Depression is a serious condition that affects all aspects of a person’s life. This includes the ability to be productive and successful at work.
Right Direction is a first-of-its-kind initiative that gives employers the tools they need to address depression in the workplace. What makes this initiative unique from other depression awareness campaigns is that it was developed for and by employers for specific application at the workplace. It provides turnkey, customizable resources and materials to increase awareness, reduce stigma, and encourage people to seek help.
Right Direction is the brainchild of Clare Miller and Marcas Miles, who both saw an opportunity for employers to address depression. Launched in May 2013, Miller and Miles began work to co-create the initiative in the summer of 2012. Miller, as director at the Partnership for Workplace Mental Health, a program of the American Psychiatric Association Foundation, and Miles, Senior Director, Marketing and Communications with Employers Health Coalition, Inc. were well-positioned to coalesce their employer and mental health expertise to deliver a program that meets the needs of employers and leverages their existing (but often underutilized) mental health programs. Right Direction is available for free through generous support from Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc. (TPUSA) and Lundbeck U.S., two companies which understood the value of working with employers.
Hundreds of companies across the US have adopted the free, turnkey initiative, while engaging and strengthening key vendor relationships (employee assistance programs, medical and mental health/substance abuse plans, pharmacy benefit managers, among others) and have realized both strong quantitative and qualitative outcomes. A number of case studies have been developed to illustrate how Right Direction can address this sensitive, yet important issue, and prove to be a positive step for companies. With treatment, employees struggling with depression will see great strides in improved productivity, overall performance, and will realize their full potential at work and at home.
Clare Miller joined the American Psychiatric Association Foundation in 2003 as its director for the Partnership for Workplace Mental Health. The Partnership collaborates with employers to advance effective approaches to mental health. Under her leadership, the Partnership has grown to a network of more than 9,000 employers and related health purchasing stakeholders; the program now responds to more than 100 employer inquiries per month. Before joining the Partnership, Clare was manager of the Center for Prevention and Health Services at the National Business Group on Health. Prior to that, she was the director of public policy for Mental Health America.
Marcas Miles is a senior communications and public relations professional with nearly two decades of progressive experience. Currently with Employers Health, a national coalition of employers based in Ohio, he has spent most of his career in the health care and workforce development sectors. An emerging thought leader in addressing depression in the workplace and improving worker productivity, he has broad experience in assisting employers to leverage health benefits to improve cost, quality and accessibility of high-value health care services. He works to establish relationships with decision makers and other health care purchasers and influencers and has an excellent grasp of the challenges faced by today’s human resource and benefits professionals.