Trending Away from Mental Health Stigma

by Adam Siak

          While episodes of mental illness impact 1 in 5 Americans during any given year, it is often the case that a large percentage of those suffering from a mental illness are not receiving adequate treatment, with many not receiving any treatment at all. Recent research from Columbia University has shown that from a population of 46,000, for those individuals that screened positive for depression, only 1/3rd were being treated.

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Happiness as a Habit

by Adam Siak

Eating, walking, and sleeping are a few of the most basic human experiences. One of the great successes of the wellness industry has been reframing these basic functions (that often get taken for granted) into skills that can be developed and improved upon. By incorporating small changes in these key lifestyle areas, individuals are able to achieve positive gains in physical health and wellbeing. Eating becomes a skill. Sleeping becomes a skill. And so, too, may the most fundamental purpose of human endeavor: happiness.

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UCLA Reveals Mental Health Improvements with Wellness

by Adam Siak
in Blog

Even the best designed wellness programs face the challenge in answering the simple question: is it working? Ostensibly, the response to this question would be framed in terms of employee health improvements. “Yes, our programs are working, our employees are losing weight, they are engaged in the programs, and they are more productive,” might be the answer from a manager. However, under the intensified scrutiny of a company executive, the response may be, “show me.” Executives want data to justify their investments. Improvements in biometrics and HRAs are one way to demonstrate data-based health improvements. Ultimately, executives would like to make the business case that investment in wellness initiatives lead to reduced healthcare spend and an improved bottom line. The thinking is simple: effective wellness programs improve behaviors, which improve health, which reduce spend (in medical and Rx claims). Except even the most effective wellness programs may struggle in making the ROI case as the reductions in spend may not be realized until years later. This difficulty is reflected by increasing skepticism over the years on whether wellness programs are “working,” whether they’re worth the investment.

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The toxicity of social disconnection: Accounting for social wellbeing in wellness programs

by Terry K Borsook, PhD
in Blog

Humans are supremely social animals. We work, learn, play, pray, eat and sleep in the company of others and most of us wouldn’t want it any other way. We seek out others to celebrate our triumphs and also to mourn our losses. To be surrounded by those we love is among life’s greatest joys, while being rejected is among life’s greatest agonies. Almost everything we do takes place within circles of social communities.

Thus, in a very real sense, the social fabric in which our lives is woven is as critical to our wholeness as the skin that covers our bodies. As such, a rip in this social fabric might be as menacing to our wellbeing as a cut in our flesh. It has been argued that the need for human belonging and acceptance is a fundamental human need, akin to water, oxygen and sex.[i] Successful wellness programs will need to take the critical importance of social wellbeing into account.

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