Wellness campaign launched by Behavioral Health

By Maj. Demietrice Pittman, PhD, Clinical Psychologist Department of Behavioral Health Eisenhower Army Medical CenterOctober 19, 2020

Our daily lives have changed dramatically, routines have been thrown out the window and many workers are feeling anxious and concerned about uncertainty in the coming weeks and months.

Never has it been more important for organizations to show empathy, care, kindness and support to their staff. And helping employees stay mentally and physically fit is a very tangible and crucial way organizations can support their staff in these unsettling times.

To that end, you may have noticed a few new signs and tables popping up around Eisenhower Army Medical Center. This is due to the launch of a wellness campaign by the Department of Behavioral Health to promote good mental health and wellness among EAMC staff.

Chief of DoBH, Lt. Col. Stephanie Latimer noted that health care workers at EAMC have been battling Covid-19 since March and the continuous strain of the work can lead to provider burnout and stress.

“Provider burnout is a big issue and we want to work on preventing this stress because it can lead to low productivity and mistakes.” Latimer said. “Reminding health workers to practice wellness can have a profound impact on patient care.”

The wellness campaign consists of the following activities.

• DoBH has set up two tables within the hospital (third floor by Ike’s Café and fourth floor staff entrance) with information on stress management, resources and wellness items (e.g., water bottles, stress balls, etc.). Many of the items were designed and developed by members of the wellness team consisting of Staff Sgt. Christopher Rivera, Staff Sgt. Ashley Jennings, Spc. Alondra Magana.

• You may also see the wellness team stopping in your sections/clinics conducting “walkabouts.” These walkabouts are designed for the wellness teams to distribute information and wellness items to hand out to staff. Items include stress balls, water bottles, brochures etc.

• Hospital staff may also see signs in the announcement cases and on the lawns with sayings of encouragement such as “Smile,” “You got this,” “You are making a difference,” “Tough Times don’t last, Tough Teams do.” The team hopes this helps put staff in a positive mood as they come to and leave work.

• All EAMC staff can also see a trained therapist for stress management tips and resources in Building 327. This consultation is off the record and designed to be a one-time stop to get specific wellness tips and offer resources.

• Opening by mid-October is a wellness room which staff can use. Wellness rooms are a quiet, private space where staff can go to temporarily escape work-related stressors without leaving the workplace. The wellness room will have a spa-like feel and be located on the 13th floor.

DoBH understands that stress is a common occurrence for the DOD population but many people do not seek care for their concerns. The wellness campaign will promote wellness, improve morale and decrease psychological injuries. Wellness teams have been established in many organizations for employees and have shown to improve staff morale, productivity and overall job satisfaction. Let us know how you feel about the campaign.