Know the 5 Signs of Mental Disorder

icon-five-faces-Five SignsOne in every five Americans develops a diagnosable mental health condition each year. Do you know someone who might be suffering from a mental illness? Do you know how to help them?

There is a stigma that surrounds mental illness. Too often, mental illness is thought to reflect lack of character or personal weakness. Because of this stigma, people with treatable mental illnesses go undiagnosed and untreated. They are too embarrassed, ashamed or afraid of the consequences to step forward for help.

We wouldn’t dream of expecting a person with diabetes or heart disease to “snap outta it!” Mental illness is just that – an illness. We must change the way we view and treat people with mental health conditions.

To that end, a coalition of businesses, government, nonprofits, medical, schools, faith communities and many others has come together to launch the Campaign to Change Direction. The purpose of the campaign is to raise awareness about mental health and provide people with the ability to identify and help those who might be experiencing a mental health issue.

A key first step is to educate the public in how to identify friends, family and co-workers who might be suffering emotionally and need help. Just as we learned to identify the signs of a heart attack or stroke, we can learn to identify the signs of mental distress.Banker in Distress

The campaign’s website,, lists Five Signs of mental disorder. In short, look for:

  • A change in personality
  • Agitation
  • Withdrawal
  • A decline in personal care
  • Hopelessness

If you recognize the signs of mental illness in someone, offer to help. Show compassion, encouragement and assist in finding a solution.

Visit the Campaign to Change Direction website to learn more and take The Pledge to “know the Five Signs of emotional suffering and to change the story surrounding mental health, mental illness and wellness”.

Traits of “Best Places To Work”

Noma Bruton:

Andre Lavoie, CEO of ClearCompany, makes the case for the importance of performance reviews in companies considered great places to work. He doesn’t, however, include performance ratings as a practice to include in the process.

Originally posted on :

All companies would like to be considered one of the “best places to work.”   Local business community recognition as well as  employee recognition go a long way in attracting and retaining talented recruits and current personnel.

Free I love my job “Businessman Holding Paper” by pakorn

Typically, businesses that are named as such have three common traits according to Andre Lavoie with Entrepreneur.  He writes in Companies That Are “Best Places to Work” Share These 3 Things:

  1. The company has a strong, positive culture.  Communicating the companies vision helps employees understand and establish their work goals, with the company mission in mind.
  2. Employers invest in their employees – People are the most valuable asset of a company so it makes sense that they be provided opportunities to grow professionally.  Options such as mentorship programs, professional development events, webinars, or other training and development programs could be utilized.
  3. Performance reviews are valued. A good performance review should include…

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The Jobs Report Isn’t Good for Commercial Banking

Commercial Banking Jobs 2005 - 2015

Commercial Banking Employment 2005 – 2015

The number of commercial banking jobs in the U.S. has been slowly declining for the past two years. Commercial banking employment today  remains relatively unchanged from a decade ago.

And job cuts in the banking industry will continue in 2015.

The bloodletting at banks that started during the 2008 financial crisis isn’t letting up.

Bloomberg Business, January 21, 2015

Eighty-three percent (83%) of respondents to a quarterly Bloomberg Global Poll said the banking industry will continue cutting jobs this year.

But, it isn’t all bad news for the financial services industry. Several sub-sectors are growing:

  • Insurance carriers added 18,300 jobs YTD – up 6.6% over the past two years;
  • Securities gained 6,000 YTD – up 4.4% over the past two years;
  • Real Estate employment increased by 6,000 in 2015 – up 5.4% over the past two years.

And while other industries are reporting stagnant wage growth, financial salaries are up 4% since December 2013.

Sources:  BLS Employment Situation Summary, February 2015; Bloomberg Business, More Job Cuts at Banks Seen in 2015 in Poll of Investors, January 21, 2015

Is Work Killing You? A Doctor’s Prescription for Treating Workplace Stress

Is Work Killing YouStress in the workplace has been rising steadily for the past twenty years.  Corporate downsizing increases the workload of remaining employees.  Technological advances  increase management’s  expectation that employees do more work – faster.

As a medical doctor, Dr. David Posen has been in a position to see the effects of workplace stress on workers. In his book, Is Work Killing You?  A Doctor’s Prescription for Treating Workplace Stress, he outlines the most frequent causes of employees’ stress and argues that the current level of stress in the workforce is unsustainable.  From his viewpoint as a doctor and business consultant, he believes stress in the workplace is tearing people apart and decreasing productivity.

Dr. Posen provides a litany of reasons for the increase in workplace stress.  But he summarizes all the sources of stress into what he calls The Big Three:

Work Volume:  There is too much work for too few people.  Fueled by management’s desire to run “lean and mean”, excessive volume results in too many projects, meetings, emails and deadlines for the workforce to handle efficiently.

Work Velocity:  The pace at which people are expected to work is unrealistic.  Due to technological advances, everything is moving faster and people are impatient.  “I sent you an email ten minutes ago.  Why haven’t you responded yet?” is a typical question in today’s workplace.

And finally, what I call the Really Big Number Three:

Abuse:  Perhaps related to increasing levels of stress, unchecked difficult people, interpersonal conflict, harassment and bullying continue to take a terrible toll on employees and productivity.

The author offers many suggestions, for managers and employees, to ease the pressure under which employees work. No Bullying Unfortunately, many of his ideas are unlikely to be executed because of low levels of employee job security.  Several of his recommendations, however, are realistic, sensible and should be adopted immediately.  Among them:

  • Create a “no-tolerance” policy against bullying in the workplace.  It would enhance corporate culture and improve  productivity.
  • Manage the deluge of email communication.  Protocol for using Reply All, cc and bcc should be clear and the need seldom.

Huffington Post (Infographic) How Your Job is Slowly Killing You

Read Is Work Killing You?  A Doctor’s Prescription for Treating Workplace Stress, by Dr. David Posen – available at


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