Prioritizing mental health and wellness
In the time of COVID-19 and its continued effect on our society, health and wellness are hot topics. That’s why Fannie Mae’s African Ancestry Business Leaders for Excellence (ABLE) Employee Resource Group (ERG) has embraced Black History Month’s national theme of Black health and wellness. Understanding disparities facing the Black community with respect to healthcare, including mental health care, is critical.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Black adults in the U.S. are more likely to report symptoms of emotional distress, such as sadness and hopelessness. Of course, we all have vastly different experiences, but our collective experience shapes our communities. And living in a pandemic over the past two years has not made it any easier — the lack of resources and access to adequate healthcare in our community left us vulnerable to the health crisis.
It’s more important than ever to prioritize mental health and wellness by carving out time for self-love and self-care. Ways that I make time for self-care are creating healthy social media boundaries, waking up every day with gratitude and in prayer, writing, and focusing on personal goals. This mindset has naturally spilled over into my work at Fannie Mae.
Leading ABLE’s Courageous Conversations over the last year and a half has ignited my interest in solving racial inequities, injustices, and gender disparities in the workplace — and led to me becoming Vice President of the ABLE ERG. ABLE has given me support, shared available resources and has been a platform to connect with my colleagues. It honestly has been a form of self-care since the work is so meaningful and is beneficial to so many people in the company. I’m also a member of the Racial Equity Council in Single-Family Products and Solutions and co-lead my team’s Culture Ambassadors. All would not be possible without me putting in the time to make mental health a priority as well as the inclusive culture of our company.
I’m proud to work for Fannie Mae – the company has given me so many opportunities to connect with diverse individuals outside of my day-to-day work. This has given me a sense of community – from working with my core team to culture groups to ERGs – where we have open and honest conversations and a support system that makes everyone feel appreciated. Employees are encouraged to take advantage of the activities and benefits that Fannie Mae has to offer (eldercare, disability support, and counseling to name a few) because it’s not only crucial for our wellness, but also for how we work to achieve our Mission.
Throughout Black History Month, ABLE is hosting featured events, virtual experiences, and sharing cultural resources to help broaden employees’ knowledge of the Black community. Through the conversation around Black health and wellness, we can better understand how to bridge the gap and make a positive impact.
Learn more about how Fannie Mae offers benefits to help employees and their families live and work with greater peace of mind.
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