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Making mental health a greater priority for workers in Utah

If the last year-plus has proved anything, it’s that mental health is just as important to our lives as physical health. With all the challenges and stressors that the pandemic response has presented, it also has colored work life, sometimes in a fierce manner.

To that end, finding a way to bring up the importance of mental health at work is a good starting point. It’s more critical, however, to take that a step further and provide resources to ensure that everyone in need can benefit from help.

Utah Business recently ran a great article by Derek Miller, that makes the case for providing mental fitness opportunities for workers in the Beehive State. Anyone can benefit from these tactics designed to bring a more focused and impactful approach to staff’s mental health. It’s recommended that these programs have longevity beyond the mental health consequences of the public health crisis.

First Utah Bank also believes greatly in helping its community beyond meeting banking needs. Community volunteerism has always been an important part of what we do, and it’s a current priority.

Integrating mental health with workplace wellness

Miller starts his discussion on mental fitness with this telling stat: about two-thirds of Americans spend most of their day at work. It speaks to the need for helping employees, who may or may not have the support of family and friends away from the workplace.

While many people take into account physical health and take steps to better or maintain it, mental health doesn’t get the same scrutiny, Miller writes. “Companies and organizations can assist with this by setting goals to train employees on ways to improve mental well-being, combat negative thought patterns, and foster an emotionally intelligent workforce,” he writes.

He also suggests management become part of the solution, by integrating mental health and coping skills into their leadership training.

Besides being the right thing to do for fellow human beings, being more empathetic and encouraging about mental health has other benefits that may not be as expected. Miller writes that “this will not only create more engaging and productive workplaces and improve organizational performance but can also save lives.”

A step-by-step way to react positively

With the move toward more remote work, it’s also more difficult to gauge the need for action with employees who may be struggling with their mental well-being. There’s a great resource Miller discusses as a part of this need: an employer toolkit from the Salt Lake Chamber that’s meant to promote better mental health in the workplace.

This toolkit is divided into five areas, and they are as follows:

  • 

Pre-action planning: Assessing and ideas for how to bring mental health and suicide prevention training and programs into the workplace.
  • 

Upstream strategies
: How to be more proactive and prevent workplace concerns with mental health.
  • Midstream strategies: Ways to identify employees who may be struggling with stress.
  • Downstream strategies
: Techniques to respond when it is clear that an employee is going through a mental health crisis.
  • Getting started: Specifics and ideas on what companies can do to address mental health issues.

Combining all of these elements into an easy-to-follow framework could do wonders to support mental wellness in your own workplace. “Utah’s workforce keeps our state first among equals, and the individuals who carry our economy deserve the best of leadership who make sure their mental well-being is a key priority,” Miller writes.

Ways that First Utah Bank serves its community

First Utah Bank has always considered volunteerism a vital part of what we can provide as Salt Lake City and the state’s community lender. as a community leader. It has been a focal point since we began in Salt Lake City in 1978.

While that includes the business’ support of non-profit groups, branches of First Utah Bank also participate in fundraisers, food drives and other community projects. Among the initiatives we support are helping residents find housing and helping families find access to affordable and healthy food options.

We also encourage our employees to become volunteers in the community for causes that are close to their hearts. Some of our employees also offer their time as guest speakers for local community groups, talking about the financial world and how to navigate it.

It’s all a part of our commitment to be a true “community bank.” That’s to say, helping not only our own customers but those who are struggling and could use a hand to better their lives. To find out more about us, go to the First Utah Bank website.