recovery, many addiction treatment models include the family member as part of the addict’s healing because of the role that relationship can play.
In browsing the MINES PersonalAdvantage site (our online resource portal available to MINES client organizations) I was able to find a wealth of information concerning addiction and the affects on the family. Specifically, one article by Parlay International points out that family members often share the same concerns, such as:
- Suspicion of the addict’s actions, leading to constant family conflict.
- They blame themselves and each other for addict’s illness.
- They are afraid of the addicts changing behavior, especially mood swings. They fear it could break up the family unit.
- They are embarrassed by the addict’s behavior.
- They resent the unfair demands place upon them by the addict.
If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, check out community resources such as Al-Anon or Narc-Anon. Additionally, feel free to contact us at MINES anytime for support or related questions concerning addiction or other behavioral health concern. We’re here to help.
Manager, Business Development
As many of you know I am functioning as an ambassador of the firm doing volunteer consultation at Shanti Bhavan, a school for very poor children in India who would have very few opportunities in life had they not been admitted to Shanti Bhavan.
I will provide some video/audio of the piano recital put on by the students of our former colleague Allegra Boggess and photos of the first ever Shanti Bhavan chess tournament, plus the two daily martial arts classes.
We had 97 children participate in the chess tournament. The chess boards range from those purchased at local stores to paper boards and pieces that were homemade. In addition, there are some pictures of the tae kwon do and jujitsu classes I am teaching. The classes are taught in the grass for falls and throws and on the clay/rock soccer fields – no mats, no air conditioning, and Frisbees for kicking pads.
From a performance stand point two important elements are represented in these examples. First, high levels of performance can be achieved with few resources and making the best of those available. Second, enthusiasm, passion, and persistence, along with appreciation for the opportunity, can carry one to heights one may not have dreamed of.
Robert A. Mines, Ph.D.
CEO & Psychologist
All of us realize that stress is just a natural part of our lives. But some of the effects that ongoing stress can have on us can be debilitating to our health and thus only causing further chaos. One of the big ones is that there are just not enough hours in our day. But if we could each find a few minutes in our days or even make that adjustment to make time for the things that relax us, all of us would be a lot more efficient in what we attempt to accomplish. It could be just taking a few minutes in the morning after you wake up to stretch and breath or rearranging your normal schedule to fit in a yoga class here and there.
The first step is coming to terms with our stresses and then making the conscious decision to adjust and transform them to something beneficial. Here is an article on Stress Management from the Mayo Clinic to help you discover your reactions to stress and learn how to manage it.
~The HealthPsych Team
As the snow falls on the Colorado Rockies, my wife and I get excited for the upcoming ski season. MINES and Associates is headquartered in the foothills of Denver, Colorado which provides those of us who are skiers and snowboarders a 60-90 minute drive to some of the best skiing in the world. We are heading up for opening day and look forward to a fun and exciting season.
For many people the coming of winter is very depressing. It is cold, gloomy, and snowy, which creates hardship for many people. Heating costs go up and many people can’t afford to keep the house temperature as comfortable as they’d like. Driving to work is challenging and practically impossible on heavy snow days, leading to anxiety and frustration.
Winter comes down to whether you are mentally prepared for the change from warm to cold. If winter typically gets you down, try something new this year. Talk to your Human Resources Department at work and ask about your EAP (Employee Assistance Program). Assuming your company has such a program for employees, make the confidential call to one of the counselors and ask for some advice and ideas on how to make it through the winter with more ease than in the past.
Best wishes for a good winter and happy holiday season!
Senior Sales Executive
Barack Obama spent much of his first year in office on a quest for health care reform. Those against it alleged a government takeover and those in favor were concerned it didn’t go far enough. Either way you look at it, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law. What seemed to fall through the cracks of the debate, is the idea of mental health parity – the massive reform in mental health laws that was ultimately attached to the 2008 financial bailout. As a background, The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 says that ALL psychological conditions must be treated the same as any physical illness. Prior to Parity it was common practice to limit patients to a few therapy visits a year, assign higher deductibles or reimburse a small percentage. Under Parity, seperate deductibles can’t apply nor can your out-of-pocket contributions differ.
Although this was a major victory, its taken a backseat to the healthcare reform and the economic stimulus package. The act, which self-funded organizations of 50 or more were required to comply as of Oct 1 2009 or any renewal date following, officially went into effect on January 1, 2010.
So how does this all fit into Health Care Reform? First, Mental Health Parity and its regulations are still in full effect. Second, Health Care Reform has expanded the reach of Parity. It’s now expanded to cover dependents until the age of 26. It has also expanded to fall under the section of “essential health benefit” which means treatment can’t be denied for pre-existing conditions. This means that insurance companies are required to provide coverage and that coverage must be equal to coverage provided for any other medical ailment. Behavioral Health benefits are now a mandatory part of basic care as well as certain psychotropic medications which are required under insurance formularies.
At MINES, while we’ve been working to help groups become compliant with Parity and gain an understanding of how Health Care Reform is impacting Parity and behavioral health overall, we’ve also been helping to put some measures in place to contain the potential cost increases of these massive reforms.
If your organization is in need of some consulting around this topic or any other behavioral health topic we urge you to contact us. We’d also be glad to show you some easy ways to contain costs under the new health care regulations.
Posted by Ian Holtz
Manager, Business Development
If you want to help, please check out their tips to get you started. To help immediately, text PETS to 50555 to donate $10 to the Humane Society.
If you haven’t caught the news, Boulder is currently experiencing a rash of wildfires and the Humane Society has been trying to rescue animals that have been trapped in this terrible event. Individuals wanting to help out in this effort are urged to make donations such as clothing, furniture and pet supplies to the Humane Society between now and September 16th when they will be letting victims of the fire pick up donations.
We applaud all of those courageously fighting the fires in Boulder, CO, and wish to thank the Humane Society for their dedication and effort in helping these lost, domesticated animals.
Our new client organization:
Haynes Mechanical Systems has been providing solutions to heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) needs since 1968. With over 40 years in the field, Haynes is on the forefront of energy savings and green building. They are a National Member of the U.S. Green Building Council and have a service team with an acute awareness of the field and its continuous changes. Because of this Haynes is constantly evolving to meet the demands of the changing energy markets. They provide Building Automation and Services which include: Maintenance Solutions, Technical Solutions, On-Call Services and Linc Services. Haynes has service locations in:
- Colorado Springs
- Northern Colorado
Humane Society of Boulder Valley who for the first time ever waived the cat and kitten adoption fees on August 1st, which resulted in 98 cats finding new homes! With 118 total pets adopted that day, they were able to break a 108-year history record for single-day adoptions!
Whiting Petroleum Corporation for placing 75th in the top 100 U.S. stocks reaching a new 52-week high in NYSE:WLL at 30%; ranked based on year-to-date performance.
Best Wishes To…
EBMS, Stillwater Mining Company, Energy Laboratories, Oftedal Construction, Tire-Rama and all of those affected by the tornado in Billings, MT on June 20, 2010. What had only lasted half an hour resulted in millions of dollars in damage including extensive damage to the city’s sports arena, bars, casinos, restaurants, cars, and neighborhoods. We wish you all a safe and resilient recovery during this time.
Until next time!