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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration

Last Updated: 8/18/2013

SAMHSA’s Resource Center to Promote Acceptance,
Dignity and Social Inclusion Associated with
Mental Health (ADS Center)


Corporate Pioneers—Creating Cultures of Caring: Enhancing Health and Safety in the Workplace and the Larger Community

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  • Colleen Dame, M.B.A., is the Director – Wellness for Chesapeake Energy Corporation, where she provides leadership for wellness programs involving employees on the corporate campus and in the field.
  • Paul W. Heck, M.Ed., LPC, is the Global Manager of Employee Assistance & WorkLife Services for DuPont, where he is responsible for an integrated employee assistance program (EAP) serving 70,000 employees and their families in more than 65 countries.
  • Jim Ramnaraine, M.A. in Industrial Relations, is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coordinator with the Leave & Accommodation Management Office of Hennepin County in Minnesota, where he coordinates compliance with State and Federal civil rights laws, including implementation of ADA accommodation requests.

Teleconference Overview

Stresses both in and outside of work can effect employees, whether the everyday stresses of family life, caregiving, work stresses, financial challenges, health problems, or more serious issues, including mental health, addiction, domestic violence, or other traumatic events. While many employers have begun to recognize that mental and emotional health is an integral part of overall health and wellness, too often employers remain unaware about what they can do. Employers can have a tremendous positive impact in creating a healthy and safe workplace, which is a win-win situation for employers, employees, families, and the larger community.

In fact, there are significant benefits to employers and employees when a business decides to promote a mentally healthy workplace. When employers value practices and policies that recognize emotional distress as a part of everyday living and promote the mental health and well-being of their employees, perceptions and attitudes about mental health improve and acceptance of these issues in the workplace increases. A mentally healthy workplace can positively affect productivity, boost morale, result in containment of healthcare costs, and promote employee retention. 

During this webinar, you will gain a better understanding of workplace challenges and workable solutions. You will hear from three employers who have developed and implemented mentally healthy, innovative, cost-effective programs that are making a difference within their respective workplaces and learn how these can be replicated in your organization.

You’ll learn how one company turned tragedy into triumph, creating the “Your Life Matters” campaign. You’ll hear from an international firm that created the I.C.U. or “I See You” program that encourages employees to reach out to, rather than avoid, a coworker who seems distressed. And you’ll learn how one county’s stay-at-work/return-to-work program is improving retention of employees experiencing mental health or substance use issues.

We invite to you join us as we hear from three creative, committed leaders whose outside-the-box thinking is changing their workplace and community cultures.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn how three distinct, exemplary workplace initiatives have invested in emotional wellness and how this has led to benefits including enhanced corporate health and employee well-being.
  • Learn about key practices, including negotiating with and selecting EAP vendors willing to address your corporate health priorities, offering a range of health and wellness tools to employees, and training supervisors and managers to recognize when emotional distress may be affecting an employee’s work and learn how to work with the employee to resolve the situation.
  • Learn about “emotional ergonomics”—positive ways of recognizing and addressing the impact of stress in the workplace and teaching resilience, wellness, and relating to others. 

Target Audiences:

  • Employers and human resources professionals
  • Employee assistance professionals
  • Employment and job placement professionals
  • Federal, State, and local agency employers, policymakers, and public officials
  • People in recovery from mental health, substance use, and trauma-related challenges, including those who are currently employed and those interested in entering or reentering the workforce
  • Families
  • Leaders of community- and faith-based organizations
  • Mental health and substance use treatment service providers
  • Healthcare providers

Speaker Biographies:

Colleen Dame, M.B.A., joined Chesapeake Energy Corporation in 2008 and currently serves as Director – Wellness, providing leadership for wellness programs involving employees on the corporate campus and in the field. Chesapeake has grown from approximately 5,500 employees to 12,000 employees during her tenure. Under her leadership, the wellness programs at Chesapeake have been expanded to incorporate all employees, including those in remote locations such as field offices and rig sites in 18 States. Chesapeake’s wellness initiatives have also expanded, with programs added for pre-diabetes and diabetes, nursing mothers’ support, full-scale tobacco cessation efforts, personal health coaching, field ergonomics, and financial wellness. In addition, Ms. Dame has coordinated an award-winning campaign called “Your Life Matters,” currently in its fourth year. The program offers education and information aimed at reducing the stigma surrounding mental and emotional issues in the workplace. Before joining Chesapeake, Ms. Dame served as Deputy Director at the Employees Benefits Council for the State of Oklahoma. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from California State University, Fullerton. She received a master’s degree in business administration from Oklahoma Christian University in 2005.

Paul W. Heck, M.Ed., LPC, has more than 30 years of experience building and managing mental health programs and EAPs in the U.S. and globally for such notable companies as J.C. Penney, American Airlines, and, currently, DuPont, where he is responsible for an integrated EAP serving 70,000 employees and their families in more than 65 countries. Mr. Heck was co-founder and first chairman of the Asia Pacific Employee Assistance Roundtable and is a past president of the U.S. Employee Assistance Roundtable.  He has served as an advisor to the World Health Organization, National Business Group on Health, and the Partnership for Workplace Mental Health. Mr. Heck is a well-known speaker and trainer for global business audiences and healthcare professionals. He has conducted professional workshops and seminars in 24 countries over the last 14 years. Mr. Heck also serves as a senior advisor to DuPont’s corporate management team regarding issues of performance, change management, and elements influencing the emotional environment of work. He is a licensed professional counselor of mental health, a national certified counselor, and a fellow of the American Psychotherapy Association.

Jim Ramnaraine, M.A. in Industrial Relations, has worked as Hennepin County’s ADA Coordinator since 1988. He coordinates compliance with State and Federal civil rights laws, including implementation of ADA accommodation requests. He facilitates workshops on a host of disability-related topics. Mr. Ramnaraine has spoken at several national conferences including those of the Integrated Benefits Institute and the Disability Management Employer Coalition. Mr. Ramnaraine co-produced two successful video projects on accessibility requirements and interactions with customers with disabilities.  In 2001, he testified on behalf of Hennepin County before the U.S. Civil Rights Commission on the training of law enforcement in effective interactions with the disability community. Mr. Ramnaraine received a master of arts degree in industrial relations from the University of Minnesota.

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This Web site was developed under contract with the Office of Consumer Affairs in SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services. The views, opinions, and content provided on this Web site do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or policies of SAMHSA or HHS. The resources listed in this Web site are not all-inclusive and inclusion on this Web site does not constitute an endorsement by SAMHSA or HHS.