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The Psychological Dimension of Wellness

I am at the National Wellness Conference this week. Many people, when they think about wellness, think about making changes in diet and exercise. But did you know that the most expensive medical cost to business is depression? And it is 70% higher than the next most expensive cost, diabetes. Yet many wellness programs do not address the costs associated with mental health disorders, or do so only indirectly. This is the bad news.

The good news is that there are psychological tools that can be learned that are associated with lower medical costs for mental health disorders. The even better news is that these same skills are important business skills. Mindfulness, optimism, and resilience have each been linked, in empirical research, with reductions in relapse rates and prevention of depression, anxiety, and other diagnosable mental disorders. Mindfulness has also described by the Hay Group, a consulting firm at Harvard University, as a critical skill in leadership. Optimism has been studied by Martin Seligman, Ph.D., who noted that it is a key component in successful sales teams. The U.S. Army has initiated a project to teach resilience to soldiers, family members and Army civilians in an effort to reduce the incidence of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, lower suicide rates, enhance coping skills and help them thrive.

The Wellness movement helps people to function at a more optimal level. The psychological dimension is a critical component, something that the Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award winners have discovered for themselves. What is your wellness program doing to address the psychological health of your workforce? 

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Dr. John Weaver published on July 20, 2010 9:07 AM.

Dogs in the Workplace was the previous entry in this blog.

It’s Not What You Make, It’s How You Like Your Work is the next entry in this blog.

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