Vol 19 Issue 4  April 2012

Monthly Meeting

Chapter Meeting - April 2012

Meeting Time:
Fri, 04/13/2012 - 11:15am - 1:00pm
Speaker: Elizabeth Darby Rehm, J.D., The Kullman Firm
Topic: Workplace Violence and Bullying
Sponsor: Daily AccessLogo
Fee: $15 for MSHRM members, $17 for guests
Location: Heron Lakes Country Club, 3851 Government Boulevard, Mobile, AL 36693

Register online - Deadline is Thursday 3:00pm

Register Online


Gulf Coast Human Resources Conference

The Gulf Coast Human Resources Conference is November 9th and plans for the event are in full-swing! It’s time for those who are interested in exhibitor booths and sponsorships to start signing up to participate. Contact Scott Dwelle or Leilani Reed-Logan at conference@mobileshrm.org to learn more!

Conference 2012

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In This Issue


Our Newest Members!

Posted Next Month

ATTENTION New Members:
Everyone please update your on-line membership profile on the web-site (www.mobileshrm.org). After logging-in on the "CLUB LOGIN" go to "My Profile" and update your information. There is log-in assistance if you can't remember your log-in or password. Of particular importance is your e-mail address. This is the groups preferred manner of communications and is extremely important. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the treasurer, at treasurer@mobileshrm.org.


2012 Meeting Sponsorships!

Would you like to have an opportunity to market your company’s products or services to a captive audience of HR professionals?
Sponsor a Mobile Society for Human Resource Management chapter meeting and you’ll have an exclusive opportunity to do just that! For only $400, sponsors may have an exhibit near the check-in table, place literature on each table, and have an opportunity to speak briefly about their companies during the meeting agenda. What could be better than that?

Limited opportunities are available, as there can be only one sponsor for each regular meeting.Contact Kay Watson at pres-elect@mshrm.org to reserve your month!

PeCola Logo

2012 GPSHRM Legal Conference
May 9, 2012

Presented by
The Greater Pensacola Chapter of SHRM & The Escambia-Santa Rosa Bar Association

*********REGISTRATION DEADLINE:   MAY 2nd, 2012*********

Location:         New World Landing, Pensacola, Florida
Date:               Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Time:               8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.  (Registration/Continental Breakfast at 7:45)
HRCI/CLE:    Have submitted to HRCI and Florida Bar for review

Click here for full agenda

Click here for registration form

SARPC Job Fair Set for April 19

The South Alabama Regional Planning Commission’s 14th Annual Business Expo/Jobs Fair will take place atthe Mobile Civic Center Expo Hall on Thursday, April 19, 2012.

Mobile SHRM Thanks!

Thank you

Managed Health Care

We appreciate your support of our chapter and our mission! ** All Door Prize Donors will be recognized in our Monthly Newsletter **
For more info contact Becky Lovgren at becky.lovgren@expresspros.com
(Door prizes are needed for future meetings)


Helping Employees with Mood Disorders

On January 30, 2012 · In Dealing with Adversity
By Debra Stang

It’s ten o’clock on a Tuesday morning. Rose sits at her desk in the secretary pool, but her mind is clearly elsewhere. Suddenly, she jumps to her feet and runs out of the room. Her boss notices but doesn’t comment. Twenty minutes later, Rose returns to her desk. Her eyes are red from crying, but her focus has improved. She slips on her headset and begins typing a letter that her boss had dictated earlier that morning.

Rose’s story is a simple example of how, with a little flexibility, mood disorders can be accommodated in the workplace.

Mood disorders are mental health problems that profoundly affect a person’s emotions. The Harvard Mental Health Letter, released in February 2010, which addressed mental disorders in the workplace, estimated that about six percent of the population in the United States meets diagnostic criteria for a major depressive episode, and one percent can be diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

The letter also cited studies showing that in workplaces where depressed employees received adequate treatment, the number of job-related accidents, sick days, and instances of employee turnover declined, while the number of hours worked and the overall productivity of the workplace went up.

For those that are committed to helping employees with mood disorders thrive in work place—and consequently creating a better environment for all of your employees—there are some steps one can take.

1. Provide an Employee Assistance Program & Adequate Mental Health Benefits
An EAP allows employees to anonymously access a third-party mental health provider for a limited number of visits at the company’s expense. Employers who advertise their EAP and encourage employees to use it go a long way towards demonstrating a tolerance for mental health issues in the workplace.

Employers also need to be sure that their health insurance policy covers treatment for mental illnesses. Jason Evan Mihalko, a licensed psychologist with a private practice in Cambridge, Massachusetts, states that a good mental health benefit is “the most cost effective benefit for employers to buy.”

2. Educate Your Staff about Mental Illness
The sum of what most people know about mental illness comes from Hollywood and televised court cases involving lurid crimes. As a result, people who have mental illnesses are often feared and stigmatized. Karen Muranko, a mental health worker who has a history of panic disorder, says she never disclosed her illness to her bosses because she feared losing her job. “I’d go out to my car, have a panic attack, and go right back to work,” she remembers.

In addition, an employer should train frontline managers on how to respond appropriately to employees with mood disorders who request reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

3. Avoid Making Assumptions about the Employee’s Needs
If an employee comes to you to disclose a mood disorder, don’t jump in to suggest solutions. Instead, listen to the employee’s requests. Remember that each employee’s needs are unique, and that what has worked well for another employee with the same problem may not adequately address the needs of this employee. “Lots of people working with mood disorders do not need any kind of special accommodations,” she says, adding that an employee is most likely to require accommodations when a mood disorder is initially diagnosed, or during a flare-up of depression or mania.

4. Limit Your Discussions with the Employee to Work-Related Concerns
Your focus should always remain on the employee’s ability to do his or her job. If performance at work or behavior towards co-workers becomes unacceptable, take the employee behind closed doors and express your concerns about job-related issues. During this conversation, you can make a neutral statement like, “If any of this is caused by personal issues, we have an excellent EAP which can help you work things out.”

With this type of encouragement, the employee may disclose having a mood disorder and request reasonable accommodations to help with his or her job performance. Always take requests for accommodations seriously and discuss them as soon as possible with the human resources department and with upper level management who will decide whether a given request is “reasonable” and make appropriate arrangements with the employee.

People with untreated mood disorders can create havoc in the workplace; people who receive the treatment and accommodations they need can number among your most creative and productive employees. Does your organization provide an environment that encourages employees with a mental health disorder to communicate honestly about their job-related needs?

Some employers joke that they would prefer not to know about such issues, but as Eisaguirre used to remind her business clients, “You don’t want the first notice that something is wrong to be the subpoena that lands on your desk.” Avoid that kind of nasty wake-up call and help your employees thrive by taking steps to bring mental health awareness into your office.

This article has been sponsored by:
Linkage’s Institute for Leading Diveristy & Inclusion
The Mobile, Alabama chapter of SHRM exists to promote quality human resource practice among local industries, businesses, educational institutions, and government agencies. We bring together leading practitioners to provide education, networking and discussion of various human resource topics and to identify the best practices for all aspects of human resource and industrial relations work.

5300 Halls Mill Road Suite H #102 | Mobile, AL 36619