December 1, 2023
American Institute of Healthcare Compliance: Recognize Holiday Workplace Stress
With the holiday season here, it is important for leadership to recognize additional stresses on our workforce. The World Health Organization estimates that for every dollar U.S. employers spend treating common mental health issues, they receive a return of $4 in improved health and productivity. Employers can make a difference when it comes to helping their staff manage stress.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, it is estimated that more than one in five U.S. adults live with a mental illness. Mental illnesses include many different conditions that vary in degree of severity, ranging from mild to moderate to severe.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) states workplace stress has been reported to cause 120,000 deaths in the U.S. each year! OSHA also states that workplace stress and poor mental health can negatively affect workers through:
- Job performance
- Work engagement and communication
- Physical capability and daily functioning
Read through helpful information about SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and download the PDF from the National Institute of Mental Health.
Access resources on OSHA’s website “Workplace Stress Make Work Better – Mental Health Matters.”
October 24, 2023
Mental Health Resources for Rural Residents
A large part of caring for one’s physical health and well-being is mental health. Access to mental health care in rural areas can be a challenge, though.
The rural lifestyle is very different from the way people live in more urban areas. The pace of life in less densely populated areas is slower and more solitary, and these areas have been particularly impacted by the declining agricultural industry and often face financial hardship. Factors such as these are directly correlated with an increased risk of suicide in rural communities.
Over 6 million rural individuals struggle with mental illness or other psychiatric disorders, and it can be difficult to find and receive treatment for these conditions in rural areas. Oftentimes, people who live in these areas have minimal or no insurance coverage for mental illness. They may also have fewer options for mental health care providers or have to travel long distances to see one.
The Missouri Office of Rural Health is dedicated to informing rural communities about and emphasizing the importance of mental health, while also providing information on mental health resources across the state. Taking care of your mental health is part of caring for your overall health. Conditions such as depression or anxiety are legitimate illnesses, like diabetes or arthritis.
Rural residents can visit online resources like LiveAnotherDay for help with locating mental health resources and providers across the state of Missouri. Please visit the resources linked below for more information related to rural mental health in Missouri and nationwide.
Missouri Mental Health Resources
Nationwide Mental Health Resources
June 5, 2023
Highlighting Disparities During National Men’s Health Month
During June, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health (CMS OMH) is recognizing National Men’s Health Month by encouraging men from populations that are underserved to prioritize their health and well-being.
Heart disease is the number one cause of death for men of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States, accounting for 1 in every 4 male deaths. Among Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) beneficiaries, men had a higher prevalence of ischemic heart disease (32.3%) than women (22.2%) in 2018. Men from minority populations are often disproportionately affected by heart disease and many of its risk factors, including high blood pressure. According to the CDC, hypertension was more common in Black (58.4%), Asian (51.9%), Hispanic and Latino (50.4%) men from 2015-2018 compared to White men (49.8%). Racial disparities are prevalent not only in heart disease, but also in prostate cancer, which is the second-leading cause of cancer death among males. In 2019, Black men had the highest rate of new cancer diagnoses, followed by White, Hispanic, American Indian and Alaska Native, and Asian and Pacific Islander men.
In addition to promoting men’s physical health this month, CMS OMH is highlighting the importance of men’s mental health. Since men are far less likely to seek mental health treatment than women due to stigma, their mental health concerns often go untreated. In 2021, the suicide rate among males was approximately four times higher than the rate among females. Though men make up 50% of the U.S. population, they represent nearly 80% of suicides.
National Men’s Health Month allows CMS OMH an opportunity to highlight racial and ethnic disparities in men’s health as well as the importance of physical and mental well-being for men of all backgrounds. We encourage you to share the below resources with the men in your community to help them take control of their health this month and all year.
May 4, 2023
Mental Health Awareness Month Promotional Toolkit
MU Extension, the Farm and Ranch Stress Alliance Network (FRSAN) and their statewide partners join the national movement to raise awareness about mental health. Together, they work to fight stigma, provide support, educate the public, make referrals to teletherapy counseling, and advocate for polices that support the millions of Missourians affected by stress, anxiety, and mental illness.
MU Extension and the FRSAN compiled a list of helpful resources to provide all Missourians in a free online publication called the “Mental Health Awareness Month Promotional Toolkit.” The toolkit provides credible resources and reliable tools to promote and support the mental health and well-being of rural individuals, farmers, ranchers, and their families in agricultural communities.
The mental health awareness toolkit includes:
- Outreach ideas
- News Release
- Interview Talking Points
- Social Media Posts
- Referral Resources
- Signs and Symptoms List
- Tips for managing stress
- Print Resources
- Suicide and Crisis Lifelines
Access Mental Health Awareness Toolkit
April 28, 2023
8 Benefits Achieved by Providing Mental Health Care in Rural Communities
People are suffering and the need to offer mental health care in every medical setting is needed. Humanity is impacted by an increase in suicide rates, substance abuse, acts of violence & depression, and rural communities are especially affected.
Small communities band together after tragedy, but problems in delivering a desperately needed service remain. Some organizations have come together and banded forces to develop creative ways about how mental health care can be better delivered in rural communities.
1. It’s the right thing to do (spiritual benefits)
- Benefits achieved by providing this care nourishes the souls of people delivering the care and makes communities stronger by offering them. Supporting a community’s mental health is not a hard sell.
2. The opportunity to provide care to people who have gotten no care previously in incredibly rewarding
- Supporting people with mental health issues, suicidal tendencies, substance abuse and addiction, to name a few, may seem challenging. But once you have started helping people get better, you realize the changes are transformational.
3. Invest in your future
- Providing a service like this separates you apart from the rest, and the cost is usually low compared to for example, the purchase of an MRI machine. The trust that is built from helping someone through a mental health crisis is totally priceless.
4. Instant reputation and good standing in your community
- Clinics that serve mental health are an instant magnet for your community partners, like schools, churches and other places of worship, shelters, and local governments. Once you can show as a proof of concept that your program works, you will forever be a trusted resource in your community.
5. Benefits to your clinic or hospital
- Did you know that it may cost over one million dollars in lost revenue, to replace a good primary care provider working full time in your clinic? Provider burnout, or care-giver fatigue, is the number one reason why providers who wish to continue working leave a job. Primary care providers are uniquely under siege for handling every medical and emotional problem of their patients in rural communities. Why not give them a hand and support them from provider fatigue and burn-out and allow them to be continue being long-term leaders in your community. By offering psychiatric care, you are protecting your most important asset, which is your people. Rural communities have potential for programs that allow for cost benefit reimbursements and other financing sources. For example, both for-profit and non-profit organizations are eligible for unique grants specific for rural areas. Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) are uniquely positioned to provide excellent mental health care. Also, mental health care integrated in primary care, is the direction where the standard of care is heading.
6. A stronger, happier and more dependable workforce
- Employees who know their employer is passionate about providing mental health care, are happier and more fulfilled. You gain instant respect. This separates you from the rest, instantly, as being the premier place to work in your community.
7. Why not have a partner share in the legal responsibility, accountability and liability, instead of shouldering it all on your own
- As it stands right now, most mental health is already being delivered in primary care clinics. Most estimates are that 70- 80% of all mental health care is delivered in a primary care clinic. Unfortunately, these clinics are not getting the credit they deserve, nor are they making the most on the opportunities. Also, they are inherently liable for all the mental health care they are delivering. It would make sense for all the reasons here alone, to share in these legal liabilities and partner with mental health providers willing to share the accountability/liability and opportunity.
8. Refer back to #1
- Rural Communities are special. They are inherently American and full of rich history. Keeping our small towns full of spirit and good mental health is of benefit to everyone, and we are grateful to your commitment to your patients, and your communities. Providing mental health care in your community not only makes sense, from a human level and spiritual level, it is the right thing to do, and you will achieve rewards that are priceless by offering this service.