New Haven, Conn. (WTNH) – May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and CT Style Host Natasha Lubczenko recently spoke about how to improve mental health in the workplace with Mariana Serrano, Director of Diversity and Social Impact at The Connection, a local nonprofit organization here in Connecticut.

Mariana says that diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging is a crucial aspect of modern-day organizational culture, and it’s something that is practiced at The Connection. She explains what this means and how it makes a positive impact. She says, “When we talk about diversity, equity and inclusion and belonging, it really refers to a set of principles and practices that aim to create an environment that values, respects the diverse identities and experiences and perspectives of individuals, while also promoting fairness, equal opportunity and creating a sense of belonging that we all deserve in the workplace.”

How does this tie into Mental Health? Mariana says that it’s all connected to how organizations understand people and what their needs are. This includes recognizing people’s identities and social factors that make them who they are, including race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and socioeconomic status.

Watch this interview and you’ll learn more about the many factors that come into play
when building an organizational culture that embraces diversity, equity and inclusion and belonging. Mariana answers these questions:

  • What are some example of how diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging
    works in an organizational structure?
  • What are some of the specific benefits that can result from incorporating these
    values into the workplace?
  • Tell us about the curriculum/workshop you have developed to help organizations partner with the Connection, to learn how to implement this work?

To learn more about The Connection and the programs they offer, visit their website

About: For fifty years The Connection has served as a statewide human services non-profit providing unique solutions to the problems of homelessness, mental illness, substance use, and community justice rehabilitation. The Connection has founded a social enterprise, The Institute for Innovative Practice. The Institute provides quality professional development, training, and consultation to help people, communities, and organizations meet their mission. The proceeds from The Institute are reinvested into The Connection’s programs.