EAPs for MVPs
It was encouraging to read this week's story in The Athletic about Nashville Predators' goalie Connor Ingram asking for and receiving excellent mental health support (also see this article in The Tennessean). One day in January, recognizing he needed help, Ingram went to the rink and asked. Within hours he was on his way to a treatment center for a weeks-long stay.
Reading this, you might think, "it's about time athletes let down their tough veneer and were willing to accept their mortality." Or, "thank goodness Ingram's coaches listened instead of telling him to tough it out."
But, how open and encouraging is your workplace? Do all team members know there's help for whatever ails them, specifically including challenges to mental wellness? How well published are the details of the employee assistance program? And has anyone--especially leadership--mentioned using those services?
It's important for leaders to show they really mean it that they don't expect you to answer their emails at 9 p.m. on Friday night. It's similarly important - perhaps more so - for leaders to show that the investment in the EAP is not just for show. Who couldn't use a little professional counseling, if only about managing the stress of a heavy workload? If you've done so, tell someone at work about it. Remove the stigma. And show the rest of the team that you're human, too.