While we may see lots of colleagues during the course of a normal workday, do we really “see” them? In an age where people often have more profound conversations over their smartphones than face to face, detachment and nonchalance can creep into workplace interactions.
But in that indifference, we might be missing some hints of emotional turmoil and opportunities for support. A coworker who looks down might just be having a bad day, or that mood might indicate deeper distress. Either way, investing just a little time to provide assistance can go a long way.
In recognition of May’s Mental Health Awareness Month, we wanted to highlight an organization who not only understands the importance of mental health in the workplace but has also taken action – DuPont.
ICU Awareness Campaign
DuPont created an awareness campaign called ICU. It was designed to decrease the stigma associated with discussions of mental and emotional health. The acronym corresponds to the three core steps of the program:
- (1) Identify the signs of distress.
- (2) Connect with the person experiencing distress.
- (3) Understand the way forward together.
And analogous to intensive care units at hospitals, the ICU, or I See You, program envisions an environment wherein people are vigilant and responsive to psychological injury or illness. ICU does not require clinical know-how of mental health diagnoses; rather it focuses on encouraging employees to lend an ear when they observe a peer in distress and help “move forward together.”
The ICU product centers on a short video explaining how employees can confidently—and appropriately—connect with distressed peers who may need support. Other components include an implementation guide, a slide presentation, and templates for a flier and email message.
Developed by DuPont’s Employee Assistance Program, the ICU Program was delivered to each of their 70,000 employees worldwide. DuPont has since donated ICU to the Center for Workplace Mental Health, who now makes it available to employers across all sectors, industries, and sizes, cost-free.
For more information and tools for implementation of the program, visit their website http://workplacementalhealth.org/Employer-Resources/ICU.
Whether needing assistance with Employee Absence Management or Occupational Health Testing, Axiom stands ready to support your employees’ health journey. Let’s make May’s Mental Health Awareness Month matter together!