Mental Health for Essential Workers: Best Practices From an LA Fire Captain

Mental Health for Essential Workers: Best Practices From an LA Fire Captain

If you’re a regular Talking Benefits listener, you know we’ve frequently covered the topic of mental well-being. This is because of the significant impact this issue has throughout our country and, in turn, throughout our workplaces and employee benefit plans. Mental health for our essential workers is always of particular importance during this time.

A mental health crisis has been looming over us for the past decade. COVID-19 has quickened the pace as nearly everyone has been impacted by pandemic-related stressors such as fear, social isolation, physical health challenges, financial insecurities, grief, caregiving stressors and domestic violence. These are likely causing anxiety, depression and other mental health conditions, increased addiction issues, and increased risk of suicide.

While many stressors are impacting everyone, of course, the degree and depth is very individualized—Everyone’s situation is different. Stressors differ depending on a worker’s status as essential or nonessential. My co-hosts and I are nonessential workers, currently working from home. We wanted to gain insights about what it’s like to be an essential worker, someone on the front lines, every day. 

Julie Stich, CEBS, VP of Content at the International Foundation, and Talking Benefits host, recently had a chance to speak with with Ruben Navarro, who is a fire captain for the Los Angeles Fire Department. He also serves as a commissioner of the Los Angeles Fire and Police Pensions and is currently the vice president of the board.

Ruben continues to lead his team and serve his community during this pandemic. Listen to hear how the “roller coaster ride” of this pandemic has changed the lives of Ruben and his team, and how he and his team members are handling the pressures of their work while maintaining their mental well-being. Stay tuned to learn how Ruben keeps a sense of hopefulness through the many difficulties he has encountered throughout the course of his job during the pandemic.

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Learn More

National Employee Benefits Day this year is focusing on resilience and mental health. Find resources for plan sponsors, and register now to attend a free webcast Mental Health at Work: Today’s Lessons for Tomorrow’s Workforce on Tuesday, April 6, 2021. Learn more.

Anne Patterson
Communications and Social Marketing Strategist

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