American Express – Healthy Minds Interview: American Express Recognizes Mental Health Awareness Month

Dr. Charles LattaruloDirector of American Express’ Healthy Minds Program, talks about the importance of mental health as part of the holistic wellness journey.

“When it comes to overall well-being, it’s important to recognize that mental health is a key factor. At Amex, it is more important than ever to raise awareness of our programs and services that support colleagues on their individual health journeys,” said Dr. Charles Lattarulodirector of American Express’ Healthy Minds program.

American Express has made it a priority to uphold a global commitment to support the holistic well-being of its colleagues, including physical, financial and mental health. In recognition of National Mental Health Awareness Month, the company is encourage colleagues to prioritize self-care and connection in its “Make Space” campaign. The campaign highlights a wide variety of resources, support and ways to access care – from mental health counseling and meditation sessions, to wellness coaching, grief and loss support , mental health training and its flexible work model, Amex Flex.

A major resource has been the company’s investment in its Healthy Minds program where colleagues can turn to licensed therapists and counselors for support, which is completely confidential and free. Additionally, colleagues can participate in wellness webinars and forums that normalize the importance of self-care and encourage “hard to have” conversations.

Read more below from Dr. Lattarulo, a leader in the field of behavioral health, about how mental health is a key part of a healthy lifestyle:

What role does mental health play in a person’s overall well-being?

There are several factors related to mental health, including how much attention we pay to our diet, exercise, and sleep. Additionally, it is important to understand how mental health can affect our daily lives beyond our thoughts and feelings, such as the role it has on our relationships and how we deal with stress.

Why is it important that we have frequent and candid conversations about mental health?

Mental health exists on a continuum. We may feel good one day, but we may not feel good the next day, depending on what we are going through in our lives. The more open and honest conversations we have about mental health, the more it normalizes how we feel and experience – and most importantly, early mental health intervention is essential.

In the workplace, people can sometimes experience feelings of stress and anxiety. What are ways to help manage these experiences?

Often when we encounter these feelings, it can be related to the need to feel in control. So to help manage stress and anxiety, it can be helpful to take the time to recognize and focus on the things that are within our control, including daily routines.

Also, be sure to pay attention and make time for these feelings. At American Express, colleagues can participate in what we call “micro-learnings,” which are 3-5 minute videos on topics such as deskercise and meditation. These help prioritize their emotional well-being throughout the day.

Finally, you never know what someone else may experience. Remember to have compassion for ourselves and our colleagues. Always assume positive intentions and keep in mind that we can often only see a small piece of a much bigger story.

How can people make room in their own lives to prioritize mental health?

It’s important to make time for your mental health and make room for it in your daily routine.

Mental health can mean something very different to each individual, so the key is to find what practices and resources work best for each of us to support this journey. Some people need talk therapy to gain perspective. Some need exercise. Others need quiet time to reflect and meditate. Whatever is good practice for you, put it at the top of your to-do list every day.

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