The new workplace: How employers can promote wellness at work

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Mental Health Trauma Plagues Wildfire Survivors

The 2018 wildfire that destroyed 239 square miles in Northern California, including the town of Paradise, left a lasting mental health crisis in its wake.

Many residents who survived the so-called Camp Fire are now grappling with chronic post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression, according to a new study in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

“Since the 1970s, fire extent in California has increased by 400%

Professor Veerabhadran Ramanathan

“We looked for symptoms of these particular disorders because emotionally traumatic events in one’s lifetime are known to trigger them,” said senior author Jyoti Mishra, a professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.

While people with preexisting childhood trauma or sleep problems were at risk for mental health problems, personal resilience and mindfulness appeared to reduce them, the study found.

“We show climate change as a chronic mental health stressor. It is not like the pandemic, in that it is here for a period of time and can be mitigated with vaccines and other measures. Climate change is our future, and we need immediate action to slow down the changes being wreaked upon the planet, and on our own well-being,” Mishra said in a university news release…

The new workplace: How employers can promote wellness at work

As we look towards returning to our offices in New York City and across the country, it may be daunting to consider just how many unforeseen hurdles employers must overcome. As architects and designers, several core values have guided our RTW (return to workplace) strategy: resilient planning, sustainable thinking and a people-first culture. From this perspective we see the future workplace as exciting, not solely a challenge. We are already seeing many positive changes on the horizon, fast tracked into mainstream work culture in the wake of COVID-19. The key is a holistic approach to workplace wellness, not only focusing on the technical safety measures but the communication and general wellness strategies behind them. This holistic process can make for resilient return of your own.

First, focus on wellness…

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