Click to Know What’s Above and Below

Wellness IS a Safety Issue

Print this Article | Send to Colleague

Wellness IS a Safety Issue


When you think about it, wellness generally, and mental health, are clearly safety issues, particularly in a world now learning to live through a global pandemic.

Fleur Yumol is trained as a clinical registered social worker meaning she has a master’s level in social work that allows her to provide counseling to individuals, families, and couples. She’s part of the team at Unify which provides Employee Assistance to employees of Utility Safety Partners. Fleur recently joined Mike Sullivan on an episode of The Safety Moment podcast.

Over the last quarter century she’s seen Unify evolve into more of a Wellness organization.

"So basically we contract out to corporate clients and they trust us to triage their employees to counselors in our network. And so we really provide that confidential, safe environment for employees to access services for their mental wellness.”

The concept of wellness has changed over the last ten years and even the last three years with the pandemic. It now means different things to different people.

"When we talk about wellness, we can really look at it from that kind of spectrum.”

"The conundrum that I think we face with wellness in general is the idea that we have obligations as adults. We have these obligations whether they're social or professional and we have to balance that with how we are in our day-to-day and how we're functioning. And so I think what I've seen change over the last 10 years is a greater understanding around how wellness actually contributes to the bottom line. I think before there was just an expectation that you have a job, you come and you do it. Suck it up princess, come to work, be ready to work. That's what you get paid for. And part of your job is to leave whatever's going on for you personally at home.” 

The shift that’s taken place is employers are beginning to recognize the value of a well employee that contributes to things like engagement and loyalty and retention and productivity. 

"And I think the other shift has been that as an employer, I think there's a new recognition that it's part of our responsibility.” One buzz phrase making the rounds is psychological safety in the workplace.

But while this shift is taking place there are also the lasting impacts of a worldwide pandemic. During COVID we had more societal permission to almost hunker down and seek refuge. But as we emerge from those bunkers we find a new normal where many of the institutional player we rely on for support are burnt out. Physicians, psychologists, police, emergency services personnel. The ones we’ve always counted on are the ones now needing our support. 

What can you do for wellness? 

Anything that frees your mind. That could be exercise, it could be stopping more often for coffee or conversations with co-workers that aren’t about work. Socializing. 

On the go? Listen to the podcast episode


Doug Downs – Stories and Strategies Podcast Productions


Back to Click to Know What’s Above and Below