Wellness countdown to 2022 — 3. The ultimate workplace mental health toolkit | American Dental Association

Wellness countdown to 2022 — 3. The ultimate workplace mental health toolkit

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Editor’s note: Here’s to a healthier 2022!

Let’s face it…it hasn’t been an easy year, with the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to impact day-to-day lives.

In August 2020, an ADA Health Policy Institute survey on the impact of COVID-19 on dentists under the age of 35 found that 87% reported experiencing anxiety and 55% reported experiencing depression. In the same survey, 55% were not familiar with mental health and other supportive services; and over 30% were not comfortable seeking out mental health services for themselves or team members. Early indications from the 2021 health survey show continued mental health concerns for dentists, including anxiety and depression.

Let’s count down the last busy days of 2021 by highlighting wellness resources and tips the ADA has to offer — from toolkits on workplace wellness and videos on ergonomics to webinars and fact sheets on mental health.


3. The ultimate workplace mental health toolkit

The Ultimate Workplace Mental Health Toolkit from NAMI Chicago outlines key concepts underpinning workplace mental health, some common pitfalls that employers make, and actionable steps that dentists can take to integrate each concept into their workplace.
   
“Society tends to talk about mental health only in the frame of illness. Mental health, it seems, only exists when it is a problem. But this is, on the face of it, absurd,” according to the toolkit. “Does physical health only exist when someone is ill? When they face a physical challenge?”
   
This guide explores the key concepts of workplace mental health and how to optimize the workplace — such as the dental practice — to foster positive mental health. It also includes tools, including an employee survey to assess a team’s knowledge and feelings about mental health; an employee quiz to assess the current state of mental healthcare accessibility in your organization; and a mental health visibility and accessibility checklist.