New Haven, CT (WTNH) – The pandemic has had a tremendous effect on all of us, impacting everything from our physical to mental health. To address this, a local nonprofit called The Connection is now offering mental health response training for business leaders and managers across the state.

CT Style Host Natasha Lubczenko recently met with The Connection’s Deputy Chief of Business Development, Jessica Smith to learn more about this training.

Jessica said that, “What we’re seeing when we’re working with our partners is that there’s really this overwhelming need to respond to some major workforce challenges that they’re experiencing specifically in the area of mental health and addiction.”  “That’s showing up for organizations in absenteeism, burnout and low morale overall.”

In response to this need, The Connection developed The Institute for Innovative Practice. This
program offers professional development, training and consultation using the knowledge and resources that the organization has amassed over the last 50 years that they’ve been in business. They offer these services to other organizations to help them thrive as well.
Jessica said that “It’s really important for us to keep the Institute as mission-driven as The Connection is.”

The Institute’s most recent focus is on a session they’re offering called Mental Health Response Training, whichis going to offer leaders at every level of an organization the skills to recognize the early signs of mental health and addiction needs in their employees, so that they can create a very comprehensive and compassionate response, and then employees will get the help that they need.

She noted that employers and managers may want to watch for some key early signs that someone in their organization may need help. These include:

  • Difficulty with engagement with whatever they’re doing
  • Declining level of productivity
  • Lack of engagement with a team
  • Numbers may be slipping
  • Low morale
  • Increased absenteeism
  • A lack of steadfast commitment to the work they’re doing
  • Irritability or a lack of focus
  • Pronounced conflict within a team

Jessica says that what they’re hearing is that once Managers or Employers scratch the surface of what they’re observing, it’s usually mental health and addiction needs that are going unmet, because it’s been too easy to just look away and do nothing, in the past. This training is accessible and helps employers to see those early signs, so they can take action quickly, as opposed to waiting until things reach a crises level.

Anyone interested in learning more about this training can check out The Connection’s website at . Their new fall/winter catalog is up and there are a lot of new, exciting offerings included as well.