For Immediate Release
Richmond (Jan. 12, 2021) — To support Virginia Certified Public Accountants (CPA) with their mental well-being in the year ahead, the Virginia Society of CPAs (VSCPA) is launching a series of programs and resources to support its members’ mental health and fortitude. The series launches on Friday, January 15 at a Mental Health Empowerment Kick-Off, a free three-hour virtual event with presentations and interactive discussions on topics like creating a mentally healthy work culture, the art and science of mindful leadership, and how CPAs are managing stress and their well-being during these challenging times.
“CPAs are telling us they have serious concerns about the sustained stress their teams are experiencing. Our goal is to reduce the stigma of discussing mental health in the workplace and provide practical guidance,” says VSCPA President & CEO Stephanie Peters, CAE.
“Everything from the prolonged tax season, to political and social unrest, to the isolation and lack of connection due to the pandemic is creating a level of stress and anxiety that our profession has probably never experienced,” she adds. “Unfortunately, it is impossible to say how long and how deep the impact will be felt. That’s why it’s important that we have a sustained effort to support CPAs through this experience.”
Peters recommends CPAs consider the following:
- Start with personal well-being: Leaders should model positive personal practices, as well as demonstrate vulnerability about the impact of stress. Employees need to understand they are not alone.
- Say the words “mental health”: Don’t dance around the subject. Talk openly about the impact of the last 10 months and how it’s okay ask for help.
- Acknowledge different experiences: Staff may have faced unique experiences as people of color, individuals living alone and caretakers, to name a few. Let staff tell you what their situations looks like from their vantage points and the impact on their mental health.
- Check your benefits: Review your employee assistance plan, as well as the mental health services in your insurance plan, to make sure they are robust and easily accessible. Talk about the benefits and services frequently, including during onboarding.
- Add mental health first aid training: Give your team tools to assess serious issues and make sure everyone knows how to respond to a crisis. Local health departments regularly provide this service.
- Create a culture of connection: Staff need to know they can go to someone at work who will listen. One-on-one conversations at all levels of the organization about the importance of individual well-being will promote a safe and caring work culture well beyond the pandemic.
Other mental health activities include a virtual roundtable on stress hardiness in tough times, a webinar on diversity and mental health, access to an online 20-day peak performance challenge and other resources, articles and more. Visit the “Mental Health & Well-Being” section of the VSCPA Coronavirus Resource Center for more information on these and future offerings.
About the VSCPA
The Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants (VSCPA) is the leading professional association in the Commonwealth dedicated to empowering CPAs to thrive. Founded in 1909, the VSCPA has more than 13,500 members who work in public accounting, corporate finance, government and education. For more information about the VSCPA, visit vscpa.com, email Tina Bates or call (804) 612-9440.