Welcome to Fall! For SHARE-UMMS, Summer closed out in a lovely way. Altogether, over a thousand members of our community participated in last week’s Chocolate Day, including SHARE members, other hospital and university employees, medical students, senior administrators, and even a few children. But now, it is time for another Tidbit roundup. Here are five notable and timely items:
- This week, UMMHC and UMMS have been screening The Connection, a film about the science of mindfulness. UMass Medical School’s Center for Mindfulness has long been at the forefront of this research. The CFM provides an eight week stress-reduction program, which several SHARE members have attended. SHARE-UMMS Treasurer Kathy Bateman says she loved the program, and would attend again. “I learned ways to relieve stress right at my desk. I’d recommend it to anyone,” she says.
- Employers are starting to catch up with the value of the research being done at UMMS. Internet-search giant Google (considered by some to be the best employer in the country) has even developed its own in-house emotional intelligence training program called “Search Inside Yourself” (Get it? It’s Google, after all.)
- Any list of Tidbits would be insufficient to tackle an issue as serious as mental health. That said, please know that there are many free and low-cost mental health tools available. We recently came across this useful (if somewhat glib) resource list. The list begins with a series of apps, most of which are designed to help build grit and brain muscles, and moves through to a valuable collection of hotlines and support groups. For more local services, please see this list of mental health providers in Worcester.
- Mindfulness and self-care are only part of the equation toward improving what we do, of course. Right now, the work confronting almost every SHARE member is unnecessarily complicated, difficult, and frustrating. We want to eliminate needless headaches. We know that frontline employees need to be the ones to design work-systems. Too often our work requires heroic effort to do a good job, and there are too many pitfalls along the way. Our union is working to enable SHARE members to develop structures that minimize the likelihood of error, and make it easier at the end of the day to see more good outcomes coming from our hard work. One way you can improve work processes in your own area is to submit an idea to your department’s Idea Board. If you have questions about how to do this, or concerns about the effectiveness of your area’s Idea Board system, please contact Will Erickson in the SHARE office.
- On a lighter note, you might, given its popularity, have already seen this related talk by researcher Shawn Achor. But in case you’ve missed it, here’s a link to “The Happy Secret to Better Work.” It’s funny and smart, and only a little over twelve minutes long.
The weather report looks beautiful for the next few days. Good time to get outside and move around. It’s not too late to register for The UMass Medicine Cancer Walk, which has been an effective fundraiser for cancer research at UMass, and a meaningful event for cancer patients, their friends, and their families, including many SHARE members. See you here next Friday. Hope you have a great weekend.