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OPM urges agency focus on mental health education, services

Jun. 23, 2014 - 03:14PM   |  
By ANDY MEDICI   |   Comments

The Office of Personnel Management wants agencies to start a conversation about mental health and available resources with employees, according to a June 19 memo.

OPM director Katherine Archuleta wrote that addressing mental health issues promotes a better federal workplace and ensures the wellbeing of federal employees.

“We need to do everything we can to provide employees and their supervisors with tools to recognize impending problems and be able to respond appropriately,” Archuleta wrote. When an employee has a mental health concern or significant stress, timely access to mental health services and support can facilitate prompt recovery and avert a crisis.”

She wrote that nearly one quarter of the U.S. workforce experiences a mental health or substance use problem each year and encouraged employees to play a role in creating a positive and supportive work environment.

Some of the available employee resources include:

■The Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) at each agency, which can be accessed through the human resources department.

■The mental health services and substance abuse disorder treatment available through the Federal Employee Health Benefits program.

■The mental health services or substance abuse treatment locator at

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