May is Mental Health Awareness month, a time to highlight the year-round personal development programs and supportive benefits available to Penn faculty and staff.
As part of the University’s Mental Health Awareness Month preparations, Provost Wendell Pritchett and Executive Vice President Craig Carnaroli took time to share their support for the emotional well-being of faculty and staff with a video message.
“The Provost and I have an interest and investment in the health of our great Penn colleagues, and that includes managing stress,” says Carnaroli. “Very practically speaking, the health of Penn employees is key to a robust, vibrant, and productive university environment.”
Titled “Thriving in Times of Uncertainty,” the video features Pritchett and Carnaroli’s perspectives on the importance of empathy and understanding—for ourselves and coworkers—as the University continues to manage change.
“Leaders of organizations must walk the walk and talk the talk in building healthy workplaces,” says Carnaroli. “The objective, and hopefully the value, of the video message is communicating one, we care; two, we take the topic seriously; and finally, the whole institution must know, in a very direct way, that this is important to us.”
Carnaroli and Pritchett also remind the Penn community that employees have access to a system of personal development and behavioral health care resources.
“When faculty and staff are dealing with personal or workplace changes, Penn’s system of support, including the Employee Assistance Program and MindWell at Penn well-being resources, is prepared and available,” Jack Heuer, vice president for the Division of Human Resources, says.
“While an overused term, the last 15 months have felt truly ‘unprecedented,’” says Carnaroli. “As a result, we all have felt stress and anxiety amidst all of the uncertainty. There should be no stigma in raising your hand and seeking support of any kind, when trying to be the best version of yourself. At Penn, we have great resources and exceptional people ready, willing, and able to provide support to manage stress and anxiety.”
Every individual experiences and manages stress differently in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recession, says Carnaroli.
“I want our team to know that the University leadership both cares and has resources and programs that can meet their specific needs,” he says. “In terms of our rebounding from the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, having our team feel healthy and strong contributes to a successful recovery.”
For more information about emotional well-being, please visit www.hr.upenn.edu/MindwellatPenn.