Celebrations of the many achievements by minorities and the LGBTQ+ community marked the first half of 2021. But the call to raise awareness of the importance of acceptance carries on. And while the festivities have ended, these marginalized populations’ unique health and wellbeing needs require continued support.
Viewpoints from Ayana Collins
Take a moment to consider how discrimination negatively impacts seeking care.
Microaggressions experienced at the workplace and within the healthcare system can lead to skepticism toward participating in an employer’s wellness program and distrust of the healthcare system – specifically toward healthcare providers. This lack of trust has led to increased risks of chronic diseases and higher rates of stress, anxiety and depression.
The key to your inclusion efforts is providing access to culturally relevant resources.
- Employees should have access to healthcare professionals who are well-versed in needs based on gender, race and sexual identity. Specific to the LGBTQ+ community, the Healthcare Equality Index evaluates healthcare facilities based on their inclusion efforts.
- Seek input from employer resource groups or a diverse focus group for insight. These conversations support efforts in adopting and enhancing company policies and work environments to support healthy lifestyles.
- Mental health is a top concern for minorities and the LGBTQ+ population. These programs need to adeptly address how marginalized groups deal with specific issues and the stigma of reaching out for help.
- Offer educational materials through multiple channels and languages. Where people go for information and how they internalize it can stem from cultural traditions and individual preferences.
Wellbeing programs are an opportunity to educate and empower employees to take personal action about health issues. Taking steps to support diversity through wellbeing initiatives further increases productivity and retains and attracts top talent.
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EPIC offers these opinions for general information only. EPIC does not intend this material to be, nor may any person receiving this information construe or rely on this material as, tax or legal advice. The matters addressed in this article and any related discussions or correspondence should be reviewed and discussed with legal counsel prior to acting or relying on these materials.
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