Workplace mental health focus of business seminar

Filed under: Health Care |

Mental health concerns can affect businesses and their profits because of lost productivity and increased absenteeism.
Mental Health America of the Pikes Peak Region is hosting a breakfast and workshop for business managers and supervisors from 7 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Nov. 15 at First Presbyterian Church’s Weber Street Center.
Speakers include Denis Lane, a disability attorney; Steve Tucker, a psychologist and director of the Centura Employment Assistance Program; David Smith, an attorney from the Mountain States Employers Council and Chris Hapgood, vice president for public policy for Mental Health America.
About 65 percent of all job terminations are related to a mental health issues, according to Mines & Associates, a national psychology consulting group.
MHA of Colorado has reported that in the retail industry alone, the cost of depression-related absenteeism is more than $11 million in El Paso County.
The cost for the event is $99. For more information, call 633-4601, ext. 123, or e-mail mhappr@pppartnership.org.

Arthritis and Hispanics

Recognizing that the country’s Hispanic population will continue to grow — and because arthritis affects Hispanics’ ability to work disproportionately — the Colorado chapter of the Arthritis Foundation has created a variety of Spanish-language resources to reach that population.
The materials include 16 brochures and information sheets about arthritis and its various forms, as well as a Web site, www.arthritis.org/espanol. The foundation also has a Spanish-language hotline, (800) 568-4045 and an e-mail help address, ayuda@arthritis.com.
Nearly 3 million Hispanic adults in the United States — 13 percent of the Hispanic population in Colorado — have been diagnosed with arthritis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While Hispanics have a lower population prevalence of arthritis, those with the disease have a higher proportion of arthritis-attributed work limitations than non-Hispanics.
“Hispanics don’t talk about pain and even consider it to be a sign of weakness, so many people in the Hispanic community are not getting the help and information they need,” said Dr. Veronica Mesquida, a Hispanic rheumatologist and Arthritis Foundation medical adviser.
Arthritis is the nation’s leading cause of disability, with a nationwide economic impact of more than $86.2 billion annually. The condition strikes all ages and knows no racial or ethnic boundaries. And as the U.S. population ages, the prevalence of arthritis will continue to climb.
For more information, contact the Rocky Mountain Chapter at (303) 756-8622 or www.arthritis.org.

Free cancer screenings

Planned Parenthood is offering screenings for breast and cervical cancer to low-income, uninsured and underserved women through is Women’s Wellness Connection.
The exams are free — including clinical breast exams, pelvic exams, Pap tests and a screening mammogram for women 50 and older. For women 40 to 49, mammograms are provided if there is a direct family history or a symptomatic problem found during a clinical breast exam.
Selected diagnostic services also are paid for by the program. Women who have never had a Pap test or breast exam, women with disabilities, lesbians and women living in rural areas can use the free program for diagnostic tests.
Studies show that early detection of breast and cervical cancer can save lives. Pap tests can find precancerous cervical abnormalities at an early stage when they are most curable and can prevent the disease if precancerous lesions are treated. Mammography is the best available method to detect breast cancer in its earliest, most treatable stage — an average of one to three years before women can feel a lump.
Call (800) 230-PLAN or visit www.pprm.org for more information.

Premiums decrease

Consumers can expect lower premiums for workers’ compensation insurance during 2008, according to the Department of Insurance.
The department has finalized the 2008 workers compensation loss costs, which is the base-rate from which workers’ compensation premiums are calculated. The 2008 loss costs will be 7.5 percent lower than the 2006 costs.
Although other factors can affect individual employer’s premiums, Colorado aggregate workers’ compensation premiums paid next year could be reduced as much as $72.5 million compared to current premiums.
The National Council on Compensation Insurance submitted its annual workers’ compensation loss cost rating values in a filing with a proposed average premium increase of 0.8 percent.
After a review, Insurance Commissioner Marcy Morrison said the decrease was appropriate.
Amy Gillentine covers health care for the Colorado Springs Business Journal.