Does Your Boss Make You Laugh?


Mine does and quite often.  In fact, making each other laugh is one of the things that the MHC team does best. There’s no doubt that the Power of Laughter in the Workplace makes a strong team even stronger.

Laughter is the theme of this edition of the MHC Compass, and laughter was the inspiration behind MHC President/CEO Brendan Young’s vision in creating MHC’s fundraiser, Laugh Out Loud for Mental Health. Spring is just around the corner- birds chirping, flowers in bloom, and laughter in the air.  Click the logo below for more detailed information about Laugh out Loud for Mental Health and please join us on April 16th.

Valerie Salico

Executive Director



Enjoy the Season and Avoid the Holidaze

Holidays are supposed to be fun, right? Yet they often turn into hectic instead of joyous times. Between shopping for gifts, attending parties, and planning family activities, there’s little time left to relax and enjoy the season. We find ourselves overcome by holidazeDecember_eCard_Cover_2

How often do we miss the fun because of the stress we create for ourselves? Click here for practical tips on how to minimize the stress that accompanies the holidays.

End of Summer Fun Ideas

It is hard to believe summer is almost over, but there’s no better excuse to make the best of it while it lasts! Whether doing things with your children, as a couple, with friends or co-workers, click here for some ideas on how to close out your summer in style.

Some of the MHC team practicing what we preach at the MHC picnic at Lake Nockamixon State Park.


Walk It Off

26When I was younger, every time you got hurt someone would tell you to “walk it off”.  I am not sure how much merit that advice has, but about 18 months ago I decided to take that approach to my sore back.  I set up a standing desk in my office after reading all about the trend of standing desks and hearing some success stories from friends. The benefits to your overall health of standing are well documented.  You can go here to read more. If you want to see if you would like standing before investing money in a new desk, try this IKEA hack for about $25.  It worked great for me and I still use it.

I am having great success with a standing desk.  My back does not hurt nearly as much and my posture is much better as I am not slumped over a keyboard all day. In fact, I just took it to the next level and set up a tread desk.  That’s right, walking while you work.  It may sound ridiculous, but as I watch the snowfall from my window I know that this winter I will be much more active, even if I don’t leave my office.

You have 170 days left.

We just passed the mid-point of 2014.  July 1st marked the day.  Not too long ago some of us made some resolutions…New Year’s Resolutions.  So, it occurred to me that maybe I should follow-up and see how you are all doing.  If you are like most (present company included), then you might need to refocus on your goal(s).  You may even need some motivation.  Below are some brief notes that might help get you motivated if you are struggling:

Change is Difficult…Really Difficult.
I don’t say this to discourage you.  I say this to actually encourage you.  We often underestimate how difficult change is.  When we fail we beat ourselves up over it.  Change is a process that involves a few steps forward and sometimes a few steps backward.  Keep your focus on the long-term goal and try not to get knocked off course by a temporary set-back.  In other words, you may have lost a battle, but you can still win the war.
Is Your Goal SMART?
SMART stands for:
  • Specific: Vague, undefined goals are hard to fulfill because it is much like nailing jello to a wall.
  • Measurable: Unless your goal is measurable, how would you know if you are making progress or specifically how much progress?
  • Achievable: Can you actually accomplish the goal?  This means you are going to have to be honest with yourself. Better to be honest than to set yourself up for failure.  I would like to be able to dunk a basketball, but unless they decide to lower the rim, this 5′ 6″ inch guy is giving up the dream.
  • Relevant: Is the goal that you have chosen even worth achieving?  If not, you’re most likely not going to have the stamina to stick to it when times get tough.  Or, you’re going to waste a lot of time and energy working on a goal that is of little value.
  • Time-Frame:  Make sure you put a timeframe on your goal.  New Year’s resolutions usually come with a 1-year expiration date.  In this case, consider breaking your goal down into sub-parts and assign a time frame to each of those.  Remember, tomorrow never comes, but December 31st is only 190 days away.
No More Waiting in Line
If going to the gym was a part of your resolution, then there is good news.  There are no more lines at the lat machine or treadmills.  If a busy gym deterred you from getting to the gym, you no longer have that excuse.  If you don’t like the gym, the great outdoors offer no lines.  So, hit the trails.
Review Your Plan
Making a significant change or accomplishing a goal takes planning and reassessing your plan.  Most of the time our first plan needs some adjustments.  Take for example a plan I had a few years ago. I was going to get in shape (not specific).  My plan was to go to the gym and swim laps every morning at 5am (not achievable).  Also, I am not a big morning person, nor do I like jumping in a cold pool at 5am.  So, almost immediately I had to reassess my plan and make some major changes.  I ended up biking a few nights a week after work or to/from work.  Don’t bail on your goal because it was not perfect.  Make the needed changes and you will ultimately end up with a good plan.
Good luck the next 170 days.

Invest in Your Mental Health

If you are an employer, how would you like an ROI of 15$ for every 1$ you spend? If you are an employee, how would you like to be more satisfied with your life and have some piece of mind back? MHC can help either way.

Research proves that a properly implemented and utilized Employee Assistance Program (EAP) will have an ROI of 6$ to 15$. The problem is that most employers don’t realize they don’t have a quality EAP. They have a “free” EAP that does little to help them solve mental health and substance abuse problems affecting the workplace. Their “free” EAP is actually costing them money.

Research also shows that employees that have a quality EAP, and utilize it, are more satisfied with their lives than those employees that don’t utilize their EAP. And, employees that utilize their EAP are more productive. People tend not to get help for mental health and substance abuse issues because they are not aware of how to get help or are afraid to get help. MHC provides confidential assistance for those who need help.

So, if you are an employer and don’t have an EAP, or have an EAP that is not delivering quality EAP services, MHC can assist you. We can help your employees get the service they deserve and save you money while doing it. If you are an employee covered by MHC, call us so that we can help you get some piece of mind back.