“Telling the Stories of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community”

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“Telling the Stories of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community”

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June 18, 2024

SRPMIC Hosts Webinar on Mental Health in the Workplace

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As part of the ongoing educational efforts of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community’s Health and Human Services Department, a webinar discussing mental health in the workplace was held on May 14.

Hosted by SRPMIC HHS Community Health Educator Melanie Nosie, the webinar discussed important topics regarding mental health and protecting our peace. “We can normalize mental health in general by talking about it. We can read online, study and learn how to take time to reduce the stigma [of seeking counseling and mental health services],” said Nosie.

She detailed how discussing mental health shouldn’t be viewed as a negative. “Speak up! Empowerment over shame,” she said.

More than 100 SRPMIC members and employees attended the webinar. Throughout the presentation, Nosie ensured that all guests felt safe and supported. Some attendees decided to share different methods they utilize to improve their mental well-being, such as drawing, painting and other forms of self-expression. Exercise also is effective for improving mood. “Practice self-care. Make it a point to get active. Go for a walk. Lift weights. Do something that gets the heart rate going. Clear the mind,” suggested Nosie.

Nosie then discussed how burnout in the workplace can affect the quality of a person’s work. “When we don’t take time off to take care of ourselves, that’s a hit on us and prevents us from doing our jobs well,” said Nosie. Constantly working and not using sick or annual leave has a negative impact. “We’re only hurting ourselves. We are replaceable in terms of work, so we have to take care of ourselves.”

As the webinar continued, Nosie provided examples of how the SRPMIC works to improve the mental well-being of Community members and staff throughout the year. “The Community hosts Employee Appreciation Day, the March Madness Employee Games and [other] celebrations that take us away from our desks for a bit,” she said. “These fun events are meant for us to see people, eat some treats and have fun.”

The SRPMIC Employee Assistance Program is available to provide individual counseling and resources for employees going through a difficult time. “We also have the Breeze Connections [SRPMIC’s Intranet database], which offers help and assistance to those who need it,” said Nosie.

When dealing with intense situations at home, depending on their severity, individuals often struggle trying to find a work/life balance. Open and transparent communication with coworkers/management can reduce stress and anxiety in the workplace and at home.

“It’s important to have a supportive manager and work with a team that backs you up on all of the hard work you do,” said Nosie. She concluded the webinar by adding, “Be kind, because you don’t know what the other person is going through.”