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Round-Out your Wellness Programs

by Yatin Patel ASEBP | March 1 2018

Have you ever been to an art gallery, looking at paintings from a variety of perspectives? Things start to shift depending on how close or far away you are to the art. And although it’s important to look at the minute details and brush strokes, you don’t get a sense of a painting until you take a step back and take in the piece in its entirety. This is an important concept in workplace wellness programming too, thinking of wellness as a holistic concept. When developing strategies on topics that are of interest to your workplace, invite discussions from a variety of health professionals to bring in a variety of perspectives.

An Applied Approach

Before joining ASEBP, I was a community pharmacist at a local grocery store. I conducted regular information workshops at local libraries, schools and even at the pharmacy itself. The dynamic interaction of face-to-face communication sparked conversations I would have never been able to plan. Working at a pharmacy within a grocery store, I was able to collaborate with my store manager to invite a variety of professionals and utilize community resources to talk about health and wellness in a holistic way. Here’s a look at some of the sessions we hosted:

  • One session featured a dietician for a guided tour of the store, discussing and educating our group on how to read nutritional labels when shopping.
  • Another session included a personal trainer who provided exercise and stretching training. We also discussed the positive impact of small changes in our daily routine that would contribute to increasing our daily activity.
  • The final session included a social worker and psychologist from the Employee and Family Assistance Program to discuss the benefits of psychosocial counseling in setting and sustaining health goals.

Each one of these professionals provided their own unique support and strategies when assisting individuals with their goals. By the end of the series, my group reported that the information and perspective they had gained empowered them with more information on the complexity of their health and diversified the areas of support available when trying to achieve their health goals. I understand that this is an individualized approach for health and wellness but the approach can easily be applied to your workplace health and wellness goals too! Connect the wellness dots by using a variety of resources, tools and professionals to help customize what wellness looks like for your group.

We’re All in This Together

Information from many perspectives will assist and support breaking through the challenges faced when looking to make and sustain a change towards wellness. The Sandbox is a great place to start:

  • First, think about what direction your workplace wants to take. Consider using some of Matt Mitschke’s tips to develop your strategies.
  • Next, think about organizations or professionals within the health and education sector that you can partner with to get your ideas off the ground.
  • And finally, invite your group to participate in your wellness initiatives in a variety of ways and see where it takes you!

And if that’s not enough, even your local pharmacist can help guide you in the right direction or provide great information to your group! The more you can look at your workplace wellness programs in a holistic way, and access resources from a variety of sources, the more impactful they’ll be to a greater number of employees. So think big, see the whole picture and, most importantly, have fun!

Yatin Patel

With 11 years working as a licenced pharmacist in Alberta, 'Chops' (as he is mysteriously called) is unravelling pharmaceutical riddles by the dozens as ASEBP’s lead pharmacist. Though he’ll run away screaming when presented with rollercoasters and teenagers (and the two together is worse than being forced to watch Psycho alone in the dark while taking a shower), you’ll want to buddy up with Chops when you’re at the company Texas Scramble.