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Erie County Anti-Stigma Coalition holds discussion on managing stress back at work

Erie County Anti Stigma Coalition

The Erie County Anti-Stigma Coalition is urging workers to consider their mental health as they re-enter the workforce in a post-Covid world.

The realities of an everyday work environment have changed due to COVID-19. Karl Shallowhorn, Chair of the Erie County Anti-Stigma Coalition, said one of the biggest questions they keep hearing is what can employers do to help employees? 


“In other words, how can employers make it safe? How can employers ensure that their employees feel supported?" Shallowhorn asked. "They also did talk about anxiety that people experience and the fact that it's not uncommon to have those feelings and that people might feel uncomfortable talking to their boss, but it's important to start that conversation as difficult as maybe”


Shallowhorn helped moderate the discussion which touched on employee rights if someone isn’t ready to go back.


“Essentially a person needs to have some type of documentation from a medical professional position," he said. "Psychiatrists, behavioral professional, stating that they do in fact have a diagnosis that would allow them to have accommodations for their work, or the fact that they will be supported and that they needed to take time through Family Medical Leave Act, or if they needed to work remotely.”


For employers, Shallowhorn said a lot of the large employers have EAP, employee assistance programs, where their employees get four or five roughly free sessions with an EAP counselor.


“Also, ESC (Employer Services Corporation), which is the organization that was represented from the HR world, said that they have information to the website, webinars and other resources, even if you're not connected with their agency online and available to learn about what you can do as an employer to be prepared know how to help you employees,” he said.


You can watch the full discussion here.


The featured speakers include:

Karl Shallowhorn, Chair of the Erie County Anti-Stigma Coalition and President of Shallowhorn Consulting, LLC

Lisa A. Coppola, Esq. Attorney at The Coppola Firm

Heather Mendyk - Program Director at Horizon Health Services

Eric Galdys - Human Resources Business Partner at ESC


Nick Lippa leads our Arts & Culture Coverage, and is also the lead reporter for the station's Mental Health Initiative, profiling the struggles and triumphs of those who battle mental health issues and the related stigma that can come from it.
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