Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center is hosting a panel of business leaders and mental health professionals on July 16 to explore the challenges employers face in addressing behavioral health and substance misuse in the workplace and methods for supporting employees who are facing those challenges.
Mental health challenges and substance use disorders are impacting the workforce more than ever before. New Hampshire and Vermont have two of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation, and local businesses are struggling to find and retain workers while many positions go unfilled. With qualified workers who may be facing mental health challenges, it is important to explore how to support eligible prospects and existing staff who may experience mental health challenges to ensure that they are not lost from the workforce.
“As an employer and provider, the health of our workforce depends on access to mental health and substance use services,” says Aimee Giglio, Chief Human Resource Officer at Dartmouth-Hitchcock. “Reducing stigma associated with mental illness and supporting each other in an inclusive way, are first steps in encouraging the path to recovery.”
The event on July 16 runs from 5-7:30 pm in Auditorium H and will open with a viewing of the “99 Faces Project: Portraits Without Labels.” The exhibit, designed by Boston-based visual artist Lynda Michaud Cutrell, is a six-month art installation at DHMC, and aims to break down the stigma associated with mental illness by using unlabeled photographs, videos, paintings and sculptures of people who experience mental health challenges and their loved ones.
“Mental health is just as important as oral health in the sum of overall health,” says Tom Raffio, President and CEO of Northeast Delta Dental, panel member for the event. “Northeast Delta Dental strives to provide a compassionate environment in which employees feel comfortable navigating their personal health journey through providing access to training and support such as mindfulness seminars and a robust Employee Assistance Program. I am pleased that my business colleagues recognize this important connection and are willing to share best practices surrounding substance misuse and mental health services.”
Additional speakers include: Stacey Chiocchio, Community Citizenship Manager at Hypertherm and president of the board of the Upper Valley Haven; Matt McKenney, a member of Hypertherm’s Substance Use Disorder Taskforce; Tricia Soule, Executive Director of the New Hampshire Business Committee for the Arts; Jackie Mitchell, director of operations at WS Badger; and Melissa Chase Levesque Folsom, PsyD, MA, Live Well Work Well Primary Care, Dartmouth-Hitchcock.