Mental Health News

OPM Staff Fact Sheet - Federal Workplace Supports Mental Health

Employee Fact Sheet

Mental health is critical to individual well-being, workplace effectiveness, and the functioning of a community. Every employee plays a vital role in creating a positive work environment, understanding what it means to be mentally healthy, and supporting those who may be facing challenges. This fact sheet will help you gain insight into mental health statistics and issues and learn what you can do if you are concerned about someone.

OPM Supervisor Fact Sheet - Federal Workplace Supports Mental Health

Information for Supervisors

Mental health is critical to employee well-being, workplace effectiveness, and community strength. Supervisors play a vital role in understanding what it means to be mentally healthy, ensuring a positive work environment, and supporting employees who may be facing mental health or substance abuse challenges.

Mental health is a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, works productively, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community. Individuals with mental health problems may exhibit changes in their mood, interactions, or performance at work. Signs of a decline may include an inability to make decisions, repeatedly missing deadlines, being late to work, reduced quality of work, distractibility, or a general lack of interest and focus.

June Is National Safety Month

Safety is an issue that is present in almost every aspect of life. Whether we are consciously aware of it or not, we are constantly making decisions that can directly impact our own safety, and/or the safety of those around us. The National Safety Council has chosen five primary areas of focus for this year’s National Safety Month:

  • Prescription drug abuse
  • Slips, trips, and falls
  • Awareness of your surroundings
  • Distracted driving
  • Summer safety

[The following statistics come from the sources listed below.]

Did you know that almost 15,000 people die each year as a result of overdoses involving prescription painkillers? In 2010, almost 12 million Americans reported non-medical use of prescription painkillers (i.e., using them without a prescription and/or for the feeling that they cause) within the previous 12 months. Painkiller misuse has been described as an epidemic that reaches all across the nation.

Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

The following information is from the Mental Health America Website:

Pathways to Wellness: Leading Full and Productive Lives

Wellness—it’s essential to living a full and productive life. We may have different ideas about what wellness means, but it involves a set of skills and strategies that prevent the onset or shorten the duration of illness and promote recovery and well-being. It’s about keeping healthy as well as getting healthy.

Pathways to Wellness— this year’s theme of May is Mental Health Month—calls attention to strategies and approaches that help all Americans achieve wellness and good mental and overall health.

Wellness is more than an absence of disease. It involves complete general, mental and social well-being. And mental health is an essential component of overall health and well-being. The fact is our overall well-being is tied to the balance that exists between our emotional, physical, spiritual and mental health.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month

April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Recent headlines and recent research continue to shed light on sexual abuse/assault as a very serious problem in America. Some of the most recent data (published in 2014), from the 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, indicates that 18.3% of women and 1.4% of men admitted to having been raped in some point in their lives. This translates into approximately 22,000,000 women and 1,600,000 million men who have been raped. The data also show that 44.6% of women (approximately 53,174,000 women) and 22.2% of men (approximately 25,130,000 men) were victims of sexual violence other than rape at some point during their lives. ( )

Eating Disorders Awareness Week

Dear Marshall Family,

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. This year’s theme for awareness week is “I Had No Idea,” and their goal is to promote increased awareness by disseminating accurate information about eating disorders and their impact upon the lives of those who experience them. For example, did you know that:

  • an estimated 20 million women and 10 million men will suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their lives
  • an estimated 50% of females and 33% of males use unhealthy weight-control behaviors at some point during adolescence

Eating disorders are not rare, and they can have devastating effects on both emotional and physical well-being. Those who experience eating disorders come from all walks of life. They often suffer secretly for months, or even years, before seeking treatment, and many do not seek treatment until encouraged to do so by a loved one. I encourage you to explore the sites listed below, for valuable information about the prevalence, signs and symptoms, and treatment of eating disorders.

September is Suicide Awareness Month

Dear Marshall Family,

In our American culture, we don’t usually do a very good job of openly talking about death. I suspect that we’re not alone in this, because talking about it can sometimes make it seem more real, more present, more unavoidable, and perhaps even more likely. Maybe these and other factors combine to put a great deal of pressure on us to try to figure out how to talk about it without making people uneasy. But maybe we need to talk about it, anyway – even if it makes us uneasy – because when you think about, few things are more real, more unavoidable, or have a greater impact on loved ones, than death. 

January is National Stalking Awareness Month

January is National Stalking Awareness Month

Estimates of the number of people in the United States who are victims of stalking range from 3.4 to 6.6 million, annually. Despite the fact that it affects at least 1 in 6 adult women and 1 in 19 adult men, this safety/criminal issue continues to receive little public attention, except in cases in which the victims are celebrities (which actually represents a very small percentage of the cases). I encourage you to take a look at the websites pasted below, for additional information.

Oh The Holidays

This phrase can mean such different things to different people! To many of us, it’s a cry of excitement, because we love the holiday season and can’t wait for it to get here. For many of us, it’s a cry of dismay, because the holiday season brings with it lots of extra stress, sadness, and/or other versions of distress. And for many, it’s a combination of the two – a sort of love-hate relationship with the holiday season. Regardless of which of these groups we may be in, I think it’s fair to say that the holiday season brings with it an extra dose of stress for most of us, in one way or another.

Trying to identify the sources of this extra stress is a good place to start, in trying to better manage it. This takes a little effort, but it is well worth the investment. The list below may be helpful in identifying ways to reduce your holiday stress.

Suicide Awareness

Dear Marshall Family,

September is Suicide Awareness Month. Many of us have experienced the loss of a friend or other loved one to suicide, and we know that thinking about it can bring on strong feelings of hurt, anger, and confusion, even after many years have passed. Despite this, however, and perhaps even more importantly because of it, I encourage each of you to join with me in taking a few minutes to learn more about suicide.