State Department Holds First Meeting on Mental Health in the Workplace


Michigan (WLUC) – Last week Governor Whitmer instructed the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity to implement strategies and Wednesday was the department’s first seminar.

Mental health is a universal topic that many deal with every day, even in the workplace. The Michigan Department of Labor hosted a virtual seminar to discuss how employers can help with the mental health of their employees. Deputy Director of the Division of Labor Sean Egan said there is no one-size-fits-all solution to mental health.

“I’d like to tell you that if you do x, y, and z, you’ll be fine, but it’s not that simple,” Egan said. “So we will continue to develop resources and opportunities, so we will go back, but we are available to continue this discussion.

The seminar also featured a member of a national non-profit organization called Society for a Skilled Workforce. The discussion focused on high stress and how it can lead to burnout. Director of the Workplace Trauma and Resilience Division, Vickie Choitz said workplaces have the opportunity to provide a healthy environment.

“The more we understand about toxic stress, trauma, and resilience, the more we understand these automatic bodily responses and what we can do to have healthier behaviors, the better off we’ll all be,” Choitz said.

Egan discussed the added stress the Covid-19 pandemic has created for employees. After small PowerPoint presentations, Egan and Choitz answered questions from viewers. Egan said the subject of mental health is ongoing and requires constant work, even in the workplace.

“I think we’re at the foundation stage and that’s important. We need to keep pushing it forward in both the private and public sectors,” Egan said. “The state as an entity is committed to ensuring that we continue to have these discussions to talk about resilient workplaces and building stronger communities.”

Egan said he hopes that if more people hear about the work the state is doing to improve discussions about mental health, it will create a stronger Michigan.

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