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Prioritizing Mental Health

The importance of Mental Health Awareness Month

Prioritizing Mental Health

The importance of Mental Health Awareness Month

Published 05-26-22

Submitted by NRG Energy

2 people stretching in the park

Originally published on NRG Energy Insights

By NRG Editorial Voices

This May, NRG joins millions in observing Mental Health Awareness Month and turning awareness into action.

Our starting point — awareness and perspective

At NRG, our first and most important value is Safety and Well-Being. We take a holistic approach to employee well-being that incorporates physical, mental, and financial health.

Taking on the challenge with action

More than a value, we provide resources to help employees and their families prepare for the unexpected and prioritize wellness in their lives.

Because healthy living and mental health are deeply connected, our company supports and conducts various wellness initiatives throughout the year. For the month of May, our “Move for Mental Health” movement challenge encourages employees to incorporate regular exercise into their daily routine, helping to reduce stress and improve overall health.

For every 500 steps our employees take, we’re donating $1 to the National Alliance on Mental Illness with the ultimate goal of $25,000.

Real-world assistance for real-world needs

Our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides employees with resources that can equip them to address life circumstances, including stress and anxiety, work-life balance, child- and parental-care, moving to a new home, planning for college, and making a major purchase. These pivotal moments are exactly the times when assistance, options, and answers are most welcomed and valuable.

Integrating mental health tools

Equipping employees with tools and knowledge around mental health makes them more likely to get help when they need it. That’s the idea behind a skills-based training program for employees from the National Council for Behavioral Health. The Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) course introduces and explains a range of mental health conditions, how to recognize signs and symptoms, and steps to support a co-worker or family member who may be exhibiting them.

There are currently almost 120 employees certified by the program.

“This program complements our company’s work in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I). I view DE&I as a macro way to make societal change, and Mental Health First Aid as much more individual-focused. Both are a call to listen, understand, and empathize with our colleagues as well as support them to be their best selves.”

Jennifer Brunelle
VP, Talent Acquisition, Development, & Diversity and certified MHFA

Bringing technology to the cause

From new workplace dynamics, come new solutions. We extended access to virtual care like, ComPsych and Teladoc, to enhance confidential connection to providers from home. In addition to these virtual and in-person behavioral health options, the Headspace app offers mindful meditation to enhance sleep and easy access to guided exercise routines.

The value of human connections

When it comes to emotional and mental health, having other people to connect with and be authentic is extremely beneficial. NRG’s employee-led and open-to-everyone, business resource groups (BRG) not only facilitate networking and collaboration, they provide a safe environment for discussing difficult topics and a network for additional support.

BRGs collaborate with various business projects, providing consultation and guidance, so NRG can better serve our current and future employees. In 2021, over 1,000 employees participated with the 15 groups based on both protected classes and common interests.

Mental health is everyone’s health

As we continue to face uncertainty in this world, our commitment to employees, customers, and communities remains unwavering. Mental health is at the center of these efforts and stands as a steadfast priority. NRG is proud to partner with several nonprofits that support the mental well-being in our communities including: NAMI, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and the PTSD Foundation of America.

You’re not alone, and help is at hand. Embracing support may not be easy, but it can lead to positive changes and help create a foundation for success.

To learn about additional mental health resources, visit NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness.

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NRG Energy

NRG Energy

At NRG, we’re bringing the power of energy to people and organizations by putting customers at the center of everything we do. We generate electricity and provide energy solutions and natural gas to millions of customers through our diverse portfolio of retail brands. A Fortune 500 company, operating in the United States and Canada, NRG delivers innovative solutions while advocating for competitive energy markets and customer choice, working towards a sustainable energy future.

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