142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Consideration of Employee Mental Health in Worksite Wellness Programs: Findings at a Large, Midwestern University

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Monday, November 17, 2014 : 3:30 PM - 3:50 PM

Jennifer Alyea, MPH , Fairbanks School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology, Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN
Lisa K. Staten, PhD , Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI, Indianapolis, IN
Gregory Steele, DrPH, MPH , Department of Epidemiology, Indiana University Fairbanks School of Public Health, Indianapolis, IN
Tess Weathers, MPH , Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI, Indianapolis, IN
In 2013, in an effort to assess and enhance the health and well-being of its 17,000+ full-time employees, Indiana University (IU) conducted a Workplace Health and Wellness Survey.  This electronic survey was voluntary, anonymous, and modeled after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.  A response rate of 32% (n=5,523) was attained, and the data were weighted for representativeness of the employee population.  Upon analysis, mental health received notable attention, with observed rates of mental health issues often higher than reported state or national levels.  It was found that among full-time employees, a total of 22% had been diagnosed with a depressive disorder at some point in their lives.  In addition, 43% reported having at least one day with poor mental health in the past month.  Nearly one-half (49%) reported often or very often feeling “used up” at the end of the day in the past 30 days, and 20% reported stress affecting their health “a lot” in the past year.  Further, 40% reported inadequate social or emotional support.  Responses also showed that few perceived workplace support for managing stress, and many lacked awareness of existing resources.  A high level of interest for such resources was observed for employees overall, particularly among those reporting poor mental health.  The results of this survey show that employee mental health and well-being deserve focused attention in the development of worksite health and wellness programs, and as such have prompted action on the part of IU wellness committees.

Learning Areas:

Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
List indicators that can be used to evaluate employee mental health in a voluntary, anonymous manner Describe the utilization of anonymous employee mental health information for program planning purposes

Keyword(s): Workplace, Mental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an epidemiologist involved in employee wellness activities in a large university setting. My responsibilities include analyzing, interpreting, and communicating worksite wellness findings in order to identify employee needs and evaluate wellness program effectiveness.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.