MAY 2020 • LONGISLANDPRESS.COM 15
POST-PANDEMIC WORKLIFE CONSIDER PSYCH TOLL
We’ve survived the worst public health
catastrophe in more than a century. Our
nation — and the New York Metro area as
a pandemic epicenter — is experiencing
collective grief fueled by social media
pleas from sick folks desperately trying
to get tested, posts memorializing those
who have perished, and images of body
bags stacked in hospital hallways.
Social distancing has changed our routines.
We find comic relief in jokes about
how much wine it will take to get through
the quarantine. We seek comfort in food,
and now locked out of the gym, have
nicknamed our weight gain the “COVID
15.” Those who avoid life’s foibles by
escaping into work are grinding harder.
Federal surveys by the National Institute
of Mental Health suggest that half of
American adults experience a diagnosable
anxiety or depressive disorder at
some point in their lives. That percentage
will climb going forward, since many feel
stressed in ways they haven’t before.
The trauma and its accompanying
mental health conditions won’t just
disappear once we go back to the office.
For some, anxiety or depression will
become crippling. Now is the time for
companies to consider an Employee
Assistance Program for workers who
need professional support.
It is also the time for workplaces to design
rolling re-entry plans guided by lessons
learned. That plan should include social
distancing, easy access to personal protective
equipment, and other means of
ensuring health and safety.
Still Here for Long Island.
Still Here for You.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
BY JEFFREY L. REYNOLDS, PH.D.
President/CEO of Family and Children’s
New York State will soon reopen for
business and millions of us will shed our
sweatpants, venture from our quarantined
homes, and brave the rush-hour
commute. But COVID-19 has changed the
way we work — assuming we are lucky
enough to still have a job.
Help for Long Island’s children, families, seniors and communities during the
coronavirus pandemic is just a phone call away. Contact us for more information
on our continued services including virtual and telecounseling.
Help Us Continue to Provide For Those We Serve Across Our Five Divisions.
Donate Today at FCALI.org
Addiction Treatment & Recovery | Children’s Mental Health & Wellness
Prevention & Family Support | Residential Services | Senior & Adult Services
www.FCALI.org | 516.746.0350 | Info@FCALI.org |
On a positive note, we’ve come to understand
that telecommuting makes good
employees more productive. While
Common Core math is no party, working
remotely has given many parents the
opportunity to spend more time with
their families. They may not be eager to
sit in traffic again. Workplace flexibility
will likely become as important as salary.
We’ve figured out how many meetings
could have been emails, but we’ve also
come to appreciate face-to-face contact.
Re-entry should start with organization
wide gatherings to reconnect.
As horrific as COVID-19 has been, it
presents a unique opportunity to rebuild
our lives, our communities, and our
workplaces with a renewed commitment
to flexibility, fairness, transparency,
humility, and kindness.
Long Island often leads the way, so let’s
get to work.
POINT OF VIEW
"Mental health conditions won’t just disappear once
we go back to the office.”