This webinar is focused on steps behavioral health employers can take to support the well-being of their employees, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The first of a two-part series, this webinar will feature speakers who will share their lessons learned as behavioral health agencies supporting employee well-being through the pandemic and beyond.
For over a year, the behavioral health workforce has worked harder and longer, often putting their physical and mental health and well-being on the line. This group – like so many others – has faced unprecedented demands, including but not limited to rapidly shifting to telehealth and/or figuring out safe ways to offer in-person services; grieving the loss of colleagues, clients, friends, and family; balancing decreases in funding with the increased need to support wellbeing for colleagues and clients alike; and more. Now, after more than a year of working during the global pandemic, providers are experiencing high levels of stress, vicarious trauma, emotional exhaustion, and compassion fatigue. This added burden puts them at risk for stress-related medical problems, mental conditions, and substance use, as well as increased risk for leaving their profession altogether.
In this context, it is critical that employers adopt organizational strategies and practices to support employee well-being. The Quadruple Aim is a framework that adds “improving the work-life of providers and staff” to the goals of improving population health, enhancing the patient experience, and reducing costs. In this webinar, there will be a discussion of creative interventions to support the provider-oriented aim in this unprecedented time, with implications for wellness now and in the future.
Allison Ponce and Kyle Pedersen are Co-Chief Wellness Officers for Connecticut Mental Health Center, a public mental health center run jointly by the State of Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and the Yale Department of Psychiatry.
Allison Ponce, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Yale Department of Psychiatry. She earned her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of Connecticut. She is the Director of Education at the Connecticut Mental Health Center. Dr. Ponce has research, administrative, and clinical interests in public mental health, particularly with regard to serious mental illness and homelessness. Another major area of focus is the education and training of psychologists and other mental health professionals. Dr. Ponce supervises and advises psychology fellows and coordinates several seminars focused on administration, leadership, and community-based care. Dr. Ponce is Chair of the American Psychological Association's Policy and Planning Board and Past-Chair of the Board of Directors of the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers.
Kyle Pedersen, M.A.R., has worked for Connecticut Mental Health Center since 2002, is currently Director of the CMHC Foundation, and has more than 20 years experience in community mental health and non-profit leadership in New Haven and New York City. In the Department of Psychiatry he co-chairs the Project Synapse workplace improvement initiative and the Staff Sub-committee of the Anti-Racism Task Force. Kyle is skilled in executive leadership; strategic planning; new program development; sound fiscal management; donor relations and fund development; community connections; supervision of staff, volunteers, and interns; and training and education for students and learners of all ages. He is an anti-racist trainer/organizer with the Elm City-Undoing Racism Organizing Collective and People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond; deacon for Trinity Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Church at Yale; treasurer of Gather New Haven; on the boards of Beulah Land Development Corporation and Citywide Youth Coalition; and has served on boards of other local and regional organizations. Kyle enjoys cooking, gardening, reading, and messing around in small boats.