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Indiana executives taking mental health training

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — State leaders are working with some of Indiana’s top business executives to ensure workers are mentally well at work.

Half of all American adults will experience a mental health illness at some point in their lives, according to the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, while 1 in 5 youth will experience a mental health challenge at some point during their life.

Many of those facing mental health challenges are also part of the workforce. That’s why many executives are turning to mental health first aid training. 

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce is working with employers to remove the stigma around mental health. The council says the health of the community is an “economic driver for the state,” so if the state has a healthy workforce, it can recruit and retain more employers.

Olivia Lackard is a trainer for the course. Her goal is to help managers respond to the signs and symptoms of a mental health or substance use challenge.

“It’s a skill-based and evidenced-based training. It really gives the skills, ‘What am I saying? How am I communicating about mental health to this individual?’” Lackard said. “And then, ‘How do I appropriately refer them to that employer’s EAP or other health benefits that they have to offer to help that person that is going through a mental challenge or crisis at that time?’”

The National Council for Mental Wellbeing created a conversation guide to help managers spark a conversation with their employees.

There are also mental health first aid training guides specifically designed for the workplace, and for youth, teens, and adults.

Anyone can sign up, especially teachers, first responders, and clergy members.