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DFWBGH Rolls Out the Lone Star Depression Challenge in the Workplace, in partnership with Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute

The DFW Business Group on Health, a coalition of 65 leading DFW area employers, is honored to partner with Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute (MMHPI) in its Lone Star Depression Challenge (LSDC)*, a collaborative initiative with UT Southwestern Center for Depression Research & Clinical Care, Harvard Medical School Department of Global Health & Social Medicine, and The Path Forward for Mental Health & Substance Use Disorders**.  The goal is to improve access to high quality, timely and affordable mental and behavioral healthcare in North Texas and increase adoption of depression screening and treatment.  DFWBGH’s role is to advance this goal within the DFW business community.

*Learn more about MMHPI’s Lone Star Depression Challenge (LSDC)

**Learn more about The Path Forward

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Mental Health Crisis in the Workplace

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the ongoing mental health crisis in America with an estimated 4 in 10 adults experiencing symptoms of depression, up from 1 in 10 adults reporting symptoms in 2019.1   In Texas, 43.4% of adults reported symptoms of anxiety or depression in February 2021 and 26.4% were unable to obtain the counseling or therapy they needed.2  Depression causes an estimated 200 million lost workdays a year at a cost to employers of approximately $44 billion in lost productivity each year.  Depression also contributes to the severity of costly chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, also stroke.3

DFWBGH Members become Part of the Solution

DFWBGH will host a kick-off meeting with members in February 2022 to introduce and advance the Lone Star Depression Challenge within the DFW employer community.  A Depression Advisory Group (DAG) will be formed to discuss how DFWBGH will support the LSDC project through the following employer-focused initiatives:

Employer Demonstration Projects:

  • DFWBGH and MMHPI will work directly with selected DFWBGH employers on a Worksite Demonstration Project focusing on education, recognizing depression symptoms, reducing stigma, increasing depression screenings, accessing mental healthcare, and developing benefits strategies to support employees’ mental health needs. The project also will include depression-related data collection and analysis, and professional assistance to develop mental health benefits strategies and resources, employee communications, and mental health parity compliance.

Employer Depression Management Toolkit:

  • DFWBGH will partner with the Depression Advisory Group, health plans, benefits consultants, mental health providers, and subject-matter experts in the development of an Employer Depression Management Toolkit to be distributed to employers locally, regionally, and nationally.

Employer Educational Programs:

  • DFWBGH will conduct employer-focused education programs that address mental health challenges and solutions in the workplace. These programs will be presented in various venues, including worksites, Roundtable Discussions, General Membership Programs, and Depression Advisory Group meetings.

Strategic Communications:

  • DFWBGH will develop a communications plan in partnership with MMHPI to raise mental health awareness among DFW employers, create forums (e.g., employee resource groups) to support employees with mental health conditions, and incorporate mental health in diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI) strategies. The communications plan, as well as project updates and reports, will be shared through local, regional and national press and social media channels.
Leading Change in 2022 and Beyond

The pandemic has caused a shift in the way employers, employees, and society as a whole view mental health, and has forced companies to rethink their workplace culture.  Through our collaborative initiatives with MMHPI, DFWBGH is leading change in the post-pandemic business world, helping employers become mental health champions by removing the stigma and developing culturally competent mental health benefits, resources, and policies.

Contact DFWBGH at 214.382.3036 or Jandis Price at jandis.price@dfwbgh.org if you are interested in participating in this innovative Employer Demonstration Project.

Notes:

  1. https://www.kff.org/coronavirus- covid-19/issue-brief/the-implications- of-covid-19-for-mental-health-and- substance-use/
  2. https://www.nami.org/NAMI/media/NAMI-Media/StateFactSheets/TexasStateFactSheet.pdf
  3. https://www.cdc.gov/ workplacehealthpromotion/health- strategies/depression/evaluation- measures/index.html