Citing growing concerns expressed in chats on its HR Network by credit union executives, Bill Nagle, SVP of professional development at the Cooperative Credit Union Association (CCUA) stepped up to the plate and took action.
He contacted Mental Health First Aid and was partnered with Donna Dewan, a corporate consultant and master instructor with the National Council for Behavioral Health and requested they host their Mental Health First Aid at Work workshop for CCUA member credit unions, a program she originally designed and launched in collaboration with Aetna Behavioral Health.
Dewan, who holds a master’s degree in Psychology and Criminal Justice, along with being a certified clinical trauma professional, describes the session as an interactive, skills-based training program that teaches attendees how to identify, understand and respond to signs and symptoms of mental health and substance use challenges.
The hybrid certification program, consisting of two-hours of self-study followed by four hours of in-person training recently held at CCUA’s Marlborough office location was a first-of-its-kind for credit unions, attracting more than 30 attendees representing 21 credit unions from CCUA’s membership. The program is generally presented to a single organization, but in this case had to be customized for a multi-organization audience.
“The instructor was amazing,” explained Nagle. “Everyone said it was what they wanted, what they needed on what to say and how to act when there’s a crisis.” He noted how HR leaders, aware of numerous issues surrounding heightened anxiety, substance abuse and thoughts of suicide among workers, were looking for training and best practices to help them address these growing concerns. Nagle and his fellow credit union colleagues all agreed that they found the Mental Health First Aid at Work workshop to be the perfect antidote they sought. Needless to say, planning is already underway for a second offering of the workshop.