I know it is a strange title for a Pest Control blog. The blog doesn’t have anything to do with pest control. But it has everything to do with employee commitment at ChemTec to be a part of an important change. If you’ve seen our social media lately, you’ll already know what this is about.

Did you know that 1 in 5 American adults suffers from some form of mental health disease each year? That means that you know and possibly love someone with a mental illness. We’ve had many conversations in our office on the topic and we always end up at the same spot: it touches everyone.

Although there have been great strides in getting people to openly talk about mental health afflictions without fear or shame, it remains America’s leading public health crisis. The stigma that still exists stifles healthy communication, proper diagnosis, and timely care. There is a help, and in many cases cures. Unfortunately, the fear, shame, ignorance, lack of support stops people from seeking the services they need. Healthy communications are needed to reverse this. At ChemTec, we decided to actively help stimulate the conversation to normalize the conversation. And we’re hoping our customers will join as well!

Our May ChemTec blogs, social media posts, bill inserts and technician leave-behinds all talk about Mental Health. Technicians are wearing bright green gloves and booties (the Mental Health Awareness Month color) as well as special buttons and lanyards all in an effort to show their support and start the conversation. We’re disseminating information including facts about the mental illness crisis, local support centers and messages to encourage stigma-free communications.

We’ve been preparing for MHAM for a few months now. ChemTec has always been a big supporter of our local mental health support organizations…. participating in events, donations, gift baskets…..but this year we decided to make our involvement personal, because it is personal for so many of us. We have been lucky enough to have the guidance and educational support of Comprehensive Behavioral Healthcare (CBHCare)*. The wonderful people at CBHCare have shared their expertise with all of our employees by enlightened us on the different mental health disorders, what they can look like and the best way to be accepting and supportive.

We also had our first of what I hope is many “Mindfulness” sessions: training on keeping our own minds well-balanced. What an over-the-top job our friend Kate McGuinness at StillPoint Yoga Studio in Blairstown did in giving our employees ways to keep in the moment and de-stress throughout their day on the road or in the office. I cannot say enough about how perfectly practical and appropriate Kate made this session to our folks. I recommend other businesses to seek out similar training for their employees as well.

We are hoping you join us in turning the tide. We encourage you to be the change. We’re not talking about movie stereotypes or long lost crazy uncles. We’re talking friends, neighbors, loved ones who just may be too afraid or ashamed or unaware to speak up. Be the change so there is a change. Have the conversation. Please join us to fight the stigma.

#ChemTecCares #MentalHealthMatters

*Those interested in information on Comprehensive Behavioral Healthcare (CBHCare) and the excellent work they do should go to www.cbhcare.com. CBHCare is a community-based private 501c3  nonprofit mental health services agency that helps people meet life’s mental health challenges.  The agency provides adolescents, adults, and senior citizens with caring and compassionate mental health services including: individual and group counseling; early intervention and family support programs; transitional housing; and residential care programs.  Each year the agency assists more than 4,000 people from 67 Bergen County communities and towns in adjacent counties, as well as an average of 600 homeless consumers with their mental and behavioral health challenges.