A-Z Index

Employee Wellness

At Northwest, employee wellness (mind, body and spirit) is of the utmost importance to us.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, so Northwest wants to ensure employees are equipped with the information and resources they need.

Dr. Van Buren, ND, MSN

I am excited to be joining the Bearcat family and to support employees with their personal health goals. This new employee wellness site will be updated several times per year, based on the month's theme, the season or the health initiative Northwest is encouraging. In coming weeks, we will introduce a Summer Run/Walk Series, which we hope will turn into an annual event for employees and their families. Please contact me if you have questions or concerns regarding your specific health goals or your Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance plan. I look forward to assisting my Bearcat family in becoming the healthiest version of themselves possible in mind, body and spirit.

In health, 
 - Melissa
Employee Wellness Coordinator

View Dr. Van Buren's Bio

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Over 40% of adults suffered from anxiety and depression during the pandemic and even now, post-pandemic.

300M+ adults worldwide suffer from depression, yet less than one-third receive treatment, and even fewer in minority groups and older adults.

12% increase in productivity in the workplace when employers address mental health with their employees.

This data has brought to light the continued need for an increased push from everyone to decrease the stigma, for the need of mental health support.

*See below for ways we can work toward these goals together as a Bearcat family.

Spotting early warning signs in yourself or your colleagues

  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Sick more frequently
  • Lower mood; less positive and upbeat than usual for more than one week
  • Decreased quality of work; little to no excitement for work
  • Less punctual

Check in on someone who View PDF

Mental Health Bearcat Challenge
“Bearcats have each other's back”

  • With empathy and understanding, be mindful of your colleagues and if you happen to notice any of the above symptoms. (This is not judgmental, we all deal with life’s trials and challenges.)
  • Ask your colleagues how they are doing, how work is going, how things are at home, how the work-life balance is treating them … anything. Just show you care and make the effort to reach out and ask them something.
  • Challenge: Check-in on at least one Bearcat colleague per week. In doing so, also challenge yourself to be vulnerable and share with someone if you feel you are struggling with anything. This may be with a colleague, a friend or a counselor. Talk therapy "getting things off your chest" is a known, successful therapeutic tool.
  • Challenge: Share something personal from your life, maybe a personal challenge you are working through. Vulnerability is key with mental health; we have to use discretion in sharing our vulnerabilities, as this is part of the human experience that connects us and will ultimately help lessen not only the stigma of mental health but also support anyone who needs help.

Counseling Resources

Employee Assistance Program

Ability Assist Counseling Services
from The Hartford (with ComPsych Guidance Resources)

Includes up to three face-to-face counseling sessions per occurrence per year.

Call 800.964.3577

Ability Assist Benefits View PDF

Mindful By Blue KC

Available 24/7
Call 833.302.MIND

Mindful Info Flyer View PDF

Therapy Assistance Online / TAO

Visit TAO


On-call 24/7

Holly McMillen (embedded crisis counselor)
Call 660.853.8196

Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

Available 24/7
Call 988


  • Fuhl, J. 6 Ways to Support Mental Health Wellness at Work. Sage. April, 15, 2023.
  • Verasal, A. How HR Can Support Mental Health in Remote Work. HR Digest. April 22, 2023.
  • Srivastava, J, et. Al. Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with a bright futured. Mol Med Report. November 1, 200. 3(6):895-901. Doi: 10.3892/mmr.2010.377
  • Banner Health. How Sleep Can Affect Stress. February 28, 2019. Accessed May 8, 2023.