About two months before COVID hit, I got an interesting article from my Mom (who loves to send me articles about mental health). It outlined a fascinating new trend–embedded therapists who have offices inside company headquarters and attend to the mental health needs of management and employees. Yes, many companies have EAP privileges, but that model doesn’t work for all (limited sessions, multiple obstacles to service, wait times).

Within a week, I had folders made up, filled with data and statistics. Yes, it turns out, when you remove the obstacles to treatment, even very busy employees will take a few minutes out of their workday to seek services. If the mental health professional is in-house, obstacles are gone!

My first contact happened to be the General Manager of our largest news outlet, Hawaii News Now–and after presenting her with the “folder,” I got an answer within a couple of days. Yes, they wanted in!

A month into our planning, COVID hit. Employees telecommuted, and workplaces shut down. With employees out of the workplace, there couldn’t be an embedded therapist.

So, we waited. And waited. And waited.

Now that many workplaces are opening back up, we are back on track with our embedded, in-house therapist proposal. And, the wait actually helped, as we hired a prescriber who has a background in Industrial Psychology. Now, we could not only provide in-house therapy

but help with the overall organizational well-being of the news station.

We are just now putting the final touches on our partnership, but we are VERY excited and think the idea has enough legs to be transferred to other companies. Turns out, just a few weeks ago, one of our largest private schools hired two therapists who will be in-house. Employees are required to seek services at least once per month.

Refresh has been incredibly supportive of our idea and is interested in finding out how we can grow the concept. Personally, I feel many companies will be interested in removing as many obstacles to services as possible.

Happy employees. More productivity.

We’ll see how our pilot project works out, but I’m confident it has legs and will soon be the model of large workplaces in Hawaii!

–Britt Young, M.A., LMFT

Director, Xplor Counseling, LLC