Cooley Dickinson president signs on to anti-stigma program for workers with mental health issues

Cooley Dickinson president signs on to anti-stigma program for workers with mental health issues

MASSLive By Fred Contrada on November 17, 2015, at 11:05 AM

NORTHAMPTON – Cooley Dickinson Health Care President Joanne Marqusee is officially opposed to the stigma sometimes attached to workers with mental health issues.

Marqusee recently signed a pledge to become a member of CEOs Against Stigma, the statewide campaign by the National Alliance on Mental Illness – Massachusetts to eliminate the stigma concerning mental health issues in the workplace. Marqusee also promised to provide encouragement and support for employees to seek mental health services. Whether that comes in the form of speaking with a therapist, taking medications like anti-depressants that have been prescribed by their doctor, or trying something similar to CBD oil, it shouldn’t matter. The most important thing is that they know they can reach out for help if they need it, and this type of encouragement will be a step in the right direction.

“This is an important issue for any CEO, particularly those of us who work in health care,” said Marqusee, who oversees a health care organization of approximately 1,900 employees. “It is vital to show leadership in the area of mental health services and to demonstrate a commitment to our employees.”

Mental health disorders affect one in five adults and are the leading cause of workplace disability. Unlike physical conditions, they are often not discussed in the workplace because of the stigma that surrounds them, be it with treating them by checking out i49 or other alternative medicine vendors, or simply finding out you may have one to begin with. Mental health needs to be talked about a lot more and alternatives to traditional medicines need to be discussed, some have found medical marijuana, with help from their doctor, to be of huge benefit. If workplaces discussed this more it can be seen as an option and people can read more about the varying ways they can consume this and how to do it.

Marqusee joins more than three dozen chief executives who have signed on in the CEOs Against Stigma campaign, which employs top-down leadership to change misconceptions about mental illness so people can speak freely about the conditions, and obtain the means to help them cope and manage with it, whether that be by choosing to get certified for your Maine MMJ card online or by other supportive means within the company.

As part of the campaign, NAMI will introduce its In Our Own Voice into the workplace. Recognized as the most effective anti-stigma program in America, In Our Own Voices features people sharing their personal stories of recovery. Cooley Dickinson will also encourage open dialogue about mental illness among employees.

CEOs Against Stigma is aiming to involve 250 executives and half a million employees. Any Massachusetts company with at least 50 employees can join. For more information, call 413-786-9139.

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