Honest HR

Marjorie Morrison on Supporting Employees' Mental Health During the Pandemic

Episode Summary

<p>This episode is Part 2 of a 2 part Mini-Series on Communication and Consultation.<br /><br />Reported symptoms of depression and anxiety tripled and quadrupled since the start of the pandemic, and nearly 75 percent of workers say they’re experiencing burnout as they try to successfully manage the blurry divide between remote work and personal life. <br /><br />In this episode of <em>Honest HR</em>, host Gloria Sinclair Miller is joined by Marjorie Morrison, the CEO and co-founder of <a href="https://psychhub.com/">Pysch Hub</a>, the largest online platform for mental health that provides impactful and engaging videos and courses on mental health, substance abuse and suicide prevention. <br /><br />Gloria and Marjorie discuss key indicators for HR professionals and people managers to know for recognizing employees’ mental health struggles, as well as <a href="https://psychhub.com/initiatives/mental-health-wellness-in-the-workplace/">Mental Health and Wellness in the Workplace</a>, the joint initiative from Psych Hub and The SHRM Foundation to engage HR professionals in education and training opportunities to lead mental health and wellness change in the workplace.<br /><br />Listen to Psych Hub's podcast: <a href="https://psychhub.com/podcast-the-future-of-mental-health/#:~:text=Listen%20every%20Wednesday%20as%20co,can't%20just%20stop%20there.">The Future of Mental Health</a><br /><br /><b>EARN SHRM RECERTIFICATION PDCs FOR LISTENING</b></p><p>Episodes of <em>Honest HR</em> help you build your competencies while also earning professional development credits (PDCs) toward your SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP recertification! All relevant details, including the Activity IDs, are provided during podcast episodes.</p>

Episode Notes

This episode is Part 2 of a 2 part Mini-Series on Communication and Consultation.

Reported symptoms of depression and anxiety tripled and quadrupled since the start of the pandemic, and nearly 75 percent of workers say they’re experiencing burnout as they try to successfully manage the blurry divide between remote work and personal life.

In this episode of Honest HR, host Gloria Sinclair Miller is joined by Marjorie Morrison, the CEO and co-founder of Pysch Hub, the largest online platform for mental health that provides impactful and engaging videos and courses on mental health, substance abuse and suicide prevention.

Gloria and Marjorie discuss key indicators for HR professionals and people managers to know for recognizing employees’ mental health struggles, as well as Mental Health and Wellness in the Workplace, the joint initiative from Psych Hub and The SHRM Foundation to engage HR professionals in education and training opportunities to lead mental health and wellness change in the workplace.

Listen to Psych Hub's podcast: The Future of Mental Health


Episodes of Honest HR help you build your competencies while also earning professional development credits (PDCs) toward your SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP recertification! All relevant details, including the Activity IDs, are provided during podcast episodes.

Episode Transcription

Gloria Sinclair Miller:

Welcome to the Honest HR Podcast, the show that explores the uncomfortable, complicated, and sometimes wonderful truths of the workplace.

Amber Clayton:

We're here to have honest conversations, giving you the good, the bad, and the ugly side of HR. Nothing is off the table.

Wendy Fong:

This is a SHRM podcast approved to provide SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP re-certification PDCs. Details will be provided inside each qualifying episode. I'm Wendy Fong.

Amber Clayton:

I'm Amber Clayton.

Gloria Sinclair Miller:

And I'm Gloria Sinclair Miller. And we are your three hosts. Hello everyone and welcome back. I am your host, Gloria Sinclair Miller, SHRM Fields Services director. Our episode today will continue our miniseries on communication and consultation. This podcast is approved to provide re-certification PDCs, but only if you listen to the full miniseries.

Over the last year, there's been a lot of change. We've had to talk about things like quarantine and isolation, and just the amount of change that's happened is really creating quite a toll for all of us. So never before has this mental health conversation been so front and center. Our guest today is Marjorie Morrison. Marjorie is the president and CEO of Psych Hub, the premier online platform for impactful and engaging videos and courses on mental health, substance abuse, and suicide prevention.

Prior to launching Psych Hub, Marjorie was the founder and CEO of PsychArmor Institute, which is committed to bridging the military and civilian divide by developing and promoting and distributing free online courses, spanning a wide range of topics important to those who serve military service members and their families. Marjorie, welcome to Honest HR.

Marjorie Morrison:

Thank you, Gloria. It's so nice to get to see you again. And I love how life keeps bringing us back together. So this is going to be fun. I'm excited.

Gloria Sinclair Miller:

We're excited to have you, and like you said, our lives keep bringing each other together. And we're excited to be able to talk about this topic, which is so critical, especially for our HR professionals today. So why don't we start off by you sharing a little bit more with our listeners about your background and why you chose to focus your career in this work?

Marjorie Morrison:

Yeah it's a funny time because I've spent my whole career, decades now, in mental health, and it's always been a little bit more taboo, right? It's always been more of mental illness, so and so has got schizophrenia or psychosis. And I used to tell people in private practice that it was the healthiest people who came in and got help. And I can't tell you how many people would be surprised, and I'm going back a few decades on this. People would be like, "Well, I don't don't get it. What does that mean?" I'm like, "Well, it's the person who says I want to figure out myself a little bit better. I want to work on myself. I want to grow a little bit more. I want to do some self-discovery. I don't want to make the same mistakes again." That's a healthy person. That's actually not what we think of when we think of the stigma around, oh, you're in therapy.

So for me, it's been this incredible gift to watch how we've grown in the past X amount of years. And before I got into this, it was even worse, right? I then got an opportunity to work with the Marines. And this was a really at risk population. I got the opportunity to start a, what I call, proactive counseling and met with the drill instructors one at a time. And it really just a screening process of what do you need help with? Where can we help direct you? Because there's all these great resources. And then I got the opportunity to scale it more within the Marine Corps.

And then PsychArmor was online education. That was just another bizarre opportunity that I got where I didn't really realize until I was working within the military that between only one and 10% of our country are connected. And yet there's all these nonprofits supporting veterans. But at the end of the day, it's us civilians, the 90% that aren't connected, that can really do the most help. Whether we're their employers, like HR. So PsychArmor was focused on training the civilian, the rest of us, how we could support veterans when they come out on the other side.

And then I learned a thing or two about the power of online education, and partnered with Patrick Kennedy, the former congressman, who's been such a big voice in mental health on really just how do we educate all the different tentacles around mental health and give people the best mental health literacy, the best intervention tools, and all that. So it was a little bit of a long tirade of how I got here, but it's been a journey. I don't think I ever thought I would be here doing this, but it's been a great adventure. And COVID has really helped amplify mental health more so than it has ever been before.

Gloria Sinclair Miller:

No, I couldn't agree with you more. And it's so interesting the journey that our lives take us on where you just don't expect where you're going to be able to make an impact and the passion that you bring to that to help within the community. And you and I share this passion for our military community. And me being a part of a military family, and appreciating that there was always this stigmatism or this stereotype when it related to mental health as it relates to our military. And being able to have tools that educate has been so critical, I know for me, as I've tried to educate others in the community around this.

But if we fast forward, it's not just our military community, it is the larger, to your point, 90% where this is impacting not the healthy person that comes in, but there's this impact on our entire community that we have to really think about. And I think to your point, COVID has elevated this focus on are we okay? Because no longer is it I'm going to work and I'm going to shut down whatever's going on in my life to go to work for eight hours. We're working constantly. And this was a little bit pre-COVID. But we're working constantly and we're working in our houses, and it's Zoom meeting after Zoom meeting for some of us. And it's constant. And I'd love for you to expand on a little bit of what you were getting into, which is given the events of the past year.

Marjorie Morrison:

We're seeing things we've never seen before. For an example, from 2019 to 2020 alone, in studies that have been done, reported symptoms of anxiety have tripled. They've gone from 8.1% to 25.5%. And depression symptoms in that same timeframe have quadrupled. Gone from 6.5 to 24%, over 24%. So those are really staggering numbers. And then the younger population, the 18 to 24 population, 75% of them have reported having at least one adverse mental health symptom.

But because of your point, we're on these Zoom calls, we're so wrapped in our own inner bubble. We're not communicating as much with other people. And especially for kids, I mean, they're meant to be social. To go whether they go to school, whether they're at work. And see with all this, now we're home, we're isolated, we're living these isolated lives, but yet we have this sense of connection because we're on calls back to back. But yet the anxiety, the depression, the fear.

And then at the same time, we don't know about the economy, right? We don't know are we going back? I mean the conversation I must have, Gloria, you must have it, and HR professionals must have it all day long, I probably have it four times a day talking to people. "So are you guys going back to work? You opening up your office? What's happening?" And people want to know about that.

So imagine all of this anxiety of just not having any control, right? Not knowing what's coming. And then having to kind of comfort ourselves to say it's okay to not be okay. It's okay to not know and to keep going forward. And you can see why the numbers of substance use is going up. And you could see why the rates of suicide are going up. And I was just reading a report about sexual dysfunction and porn addiction, and couples being separated and divided, but yet in the same household. And I mean, it just everywhere you look, people are experiencing it and they're impacted by it. And I know I recently read an article which I really resonated with, which was every single solitary person, every person has had at least one meltdown, at least one time where they were just like, "I can't take it."

Gloria Sinclair Miller:

Or more. Yes.

Marjorie Morrison:

Or more. So there's two ways of looking at it, right? We got two things, right? On one hand we have mental health issues rising at levels we've never seen, or at least we've never been able to document. The other side of it is we have a common thread. So we're all going through this together. So it's a shared experience. And that messaged and experience the right way can be really powerful. And we have a platform now to be able to speak and to share, and in situations like what you're doing in this podcast and conversations to make it okay for everybody to not be okay. To put mental health on the table in conversations when it comes to benefits and workplace wellness and resources, and all of that in a way that it really wasn't there before. And to be able to have some of these hard conversations for employees to talk to their managers or supervisors about struggles that they're having and not having fears about getting fired.

Gloria Sinclair Miller:

So yes, Marjorie, all of that. I mean, those statistics are staggering when you think about it. But I'm not surprised, right? Just given, to your point, the amount of isolation that we've been in, spending time with people that we probably weren't used to spending as much time with. All of that, it's staggering, right? We're all going through this at the same time. So there's this sense of, okay, I'm not the only one, but you're immediate thought is I am the only one that's going through this. And that's what we have to help people realize is you're not the only one that's going through it. And being able to be able to talk to people about it.

So I think one thing that would be really helpful for our listeners is just to take a step back, right? And just let's focus on what are the signs of mental health? What are some of the symptoms that we should be aware of if we're that HR professional or that people manager, or just that friend and family member who see something is not right, if you would? What are the signs that we should be looking out for?

Marjorie Morrison:

It's a great question. And I'm going to premise it by saying that mental health is a spectrum, right? So when we think about science, we think about all different pieces in that spectrum. And so it's important to be careful about how we posture it because we think about depression, right? And we could think, okay, that's a significant depression, major depression, is it mild depression? But the other side of that, Gloria, is that we all get depressed. We all have moments where we feel depressed. And we all have moments where we feel anxious and we all have nights where we don't sleep well. And that's normal. That's a normal part of life. And not only is it normal, it's healthy. It actually helps us build resiliency. It helps us appreciate the good times. You don't know good times unless you know bad times.

So part of this, when we think about signs and symptoms, is the earlier you could notice it in yourself, then you could come up with remedies to help try to fix it. The earlier you could notice it in people that you love and care about, the earlier you could help them give them support. But going from the lens of that doesn't mean that somebody needs to go on medication or go on treatment. And they might need to. And they might need to see outpatient therapy. They might need to go inpatient for substance use. I mean, there's all kinds of treatment modalities out there. But when we think about signs and symptoms, we have to think about it in a spectrum of kind of where it falls, if that makes sense.

Gloria Sinclair Miller:

Yep. That makes perfect sense.

Marjorie Morrison:

So some of the most common things that you would see is a change of mood, right? So if you notice that someone seems less interested in things that they used to be interested in. Maybe they wanted to get on the family Zoom or Zoom calls, or play virtual. Because right now there's so many virtual games, virtual puzzles. And I'm hearing all kinds of things. But a change in behavior, a change in not wanting to do things that they used to do. Maybe they used to love exercise. Now they're not exercising anymore. So maybe you're noticing that they seem more agitated, angry. Within that realm of it's okay sometimes to feel agitated and angry. But if you see it consistently.

Sleep is a really big one. It's a really big indicator that things aren't right. Sleep is so important. And with the lack of sleep, we have less of a threshold to be able to manage well. And so when you yourself find that you're not sleeping, maybe you're going to bed later than you used to. Maybe you're waking up earlier. Maybe you're waking up several times at night. Can't go back to sleep. Or the loved one that you care for is, that's a sign. That's a sign that something's not right and something needs to change, right? Because lack of sleep over time is not healthy and is not good for many things.

Eating habits are important on both sides. You find someone is eating all the time and gaining a lot of weight. That's also a sign. Why? What's going on that's making them not be able to control that, especially if they used to. And then there's the other side of it. Loss of appetite, not wanting to eat, not kind of motivated to prepare food or to eat food. So that's another one.

And I mentioned this earlier, but substance use is a big one. I mean, I can speak personally. I have never drank more in my life than I have right now. And I have moments where I think, wow, gosh, I've had a glass of wine five nights in a row. I'm not going to drink the next two nights. I mean, I've had to regulate that myself because I never used to be like that. Or I wasn't thinking about it. But in all honesty, it's like what life for me has become this, okay, it's the end of the day. Because once I have that glass of wine or something, I'm pretty much turning off.

So I have to monitor myself and say to my close friends, "Hey, just check off. Just hold me accountable here. I don't want to have to worry about this." We need to do that. We need to be honest with ourselves. We need to share that. Because it's a slippery slope, right? And I think it's easy for us now to drink at home. I mean, I'll tell you, I never used to drink at home. To me, I was like, oh, well, if I'm out and I'm social, I'll drink. But at home I don't drink. And I certainly never drink alone. All of those rules are gone.

Gloria Sinclair Miller:

Well, the virtual happy hours don't help.

Marjorie Morrison:

They really don't. And when you have friends in all different time zones, those virtual happy hours could start way earlier in the day than you're ready for. But yeah. No.

Gloria Sinclair Miller:

And go way later. Yes.

Marjorie Morrison:

Go way later. So that's an important one for many of us to use as kind of our own thermometer as far as where are we doing? And again, I like the thermometer analogy because it isn't yes and no. It isn't black and white. It's in that frame of are you okay with it? Does it feel okay to you? And if not, it's okay to think, okay, what should I do now? What can I do to make it better?

But a couple other things are really a lot of kind of obsessive excessive fear and worry. I mean, this has brought out the most neurotic pieces in all of us, the deepest anxiety in all of us. And we're seeing that, right? We're seeing some people are anxious to leave their house and some people could care less. So there's a whole I would never not wear a mask, I would never wear a mask. I mean, you get the whole gamut and everything in between. And so we call it ruminating, right? Where it's like you're in your head over and over and over and over again. And I have a friend where we joke about you put your ruminating hat on, and okay, take it off. Because you can get stuck in that cycle. That's unhealthy. Very unhealthy. Worrying, excessive worrying about what's going to happen and what can happen?

And then a couple other things that are a little bit more obvious. But avoidance, right? You find yourself or someone that you care about not always taking your calls anymore. Not as available. Maybe it's a work colleague not putting their camera on Zoom. You haven't actually laid eyeballs on them in a while. Or they get out of things. Things even that they used to do. Avoidance is another really, really good sign. And of course the last one is thoughts of suicide and self-harm. This is a scary time for people. And the thing about suicide is when people feel like they have no options, they become desperate. And so just something to think about too is helping people think through options so that they don't get to that desperate thought.

Gloria Sinclair Miller:

No, those are really helpful. And as you were going through those, I'm thinking of not only what I do personally, but what I see in some of my friends and colleagues as, ooh, potentially signs. Or things that I do that I'm not doing on purpose, but I could see where friends have reached out like, "Are you okay?" Because maybe you have disconnected in some way that people have started to wonder. That's not the "normal behavior," if you would, for me. So those were really good to hear kind of what we should be looking at and thinking about.

So as a manager of people, or even as an HR professional, this is definitely a challenge, right? It's a challenge because most of us are remote. I mean, there are a percentage who are going back into offices, but a lot of that interaction is remote and via Zoom or Webex, or whatever platform you're using. And the interesting one that you hit on was when that colleague starts not having their camera on and is withdrawn from conversations, these remote conversations. We hear the term now Zoom fatigue because for an introvert like me, that's all exhausting. By Friday I am done. But this is a big challenge. What are some of the things a manager or an HR professional specifically should be thinking about or some helpful tips if you would, that they should consider?

Marjorie Morrison:

Well, you just said it yourself, which is the first and best thing that you can do is check on someone. So it sounds like people have said to you, "Are you okay? Is everything okay?" It is really mind blowing when you think about how simple a gesture is and how much it can help. And so reaching out, a lot of times we're afraid to bring it up because we're afraid of what we might hear, right? And so many times I just kind of start by saying it's like you do not have to have the solutions. Most of the time, especially in the beginning stages, you just need to listen. You just need to be a listening non-judgmental ear. People forget about the power of listening.

I always try to think about who are the people that you like to spend the most time with, and I asked this question so many times. And almost always, when people think about it, they think about someone who's really just a good listener. Someone who they can hang out with and they're not judging, and they're not trying to throw their opinions and values and all things on them, but they just listen. They care. They genuinely care about how you're doing. They want to catch up on all things. Listening is so powerful.

And so one of the first things is just to be able to say, "Is everything okay? How are you doing?" And if someone says, "I'm fine," "So tell me what..." and ask a clarifying question. We forget too about the power of a clarifying question. Because we're so used to the formalities of, "How are you?" "I'm good. How are you?" "Great." "How are the kids?" "Oh, they're good." "Are they back in school? "Yeah, yeah."

But really a clarifying question is how are you? And the best way to get someone to talk is to talk about yourself first. And you could say I'm having a tough time. This is really tough. And as soon as you normalize, and I mean obviously don't lie, but if you make yourself vulnerable, it immediately makes it okay for other people to be vulnerable too.

And one of the greatest tips that I have heard along the way, this is so easy to kind of keep in your back pocket, is to be able to say, "Is there anything I can do for you?" Because then it takes the power away from you having to come up with the solution of how to fix someone else's problem. It's on them to still have to fix it. But then they can come back to you and say, "You know what? If you wouldn't mind, I'm going to go to therapy, and I'm going to do an appointment. Can I have an hour off every Wednesday between 2:00 to 3:00," or whatever it might be. I need to figure out in the middle of the day how to put a... I mean, I know I have a friend that did this, where, and I can relate to this one too, her day was so filled with Zoom meetings and meetings that part of the problem is we can't get our job done. We can't actually do work.

And somehow virtually, and this is a problem that I don't have the solution for, but it is a problem, that especially in HR, we're going to have to figure out is if we're all remote, we're judged on how much we're working by how full our calendar is. And so if the calendar is full, oh yeah, we're getting productivity out of him or out of her. But that oftentimes doesn't leave you to be able to do any work. So it might be that employee needs to say, "I need an hour between 8:00 and 12:00, and a half hour between 3:00 and 4:00 to block off, to respond to emails, to actually execute on a project." Or, "I don't need to be on this work meeting every single solitary day, this one I'm not presenting on."

So sometimes it can be as simple as let me listen to you. Because here's another thing we have to think about is that mental health is not a symptom that's separate. It's just a part of life. And so we don't have to treat it separately of you have anxiety, let's talk about how to fix your anxiety. Some of it can be you want a productive employee. And what makes a productive employee is somebody who has a sense of balance, who is sleeping, who does feel like they're contributing. I mean, what we know now, right? We know that contributing to something that feels important makes somebody feel good, right? Kind of in a certain sense, it's selfish because it's about you and you're doing this. On the other hand, you're helping others, but you're helping yourself.

So I think part of when we think about helpful tips and tools, I mean, just at the most basic level, I would say asking people, "Are you okay, how you doing," genuinely, and, "Is there anything I can do for you?" And allowing them the space to think about what might be helpful? And those are very high level. I mean, we could talk about more in the weeds, but I think that having honest conversations. And in HR I mean, I know because I run a company. We're so afraid to ask questions. What if that? What if this? What if that? They tell me this. We can't be afraid. This is not a time to be afraid. There will be ways that we can come around that.

And it's okay too, because I've had to do this too, to say, "I'm not sure. I don't know. I don't have the answer, but let me get back to you. Let me do some research. Let me find out what I can find out and I'll come back to you and see if we can make that accommodation," or, "see how maybe I can shift some of your responsibilities," or all of that. You don't have to solve it in the moment. And it's totally okay to say, "I'm not sure what my parameters are around this." But those are kind of some higher level things.

Gloria Sinclair Miller:

No. And I think you hit on a great point. I think we have come to a part in our society where everyone is so afraid to ask a question, quite frankly, because they feel like, if I say the wrong thing, it's going to escalate, or if I do something wrong, it's going to wind up in court, that we have forgotten that we are humans first. And to your point around we need to be thinking about this conversation as it's in part of our employee wellbeing. And we want our employees to be physically, emotionally, et cetera, well in our workplaces. And I think that is such a great reminder of it's as simple as how are you? How are you feeling?

But the other piece that I want to reinforce that you said is, because I've seen managers do this and it works really well, is that they start sharing their experience of, "This is really tough. My calendar, I'm really struggling with X." Because then you're more open to share at that point. If my manager's feeling that way, well, that just took down a barrier. And then I'm okay to be able to continue to share how I'm feeling and not feel like I'm going to be retaliated against because I'm not able to do XYZ. And I think that is so critical to remember during this time.

Marjorie Morrison:

We lead by example, no matter what. We can say things all day long, but it's what we do that people remember. It's what we do that people feel. And so if you are able to lead by example,.it goes back to how we started about mental health and people who go get help, right? It's you have to be pretty self-aware and confident to be able to be vulnerable. I mean, being vulnerable is a really hard thing to do. Most people have a hard time with it, which is why we see bullies and all kinds of other things because they don't have the confidence to be able to just say, "I'm having a really tough time."

I mean, I know I had it yesterday. It was Thursday, but it was almost the end of the week, and I was really behind on just email, right? And I just felt so exacerbated. And then every meeting that happens, you're like do I have to do this because it's preventing me to do other things. And so I've been trying to kind of say, even just internally to our team and externally, people are feeling it, and they're feeling pressure. And we have to make it okay and make it okay to not be okay.

I think one of the other really key pieces when it comes to mental health, and this is a really kind of newer conversation for us, but we all know it intuitively, which is that there is no silver bullet of the right answer. And treatment, whatever it might be, however help might look to somebody, it can be completely different, A, for you versus me, but also depending on what's going on in your life and at different stages.

So for example, some people do really well with self-help. They would rather dive in and learn how to figure it out themselves. And that's fine. And maybe for whatever they're experiencing, that's what works. I mean, Psych Hub has over 180 free animated, short videos on all topics, mental health, substance use, suicide prevention, because it's all about mental health literacy. Helping people understand this is bipolar. These are side effects, bipolar. Medications for bipolar. Just giving people those resources and those tools. Some people, education, literacy is enough.

Some people want self-help where they actually want tips and tools. They want to know I just need to know I'm feeling anxious, give me five tips of what I can do to kind of manage my anxiety in that moment. And I can remember five tips. I can put them up on my board. I just need that, right? So that's one thing. Some people are really interested and engaged and doing well with what we call digital tools. Now, digital therapies, digital CBT coaches, where it's not a real person, but you're interacting. It's helping you think through your cognition and your behaviors.

Some people are doing quite well with peer support. Talking to somebody with lived experience that they can connect with, that that's who they're safe, they feel they're getting something out of. Some people are more comfortable talking to their doctor, and some people want to see a licensed mental health provider. And there's different ones of those too. I mean there's marriage family therapists, there's social workers, there's psychologists, there's psychiatrists. I mean, it's no wonder people are confused. But I think it's just so important to know that there's no wrong door and there's no right answer. And you might try one and it might work for you now. And in two years, you might try that again and you need something different. And that's okay.

Gloria Sinclair Miller:

Yeah, no, absolutely. So you hit on one that I want us to continue to talk about, which is the education component. So obviously that's a big part of Psych Hub's work is really being a resource to educate individuals, teams. And I'm so excited that you're going to be working with the SHRM Foundation, or I should say continuing to work with the SHRM Foundation in this space around educating and providing tools and resources around mental health. Would you love to share a little bit more about this collaboration?

Marjorie Morrison:

Yes. And I'm so excited about it. So Psych Hub launched on September 1st our mental health ally certification. And first thing we do is we have our short videos, like I was mentioning that are free and are all on the YouTube platform. And then we have our, we call them, learning hubs, and they're actual certification trainings where we take people and teach them new skills, new interventions. Primarily it's been providers, behavioral health providers, on new interventions on how to treat symptoms like the evidence based treatment for depression and anxiety and getting people through that so that we're really getting people the right care. And then with videos back to the patient or the client to help kind of reinforce homework and stuff like that. So that's been our core business.

We launched mental health ally cert for the lay person. And we say the lay person, just the average person who oftentimes is also called gatekeepers. We have weird words in our space, right? So we say a gatekeeper is anybody. It could be your hairdresser. It could be your next door neighbor. It could be your mail person. It could be anyone that happens to be where you are when you're struggling, right?

So we put this together. We did a ton of research before we actually started developing it. It's eight modules. The first one is mental health competency, which is just an overview of mental health. The second one is a deeper dive into conditions and symptoms to really understand kind of what are these diagnoses I hear about bipolar, borderline schizophrenia, psychosis, like what are they? We have one on substance use and opiates, just really understanding what are those. We use, by the way, many different mediums. So we have lived experience, we have role plays, we have animations, we have games. It keeps it moving.

We have one on suicide prevention and one on safety planning, which is very intervention focused. What do you say to somebody who might be suicidal? And also it's intimate partner violence. One of the modules is on diversity, and diversity in mental health. And really looking at diversity, a deep dive into it, not just color, but really socioeconomic, geography, things like rural and urban, all the different types of diversity that exists.

And then one of my favorites is unconscious bias, and really looking at what are we bringing to the table which we don't even think about, and how do we change those behaviors? And then the last one is motivational interviewing, which is actually skills that could teach anybody how to have tough conversations. So we launched that in September. And I'm really excited that we are doing a new version of it with SHRM that is going to be just for HR professionals. The role plays, the lived experience will all be from the lens of HR, and it will be distributed through SHRM. And so the premise and the research and the evidence based behind the core content will be in place, but the audience and who it's going to be delivered for will be customized just with SHRM and distributed. So I'm so excited about it.

Gloria Sinclair Miller:

We are so excited about it as well. I think it's going to be another great resource for our HR professionals and business leaders. And it's so timely given everything that you and I have just talked about. And I know as a practitioner that having these tools is so critical because things are coming at you right and left. And being able to take the time to educate, but also having access to these resources, especially now, because the HR role is so critical in our businesses right now, and you're looked to for so many different things.

Marjorie Morrison:

And I want to add, I forgot. So the way that it's designed is that you can earn micro certifications that build off of each other for the main, we call it MHAC, with the mental health ally. So it'll be like MHAC HR. So you can get a micro cert in suicide and safety planning. And these micro cert bundles, as they're being developed, also have these short targeted videos so that you take your kind of training once and you learn it, but then you can watch a two minute just kind of refresher video.

And with these little short videos that you can share with someone else.because remember when we learn about how to help others, we ultimately learn about how to help ourselves too. So I'm excited about the way, because I think we got to push the envelope a little bit and we got to push e-learning and online education in a way it's kind of never been done before. So we're trying different things. And I think that the audience is going to like it. So far, we're getting really good feedback in just kind of the delivery of how you're getting that information, and then how do you take it from knowledge learned to behavior change, and be able to hold onto it.

Gloria Sinclair Miller:

That's another great benefit for our members to take advantage of, and with the micro credentials. So we could talk all afternoon or day, I know, on this topic, but I want to start to close a bit. And I want you to share what advice would you have for professionals who are looking to potentially explore a career in the mental health space or just to continue to develop their career if they're already in this space. What advice would you have?

Marjorie Morrison:

Well, that's a great question. First of all, we need all the help we can get into this field. I mean, there's a lot of talk about access. And there's not enough providers, so you'll never hear me ever push anybody away or shun anyone from a career in mental health. The other thing we know is that providers who are similar to their client or what they're searching for, that alliance oftentimes is on shared experience. So we need diversity in mental health so that people, they can connect with from their therapists and their counselors. So I would plea for anybody to consider a career in it.

With that said, as we talked about earlier, there's a lot of different ways to help. And even if you're not in a career in mental health, and you are a career in HR, I mean, HR kind of is mental health. I mean so much.

Gloria Sinclair Miller:

It is.

Marjorie Morrison:

So much. I mean, there are so many fields, Gloria, that people tell me, and they say, "Oh yeah, I'm a therapist. I'm an accountant, but when I tell people about their tax bill, it's like I spent a big chunk of my day having to talk people off the ledge." Or lawyers say that. They say, "Oh yeah. I mean, I have to talk to my client, help my client understand. You're being emotional, you're being irrational." We have had doctors who've been doing so much in the medical space. We have had doctors tell us, doctors like oncologists, that 80% of their practice is spent in mental health, taking care of someone's mental health.

So even if you don't have a career in it, if you get yourself educated in how to be a, and I think our mental health ally cert is, I mean, I'm touting Psych Hub, but it's such a good way to give yourself these skills that you can help in whatever your profession is. And again, going back to mental health is woven into everything that we do. And it's not a separate thing that lives only at the psychologist's office. So no matter what your career is, if you're educated, you can weave that into things that you do. So I would just encourage people to get educated. Education is just the key. And there are good education we have.

And I failed to mention, we have a pretty robust YouTube channel that we've been building out, and we're adding two pieces to it, or two new components or platforms, or I don't know what you call it, channels to it, that are giving people some really good education. One of them is a podcast that we're also doing, that Patrick Kennedy and I are co-hosting, it's called the Future of Mental Health. Really looking at, been interviewing celebrities and everything from athletes to musicians to CEOs of major health insurers. And looking at what needs to happen, and where do we need to go, and what changes need to come in place?

And I bring that up because there's so much room for growth in mental health. Every avenue you look at, we need help. So just say whether it's policy, advocacy, being a peer, being a friend, being a parent, being a child, knowing how to find your lane, to find your voice, to kind of speak up and speak out is great. The other thing that we're launching is a series called Ask the Expert, and we partnered with Columbia University Division of Psychiatry. And it's a whole series on, we're doing a series on parenting, tips on how to parent a child with ADHD, tips on how to parent a child with anxiety. We're doing a whole series around caregivers. They have amazing bench of subject matter experts, like the smartest people in the world. So we're just partnering with them, tapping into it. And all of the questions are kind of being sourced from our YouTube channel. So people can ask questions, and then we're bringing subject matter experts. So those are some other ways people could get educated to be advocates.

Gloria Sinclair Miller:

You have given us a ton of resources, which I love. And I know our listeners will appreciate as well. So if our listeners want to connect, remind our listeners again, how do we find you if we want to get more information?

Marjorie Morrison:

Yes. Please reach out. Don't be a stranger. So we are Psych Hub. So our website alone has over close to 200 free videos, and tons of other resources. So that's psychhub.com. We are on all social platforms. My personal Twitter is AskForHelp with F-O-R, but please, please feel free to reach out and find us on social and all that. We want to be here. And we're responsive. Our Facebook, our Twitter, we want to hear from people. We develop content from what people tell us that they need. We've never just developed something because we thought we wanted to. So it's listeners and people who come to us and say, "We need this." And that's usually what starts it.

Gloria Sinclair Miller:

Awesome. Well, thank you so much. I am so excited that, again, our world's brought us back together so that we could have this conversation. So thank you so much, Marjorie. And thank you for our listeners for listening today. Today, we are concluding our miniseries on consultation and communication. This podcast is approved to provide re-certification PDCs, but only if you listen to the full miniseries. After you listen to each part, you are eligible to enter this activity code. The activity code is 22PEPRK. Again, it's 22PEPRK for re-certification PDCs in your SHRM certification portal.

If you haven't already please subscribe so you'll never miss an episode of Honest HR. Be sure to rate and review the show whenever you listen to the podcast. Please feel free to reach out to me. You can also find me on Twitter at SHRMGloria or on LinkedIn at Gloria Sinclair Miller. And if you want to learn more about Honest HR, our podcast, and myself and the other hosts, or to get information and resources about what we discussed on today's episode, head over to shrm.org/honesthr. To listen to more of SHRM's podcasts, check out shrm.org/podcast. Until next time, thank you again for joining us for Honest HR.