Posted on: November 30, 2020
PORTLAND, Maine – Allagash Brewing Company, which ranks among the best companies to work for in Maine, has recently launched a pilot program designed to make mental health counseling services more accessible to its workforce.
The program was announced jointly by Allagash and WellSpace@Work, a newly formed division of WellSpace Maine, a Portland-based mental health counseling practice.
In a statement, Celine Frueh, Allagash’s Human Resources Directory, said, “We are collectively experiencing the most stressful experience of our lives during the COVID pandemic at Allagash and throughout the world,” Our team is our number one priority, and essential to our surviving the pandemic. We wanted to put additional support in place for this fall/winter, ensuring that if anyone on the Allagash team wanted support for stress-related issues, they would be able to access it readily. With respect to mental health counseling, there are two general obstacles: finding a therapist, and affording the cost. By partnering with WellSpace@Work, and Allagash paying 100% of the cost, we were able to remove both of those barriers. What we hope to be a lasting effect of this partnership and increased education about mental health is totally normalizing the need for support on this front and removing stigmas about treating mental health challenges as they arise.”
Lindy Graham, a licensed clinical social worker who has been practicing in Portland since 2007 and who began growing WellSpace Maine in 2010, stated, “Through this program, Allagash contracts directly with WellSpace@Work and thus enables its workers to gain fast, and very importantly, confidential access to our staff who are nearby, available, and, a good match for a given employee’s particular issue due to careful upfront assessment. Our therapists know the Maine culture well—something we have found to be important to the employers currently considering Allagash-type programs with us”.
She explained that WellSpace@Work is paid on a fee-for-service basis for a variable, but finite, number of sessions which are carried out at this time via secure telehealth appointments but, post pandemic, will be offered on an in-person basis.
For Allagash, WellSpace@Work has set up a dedicated client-service unit and phone line to smooth the administrative process. It is also providing virtual mental health educational support through “lunch and learn” programs. Thus far, it has conducted a webinar on seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and managing the demands of work and children’s remote learning needs. Other webinars on substance use, parenting babies and toddlers in the pandemic, mindfulness, and healthy eating are in the offing.
About WellSpace Maine:
WellSpace Maine, which has offices in Portland and Yarmouth, provides counseling services for children, adolescents, families and couples. It also offers custom-designed counseling programs for employers through WellSpace@Work, as well as a professional training program for clinicians interested in deepening their practice. For more information about WellSpace Maine, please visit www.wellspacemaine.com.