A Human-Focused Approach to Mental Health Care

Published May 25, 2021
by Anna Bielawski


May is Mental Health Awareness Month and the IN Vocational Rehabilitation training project Public Consulting Group interviewed Knowledge Services for their upcoming Mental Health Employment Summit.

On Monday May 10 Knowledge Services VP of Human Resources, Meaghan Emery, and Program Account Manager, Samantha Villegas met with Itta Johnson from PCG to discuss the mental health initiatives Knowledge Services employs to serve their Team Members.

Serving those who serve others is the cornerstone of Knowledge Services’ mission. As a woman-owned, family run business KS has seen tremendous growth in the last 25 years, however their mission has not changed.

“My role is about compliance and following regulations. But more than that, I believe company culture and Team Member experience is the most important aspect of my responsibility.” – Emery

Employee well-being initiatives

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Knowledge Services investigated their Employee Assistance Program and realized it needed to be updated- the EAP no longer worked for what they are trying to provide their Team Members.

One’s mental health is ever evolving and it may take more than 4 visits with a counselor to maintain a mentally healthy lifestyle.  Often the term “mental health” is used in place of “mental illness,” and it is important to note everyone has mental health just as they have physical

At Knowledge Services maintaining a holistic healthy lifestyle is of upmost importance. After switching providers, KS is now able to offer unlimited usage throughout the year for Team Members and their families.

Communicating these resources has become an initiative of its own

“Communication is always on our minds.  It’s something just about every company gets dinged on in general and it’s a tough one.” – Emery

Knowledge Services uses multiple platforms to get the word out such as Intranet, weekly newsletter, screen savers, and monitors around the office share information.

In light of this greater need for communication, managers bear more responsibility in checking on their Team Members and navigating difficult conversations. Because of this new dynamic, managers need to be equipped with how to have these conversations, and when it’s time for HR to step in. Providing help to managers who are not always trained at first on dealing with Team Member problems is important to KS.  Managers are typically the ones who their Team Members come to with their own personal problems. In response, managers need to be equipped with the knowledge on when something should be brought to HR.

COVID shifting the landscape, yet again

Amongst the COVID-19 pandemic Knowledge Services, along with the rest of the globe, had to rethink ways to support their teams, and most of those shifts are here to stay. From virtual and in office social hours to 2 hours of weekly Flex Time, Knowledge Services implements many practices for their employees to lead a wholistic healthy lifestyle.

Thanks to Public Consulting Group for inviting Knowledge Services to participate in the Mental Health Employment Summit!