Resources for mental health care

Ending the stigma on mental health is important. People who need help - should feel free to get it the same way they feel about going to a doctor when they are sick. 

Dorothy Watson of the Mental Wellness Center - shared with me some links she thought would be helpful. 

Disclosing a Mental Health Condition to Others

How Parents Can Prevent Drug Abuse

Disability, Substance Abuse & Addiction

The Comprehensive Guide to Home Accessibility for People with Disabilities in Recovery

Financial Burdens of Mental Health and Addiction Treatment

The Guide To Keeping Your Home Through Debilitating Disease

8 Ways to Prevent Relapse

Healing After the Passing of Your Parent: How to Nurture Your Grief Without Drugs or Alcohol

Valuing Diversity

One of the first things companies need to do is understand that diversity is value. Yes – it comes with some difficulty, but the benefits outweigh those costs.

In order to have a diverse workforce, you have to value a diverse workforce. So – what value do you get with a diverse workforce? Better decision making.

All businesses are in the business of solving problems. Better problem solving leads to better solutions and better businesses.

How do we get better at problem solving? Improve our decision making/problem solving processes.

Diversity helps with this because instead of getting like minds together– to think about how to solve a problem, you bring in other viewpoints. Those other viewpoints may yield insights a homogeneous group didn’t think of and can’t think of.

Additionally, diversity helps ensure that stupid mistakes aren’t made because – more diverse experiences means more experience on how things can go oh so horribly wrong. We want that and should want that as it helps us solve problems more effectively.

Once we decide diversity is good and we value diversity specifically because of the input diverse people bring to a problem solving situation, we need to protect those diverse viewpoints so that they can be heard.

People who are used to dominating, are now being asked to collaborate and listen and take into account a diverse viewpoint in the problem solving process. This is bound to cause a reaction. Which is actually predicted to occur if we consider this a behavioral issue.

What we want is people to learn how to work together. This takes time, part of the process is extinguishing the old habits of how decisions are made in a homogeneous group and replacing those behaviors with a more collaborative model.

This is a change management problem coupled with a bullying/harassment problem. Behavioral science should be applied to help our teams adjust so that all voices are valued in the decision making process.

To learn more about how to use behavioral science to create change - consider taking the online course: Why is Change so Hard:

To learn more about how to stop bullying and harassment which is used by people to dominate decision making processes - take my online course: How to End Harassment & Retaliation in the Workplace:

An Algorithm for Happiness

To me - this is Humanism in a nutshell.  Can Can I make today a little bit better than yesterday?

This video is Google's Mo Gawdat discussing how he approaches, pain, suffering and happiness

His approach. Accept that bad things are going to happen. Then ask the question - is there anything I can do to make the world better and slightly less bad?  The answer is almost always yes.

Having chosen yes - and working on what we can - we give our lives meaning and purpose and connection. And that seems to lead to feelings of happiness, despite the bad things that are happening.

The Humanist approach to life - in a nutshell.

If you want to learn my humanist approach to living - check out my online course: Living Made Simpler:  

Dealing with Sexual Harassment - from Hillary Clinton?

It recently came to light that Hillary Clinton did not fire a man on her 2008 staff who had harassed a young lady on her team.  Hillary responded by posting an article on Facebook about what she did and why she did it in response to what happened.  I don't want to discuss the relative merits or demerits of Hillary as a political candidate, but I do think her sharing of her thought processes and how she handled it is worth discussing from an HR/humanistic business management perspective.  So here goes.

First - her essay:

Key points:

1) She believed the alleged victim and took immediate action to make sure the accused no longer had access to this person. She also gave the victim a better job - promoted her.
2) She demoted the person accused but did not fire him. She did ensure that his access to other people and women in particular was limited.  She says she took this route because as far as she knew it was an isolated incident and she believed in giving him a second chance - but in a trust but verify sort of way so that he would not be able to hurt others on her campaign.

While it is very easy to second guess her decisions given that the man in question did go on to harass someone else at another job. I will not be doing that here. Instead I want to highlight what I thought she did right.

Too often, when people complain, they are isolated to protect them while the accused is left free to do whatever they want. This has the impact of socially isolating the victim and limiting their ability to do their jobs. When we do this - we are punishing the person who was brave enough to come forward and report what happened. Hillary not only supported this young woman - she rewarded her for coming forward.

Now, before anyone gets all antsy about how if we reward people for reporting crimes we are going to end up with a lot of false reports, don't worry about that. False reports are pretty easy to spot and don't stand up to basic scrutiny and investigation. Also, the rate of false reporting is quite low. Our problem isn't that we have a bunch of false reports, it's that people aren't reporting crimes of this nature when they happen in the workplace.

The person who was isolated and demoted was the harasser, not the victim. She gave him the benefit of the doubt, but did not leave him free to hurt others. He has monitored so he would have no opportunity to hurt other women on the team. Yes, that seems harsh - but it does give the accused the benefit of the doubt.

We do not know what actions Hillary took to verify the story of the young lady. I assume she did not demote someone without first verifying the story.

What I do know is that unless you take reports seriously and verify them - you won't know. So take reports seriously. Verify. There are not 2 sides to this. Either someone behaved inappropriately or they did not. If they did - they should no longer have access to other members of the team. If you don't fire them, isolate them so that they no longer have the ability to harm others.

And, if you verify that a claim was true - reward the person who came forward and notified you.

Which is worse? Dealing with someone who has behaved inappropriately - or allowing a predator to prey on your staff for years because people are too afraid to come forward? In case you are wondering - it's the latter. Not only in terms of harm done but this impacts workflow and is an enormous legal liability. People with courage to honestly tell you what is going on and that crimes are occurring in your workplace - should be rewarded.  People who are found to have behaved inappropriately need to be monitored closely and if necessary isolated so they no longer have access to their victims and other potential victims.

To learn more about how to stop harassment and bullying in the workplace take my online course: Workplace Bullying for HR Professionals

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