Wellness & Well-being Highlights
Week of February 26, 2024
This week’s edition of our Worker Wellness & Well-being blog consists of a recent poll indicating that US adults considered opioids, mental health, and gun violence to be 3 of the top 5 threats to our public health—to how some communities are designing structures with suicide prevention in mind (i.e., bridges w/ nets)—to how nearly ½ of college graduates are in jobs that do not require a degree…positing this form of underemployment may negatively impact earnings and career pathways. Today, I wish to shed some light on a recently published RAND study on the devastating effects of America’s overdose crisis. It found that nearly one-half of US adults know someone who has died from an overdose. While this figure is mind-boggling, I believe when you consider the unintended consequences of SUD/OUD we begin to see where more light needs to be shed. As suggested, we must design (local) strategies for the loss survivors in order to stop their spiraling “grief and despair” which can lead to more deaths. These efforts may include support for addressing trauma as well as stopping the “shaming and blaming” of those addicted to or died from opioids…which extends to his/her family members. Lastly, too often, children are left behind either to live with grandparents or sent to a foster home. As a result, the “ripple effect” equates to a rise in childhood suicides in areas with increasing overdose deaths. At some point, the majority of Americans must come to grips with the concept that SUD/OUD is not a moral weakness but rather a brain-related disease. The sooner we do, the sooner we can begin to heal one major aspect of a divided nation! Not to mention, the positive impact this would have on our communities regarding issues like presenteeism and workforce shortages.
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