Seeking help for mental health and addiction problems as an executive or professional
John H. Krystal, MD of Yale New Haven Hospital and Yale School of Medicine advises employers and colleagues seeking information about mental health and addiction help.
I think one of the pieces of advice that I would recommend for boards or other management personnel is to think about The Steward House program as collaborators. There is the opportunity to bring them in early in the process before things completely blow up. There is a tendency in some organizations to believe that because people have managed in their lives with some degree of these problems that they are not as serious. But we know that when these problems are not effectively treated that they gravely compromise the effectiveness of people particularly in leadership positions. I hope that organizations will see mental illness and addictions for what they are which are potentially disabling and life threatening medical conditions.
How we partner with you during treatment
When an executive or professional’s mental health or substance use reaches a point of crisis, taking some time away from work can be an essential first step to getting better. Time away allows them to focus intently on their recovery without the distraction and pressures of their busy personal and professional lives. We understand this time away comes with significant impact to the workplace. We’re committed to working with you on any accommodations—videoconferencing, phone calls, etc.—that can help reduce this impact, as long as this does not distract them too much from their primary focus on getting better and their treatment activities.
Many of our patients are on leave from workplaces that want reports on progress. Our care team is available to consult with company leadership at any stage of a patient’s interaction with The Steward House, from admissions planning through discharge and beyond.
This can include any of the following:
- Discussion of treatment options directly with executive/professional or organizational leaders/colleagues
- Phone or in-person assessment with executive/professional
- Recommendations for intervention strategies to initiate treatment at The Steward House or alternative programs
- Consultation during or after treatment at The Steward House
“Studies show that more than 75% of newly sober executives had administrative assistants that helped them cover up their drinking or drug use. Furthermore, 60% of these executives say fellow executives protected them while they used.”2
If you would like to learn more about our program or advice on starting a discussion with your employee or colleague, contact us today.