Top Employers Take Part to Create a Culture of Wellness in the Workplace
West Palm Beach, FL– In October 2019, Palm Health Foundation empowered thousands of Palm Beach County residents to take charge of their brain health through their annual Train the Brain community health campaign. While the campaign is community-wide, this year the foundation placed special emphasis on “Brain Health in the Workplace” in response to recent studies stating that individuals experience the most mental stress while on the job, yet sixty-nine percent believe it is safer to remain silent about it.
Top employers throughout the county embraced the campaign by promoting open dialogue and the understanding that taking care of the brain is just as important as taking care of the body. Participants were invited to make changes in their thinking, integrate self-care into their daily routines and show compassion to individuals with acute and persistent mental health conditions.
To help individuals and organizations support the campaign, the foundation offered a free Train the Brain Wellness Kit full of helpful tips for better brain health including simple ideas for activities and events that could be implemented in the workplace and by other groups and organizations. During the month of October, the kit was downloaded 732 times. The foundation and its partners also hosted 30 events, including 15 that were free and open to the public, to provide educational experiences including yoga, meditation and art and music therapy. In a post-campaign survey, 97.66% of respondents reported that they were motivated to incorporate healthy brain habits into their daily routine as a result of Train the Brain. Survey comments included, “I feel that I have found my voice to talk openly about family traumas relating to mental health.”
Some of Palm Beach County’s largest employers took part in the campaign, including The Breakers, the City of West Palm Beach and the School District of Palm Beach County, which hosted 10 brain health workshops for staff.
Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County (CSC) stood out as a best practices example for incorporating the Train the Brain campaign into the workplace. The organization mounted a month-long Brain Health Challenge for all staff members, sending daily e-mails with a “brain health challenge of the day” that included messaging about ways to maintain a brain healthy lifestyle. Employees were provided with simple brain health tips and encouraged to incorporate them into their daily habits. Employees who accepted the challenge and logged their activities were entered into a drawing for a wellness basket at the end of the challenge. The brain health challenge covered a wide variety of good brain health information from healthy eating and simple breathing exercises to knowing the signs of concussion and stroke.
For Lisa Williams-Taylor, CEO of CSC, the campaign was a door-opener to help employees feel more comfortable when speaking about behavioral health. “I think campaigns like Train the Brain are opening up conversations to look at the ‘whole individual,’” said Williams-Taylor. “It has always concerned me that our health care delivery systems have separated the body and the head when caring for people.”
Williams-Taylor also learned some valuable lessons while taking part in “Mindful Morning at Dovecot Farms,” a special Train the Brain event in Loxahatchee for senior executives hosted by Palm Health Foundation. The executives spent a morning observing and interacting with the farm’s horses for a unique mindfulness experience that focused on communication, emotional sensitivity and resilience.
“The experience was a very obvious reminder about the importance of prioritizing balance in our lives,” said Williams-Taylor. “I was reminded how we working professionals neglect to prioritize simple activities that will help us relax and recharge. As soon as I arrived on the farm, I began focusing on feeling the ground beneath my feet, smelling the air and taking in the beauty of nature and the animals.”
The Train the Brain experience has inspired Williams-Taylor and her senior team to continue to prioritize building a culture of wellness for employees. They have implemented a Meditation Monday for senior team members to set their intentions for the week. The senior team also pools dollars for all staff to relax and get away from the daily grind. Four times a year they hold “Lunch ‘n Learn” sessions.
“It is very rewarding to see how we can be a catalyst for employers to integrate brain health into their wellness programs,” said Patrick McNamara, Palm Health Foundation president and CEO. “We believe deeply in collaboration and the compounding effect of people working together toward a common goal, which is at the heart of our campaign for better brain health for all.”
To learn more about Palm Health Foundation’s brain health initiatives, attend their 2020 Better Brain Health Luncheon on January 16th at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach. Click here for more information.
About Palm Health Foundation
Palm Health Foundation is Palm Beach County’s community foundation for health. With the support of donors and a focus on results, the foundation builds strong community partnerships, respects diverse opinions, advocates for its most vulnerable neighbors and inspires innovative solutions to lead change for better health now and for generations to come. The foundation supports health equity for Palm Beach County residents of all backgrounds, heritage, education, incomes and states of well-being. Palm Health Foundation has invested more than $80 million in Palm Beach County health since 2001. For more information about Palm Health Foundation, visit palmhealthfoundation.org or call (561) 833-6333.
About Train the Brain
Train the Brain is one of Palm Health Foundation’s annual community health campaigns and empowers residents to take charge of their brain health. The goal of the campaign is to help Palm Beach County residents understand that taking care of the brain is just as important as taking care of the body. Participants are invited to make changes in their thinking, integrate self-care into their daily routines and show compassion to individuals with acute and persistent mental health conditions.