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					                                                                         May 2009
      Managers and Supervisors:

        Physical and mental wellness are
essential components to a healthy and
productive work environment.
Mountain EAP has a number of tools
available to you. First is this newsletter,
Workplace Solutions. Here we aim to                         Happy Birthday
provide interesting and informative
articles that assist managers and
supervisors in dealing with workplace
issues. Is there a particular topic you
believe would be especially beneficial to
your workplace? Let us know. We
welcome and encourage your input.
Heidi Emmerling, our editor, is eager to
hear from you. She can be reached
through Mountain EAP at 322-6066 or
through our website. Also, be sure to
check out our other publications:
Frontline Supervisor and Frontline                 May 1, 1967- Tim McGraw
Employee.                                        May 4, 1929- Audrey Hepburn
        Another way Mountain EAP                      May 10, 1960- Bono
supports your company is through                May 11, 1933- Louis Farrakhan
workshops, seminars, and “Lunch and              May 16, 1929- Adrienne Rich
Learns” on a variety of topics related to              May 20, 1946- Cher
health and wellness. Call our office for              May 21, 1952- Mr. T
specific information on these                 May 22, 1859- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
instructional programs.                            May 25, 1969- Anne Heche
        Finally, we are very proud of our         May 26, 1948- Stevie Nicks
counselors. They are all top-notch              May 27, 1923- Henry Kissinger
therapists and they also represent                May 28, 1945- John Fogerty
diversity in culture, gender,                   May 29, 1917- John F. Kennedy
specialization, and philosophy. We                May 30, 1963- Lisa Kudrow
definitely have counseling resources that        May 31, 1965- Brooke Shields
will address the precise needs of your
company. Be sure to visit our website at to “meet” our
counselors and staff.
        Questions or need more
information? Please contact Robyn
Mitchell, Mountain EAP Administrator,
at 322-6066 and she will let you know
more about all the tools available to you
and your company
THE PSYCHOLOGICAL IMPACT                     well-being is greatly affected by poverty
OF GLOBALIZATION                             and unemployment, which we know are
                                             barriers to creating social development.
Five Questions for Chris E. Stout,           If it's not addressed, risk of trauma is
PsyD                                         heightened from conflict, war and

Chris E. Stout, a                            There has been increasing recognition
clinical                                     within the United Nations system of the
psychologist and                             negative social and economic impact of
professor at the                             impaired mental health and mental
College of                                   illness. The secretary general's report to
Medicine at the                              the 48th General Assembly made
University of                                recommendations based on research
Illinois at                                  findings that served as a basis for
Chicago, has                                 courses of action for governments to
studied the                                  consider. For example, it was
impact of globalization on people's lives.   recommended governments implement
Throughout a 20-year career, Dr. Stout       national strategies for dealing with
has focused on the interconnectedness of     severe dysfunctional conditions such as
global matters, such as conflict, war,       post-traumatic stress.
global health and poverty. Dr. Stout has
worked as special representative to the      APA. What are the psychological
United Nations for the Society for the       aspects of behavior that contribute to
Psychological Study of Social Issues         conflict and war?
(SPSSI- APA's Division 9) and is the
founding director of the Center for          Dr. Stout: A lot of psychological
Global Initiatives. As the challenges of     research, in and of itself, is focused on
globalization become more pressing, Dr.      avoiding conflict. When we consider
Stout addresses how psychology can           what leads to wars, psychology is at the
help combat poverty and create a more        forefront – be it obedience to authority
sustainable world.                           or simple passivity. Another well-
                                             supported theory is that of circumstance.
APA. What role does psychology play          This idea holds that war is less the result
in public and global health issues?          of malevolent dictators or the actions of
                                             inhumane ethnic or religious zealots, but
Dr. Stout: Without mental health, there      rather disproportionate and unfair socio-
is no health. Many public health factors,    economic circumstances, a generally
such as violence, substance abuse and        dangerous or unsafe environment, and
obesity, are behavioral. Mental health is    real or perceived risk of physical harm
on par with physical health in               or loss to one's self, family, property or
determining the person's quality of life,    community.
productivity and mortality rates; yet,
there is a perplexing disconnection          History has shown us that as the
between behavioral health and primary        population swelled and communities
care. In addition, people's psychosocial
began to form, wars became more               mechanism that explains this effect is the
frequent and more intense.                    fact that improved health increases
                                              productivity and reduces worker
APA. How does illness impact conflict         absenteeism.
and what can be done to combat these
effects?                                      Most notably, research suggests that the
                                              effects of improved health are probably
Dr. Stout: The link from war to poor          greatest for the most vulnerable – the
health is clear: Wars kill and injure         poorest and the least educated. Ill health,
soldiers and civilians, but they also         including poor mental health, leads to
destroy infrastructure and social             vicious spirals, aggravating insecurity
structures. Both cases produce adverse        and decreasing the return on all
effects on the population's general           investments in the future by reducing the
health. In the eastern Democratic             economic productivity. This leads to
Republic of Congo, for example, war           isolation from the global economy,
and ill health are tightly entwined. Of the   where connectivity is the key to
1.7 million preventable deaths between        prosperity.
August 1998 and May 2000, only
200,000 were attributable to acts of          APA. How can psychology and
violence. Wherever the war worsened,          psychologists help improve access to
infectious disease and malnutrition           care?
                                              Dr. Stout: Psychological principles can
What's less obvious is that there's also      be used in various ways depending on
evidence of the reverse effect of health      the issues, problems and culture. For
on war. Combatants in today's wars are        example, we are collaborating with a
often the socially excluded, even if they     clinic in India where there is a stigma for
only act as proxies for more socially         women seeking help for emotional
advantaged groups. Poor health shortens       problems—especially if it is via a male
people's lifespan, making them more           provider. They adopted an approach that
likely to engage in risky behavior.           female primary care doctors would gain
Conversely, strong democracies with           counseling training, so when women
broad support from healthy populations        sought care for a culturally “approved
are less likely to engage in conflict. To     illness,” following the physical exam,
prevent war, we might look more closely       counseling could begin on the actual
at the means to bring health and social       psychological issues present. One first
stability to poor countries.                  has to understand the needs, the culture,
                                              and the limitations in order to address
APA. How does a lack of proper                possible solutions that can be tried and
health care affect the economy?               evaluated.

Dr. Stout: Research shows us a distinct       I believe psychology is one of the most
relationship between health and               culturally mindful health care
economics. At the microeconomic level,        professions. Our undergraduate and
improved health status is associated with     graduate training incorporates a cultural
economic growth. The most direct              competence and literacy in all that we
do. This is particularly important in        success of his community program and
these more globalized times and we find      why it is working so well.
ourselves working in different cultures
and with immigrant or refugee                APA: What's wrong with the current
populations.                                 approach to protecting children in the
                                             United States?
SUCCESSFUL IN PREVENTING                     Dr. Melton: The current approach to
CHILD ABUSE – MARKS CHILD                    child protection was adopted in every
ABUSE PREVENTION MONTH                       state in the early 1960s and is now
                                             outdated. The hallmark of the approach
Five Questions for Gary Melton, PhD          is mandated reporting and investigation
                                             of cases of suspected child abuse and
                                             neglect — in essence, case-finding. This
Gary Melton —                                strategy was the product of an
a psychologist                               extraordinarily influential article in the
and a professor                              Journal of the American Medical
and director of                              Association. At the time, however, the
the Institute on                             authors estimated that there were about
Family and                                   300 cases of child maltreatment in the
Neighborhood                                 United States each year, but today, we
Life at Clemson                              have about 3 million calls each year to
University                                   Child Protective Services to report
(http://www.cle                              suspected child abuse or neglect. Case-                               finding isn't the problem!
— focuses on         Gary Melton, PhD
the links among                              The designers of the child protection
public policy, community supports and        system also typically assumed that there
the well-being of children and families.     was something very wrong with parents
As vice chair of the U.S. Advisory Board     who maltreated their children — that
on Child Abuse and Neglect in the early      they were very sick or simply very evil.
1990s, he led the board's development of     In the majority of cases (both reported
a neighborhood-based strategy for child      and unreported), however, child
protection. Dr. Melton has led the test of   maltreatment involves neglect, not
that strategy in Strong Communities for      abuse, and the neglect is not willful.
Children, a foundation-funded,               Instead, neglecting parents are typically
community-wide initiative (more than         overwhelmed by a multitude of
$10 million over 7.5 years) to prevent       problems without having the means —
child abuse and neglect in parts of          both economic and social — to solve
Greenville and Anderson counties in          them. Their supervision of their children
South Carolina                               becomes less diligent because they are
(        trying to cope alone with too many
ties).                                       social and economic problems.

To mark Child Abuse Prevention Month,        Unfortunately, the question that the child
APA spoke with Dr. Melton about the          protection system is designed to answer
is, “What happened?” not, “What can we        folks “naturally” recognize needs for
do to help?” And it definitely is not         help and then lend a hand. The number
designed to answer the latter question        of ways that they provide help and the
before abuse or neglect occurs.               amount that they provide keep growing.

As the U.S. Advisory Board on Child           APA: Is the Strong Communities
Abuse and Neglect concluded, “it has          program working?
become far easier to pick up the
telephone to report one's neighbor for        Dr. Melton: My standard answer is that
child abuse than it is for that neighbor to   Strong Communities has restored my
pick up the telephone to request and          faith in humanity! At a time when there
receive help before the abuse happens.”       is an enormous body of evidence
Instead, we spend vast resources on law-      showing that people — especially young
enforcement-style investigations by           people — are more and more isolated,
child protection workers —                    unengaged and distrustful, we've enlisted
investigations that usually do not result     more than 5,500 volunteers in seven
in meaningful services.                       years in an area that has about 125,000
                                              residents. They've joined us through
APA: How is your new initiative in the        hundreds of churches, hundreds of
Greenville area different?                    businesses, virtually all of the civic clubs
                                              and active neighborhood associations,
Dr. Melton: We are trying to make child       many of the schools, and all of the local
protection a part of everyday life. Our       governments and public safety agencies
ultimate goal of “keeping kids safe”          in the area. It's a movement, not a
requires that “every child and every          program.
parent know that when they have a
reason to celebrate, worry or grieve,         And it's making a difference. Across
someone will notice, and someone will         time and compared with parents living in
care.” Parents should know that someone       similar communities not involved in the
cares and will be there without their         initiative, randomly selected parents who
having to become “clients” or “cases”         live in the Strong Communities area
and even without their having to ask for      indicate that they've taken more active
help.                                         steps to protect their children (for
                                              example, covering electrical outlets).
So keeping kids safe is not just the job of   They report being more nurturing (for
the public child welfare agency. Instead,     example, showing more affection toward
our principal allies are church members,      their children) and less neglecting (for
firefighters, civic club members, school      example, providing adequate
staff, pediatricians, apartment managers,     supervision).
real estate agents and “just folks.”
Primarily using volunteers, we're making      Moreover, parents, teachers and
help available when and where people          especially children themselves are more
need it. We're creating opportunities for     likely to perceive children as safe at
families to get together or to seek help in   school and on the way to school. All
ordinary places — schools, churches,          three groups also are more likely to
parks, libraries and so forth — so that
perceive the schools as welcoming to         example, not having anyone to call when
parents.                                     they need emergency child care, not
                                             knowing any of the children in the
APA: As the economy worsens, should          neighborhood by name, and not
people be especially worried about           belonging to any organizations, except
child abuse and neglect?                     perhaps a church. This social poverty
                                             occurs frequently in wealthy
Dr. Melton: Economic security is a           neighborhoods among college-educated
major factor in child safety. For            parents, not just among those with many
example, risk increases when a family        advantages.
faces unemployment or high risk of
losing a job, and they live in a             My colleague James McDonell has
community with entrenched high rates of      shown that neighborhood cohesiveness
unemployment. Parents begin to think         does matter, however, in children's
that not only are their children not         safety. Even when the poverty rate,
getting what they need, but they             occupancy rate and other measures of
themselves can do little to make the         wealth are held constant, neighborhood
situation better. When parents see other     quality is a very strong factor in
parents having the same problems and         children's safety in their own homes, as
not finding a way out, they begin to feel    measured both by parents' accounts and
hopeless. They may become so                 by emergency-room records. In other
depressed that they don't provide            words, in communities where neighbors
adequate care, or they may become so         no longer care enough to keep the
frustrated that they lash out.               neighborhood looking nice and when
                                             they are so afraid that they erect fences
Beyond changing parents' feelings of         around their homes, kids' safety suffers,
helplessness, the reality is that it is      even in wealthy communities. Again,
harder for parents to care adequately for    children are safest when parents believe
their children when times are tough. For     that others care about them and will step
example, when the home or the                in to help if needed.
neighborhood becomes unsafe because
things are in disrepair, it is easier for    APA: Is there hope? Given all of the
kids to get hurt. Similarly, when parents    difficulties that families are facing,
lose insurance, they may find it difficult   can we be assured that children will
to get health care for their children or     be safe?
themselves and their physical ability to
keep things going may suffer.                Dr. Melton: Yes, there is hope! There
                                             are two facts that are especially
At the same time, money is not the           heartening.
whole problem. The much longer term
trend is toward increased isolation, and     First, our volunteers in Strong
that problem crosses social class,           Communities are representative of the
although it is most common among the         communities as a whole. Men and
families with the greatest needs. About      women, older and younger folks,
one in five parents of young children in     wealthy and disadvantaged, and white,
our area report being very isolated — for
brown and black people all are important    parents and give them a hand. Even an
in the movement.                            occasional night out can make a big
However, the engagement actually has
been strongest in communities that are      For more information for parents on
more disadvantaged. The most                creating healthful and non-violent
disadvantaged community in our service      environments for their children, go to
area makes ups about 10 percent of the      APA's ACT site:
population, but we've recruited about 40
percent of the volunteers there, and
they've contributed about 40 percent
hours of service.

In short, even in communities under
great stress — but not just those
communities — it is still possible to
engage people in positive steps toward
keeping kids safe. The Golden Rule is
still a powerful motivator.

Second, looking nationally, there is
substantial evidence that the prevalence
of physical abuse and sexual abuse
declined markedly in the 1990s,
although that change did not occur in
regard to neglect. My own interpretation
is that the community norms across the
country became clearer and stronger in
regard to abuse: “Don't do it!” People
stopped hitting and exploiting kids as
much or as severely. We can treat kids
like people, each one deserving respect
and security.

However, the lack of change in the rate
of neglect suggests that it is not only a
more common problem but also a more
difficult one. It requires changes in
                                              Mountain Employee Assistance
norms about what people should do, not                 Program
what they must stop. It also requires the
whole community's watching out for
each other; maybe “watching over” is an
even better metaphor. Strong
communities build and sustain strong
families. Even in hard times, we can
make kids safer when we reach out to

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