The Pandemic Forced Employers to Take a Look at Mental Health. Why Those Tactics Are Here to Stay

COVID-19 produced mental health setbacks for many. Employers need to not only address these issues but remain empathetic towards employees.
By: | October 13, 2021

The last 18 months can certainly be defined as trying times. Mental health has been thrown into the spotlight as a necessary topic of discussion, and for good reason. The pandemic has not only exacerbated already present mental health issues but fostered new ones.

The pandemic has also displayed the importance of a positive work environment, especially in the face of challenge. Employees need an employer to be and remain empathetic.

There is now life pre-pandemic and there will be life post-pandemic. Many things will not return to normal in a full sense. The emphasis on mental health is one of those, and perhaps this shift is a positive one.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has altered life for everyone and is a situation for which we have limited control,” said Dawn Soleta, claims manager of risk management at EcoLab. Soleta will be speaking at the National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference (National Comp) during a session titled “Unprecedented Times, Unforgettable Lessons on the Impact of Mental Wellbeing.”

Her session will explore how employers are utilizing pandemic impact to cultivate an improved work setting for employees.

“To be supportive employer, we need to understand the challenges facing our employees, families and businesses alike so we can more effectively and nimbly react appropriately to ensure the health of our employees and the continued success of our businesses,” she said.

She went on to discuss the responsibly each organization has in protecting and promoting the health of employees.

“It is important to proactively address these extraordinary mental health challenges brought on by the pandemic,” she continued.

Dawn Soleta, claims manager, risk management, EcoLab

Some of these challenges include an increase in mental health issues, financial pressure, limited access to necessary therapy or treatment and mandated shutdowns.

“Attendees can expect a robust presentation of actions taken by three employers to protect their employees’ mental health and well being during the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.

Soleta also added that the gatherings and data presented by employers are rooted in scientific research, which plays a significant role in “guiding their companies’ decisions and tactics that they have taken to care for the mental health of their workforces.”

Everyone has felt the strain and debilitations brought on by the pandemic, in one shape or form. Ensuring the health and wellbeing of employees is necessary in all work environments, including the workers’ comp space.

Soleta hopes that attendees gain a better understanding of “how an employer, ancillary provider and third-party administrator provides mental health and wellness support to their employees.”

Attendees can not only gain valuable insights into how the pandemic impacted employee mental health, but ways for companies and organizations to build what Soleta calls, “a corporate culture of kindness.”

Soleta, along with Teresa Williams, managing partner of HomeCare Connect and Erica Fichter, chief operating officer of medical management, accident and health claims at Broadspire, will present their session on October 20 in Las Vegas. &


National Comp — the National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference — is back! We’re planning an in-person show for October, 20-22, 2021 and we’re excited to see everyone while still adhering to all safety protocols set forth by local and national health authorities at the time of the event.  Register today!

This year, we’ll feature seven tracks — from core content on medical and pharmaceutical management, claims and return-to-work, plus new and expanded avenues to explore like risk finance and injury prevention. All of our educational sessions are chosen for their ability to deliver sound takeaways and ideas that attendees can use right now.

In the meantime, National Comp will continue bringing you free virtual, educational content through our digital sessions series and our CompTalks program. Register today to make sure you don’t miss a digital session and check out our on-demand CompTalks library.  Missed a session? Watch it here on-demand.

Emma Brenner is a staff writer with Risk & Insurance. She can be reached at [email protected]

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