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Stressed to Strong: Mental Health and Wellness Conference

Stressed to Strong: Mental Health and Wellness Conference

in Events by UHA Health Insurance

UHA Health Insurance was the Founding Sponsor of Hawaii Business Magazine’s “Stressed to Strong: Mental Health and Wellness Conference.” The turnout was great! Many employers, HR managers, and educators showed up to learn about improving employee wellness, retention, and productivity.

Featured Keynote, Joe Roberts

The Skid Row CEO, Joe Roberts shared his remarkable story. Just 12 years prior to becoming a successful CEO, he was homeless and addicted to drugs. However, there were individuals that saw his potential and intervened, changing the trajectory of his life.

Today, he is a keynote speaker, youth homeless advocate and successful entrepreneur – a significant change from his prior life.

Joe wanted to help others in the same way he had been helped, he found his purpose. Because of this, he was able to achieve greater goals like pushing a shopping cart for 5,625 miles across Canada to raise awareness for youth homelessness. This ultimately led to legislative changes to help vulnerable children.

He contributes his success to those who intervened early in his life. Seeking out individuals who recognize your potential is important for growth. Personal growth and finding your purpose opens up a world of new possibilities and innovation.

Breakout Session: Financial Wellness in the Workforce

UHA’s very own Chief Human Resources and Brand Officer, Stevette Santiago joined a panel to speak on financial wellness in the workforce. The other speakers were:

  • Candice Wong, Director of Benefit Services, ALTRES  
  • Daniel Shiu, Senior Vice President, Wealth Management, UBS Financial Services, Inc.
  • Sandra “Bunny” Tanaka, Financial Educator, Hawaii State Federal Credit Union
  • Moderator: Evan Leong, CEO, Brain Gain Hawaii

The topic of the panel discussion was focused on financial wellness and security. How can employers help their employees achieve financial wellness? Here are some key takeaways:

Communication is key. Part of the culture here in Hawaii is to stay silent about financial issues, so it helps to provide safe spaces where employees feel comfortable to openly discuss finances.

Inform your employees about the benefits and resources available to them. It can be difficult to get people to take advantage of those benefits, so consistent communication is vital.

Be aware of what life stage your employees are in. Awareness of the life stage each employee is in can aid in understanding how financial concerns manifest. This can appear as grappling with student loans, navigating childcare, or managing elderly care.

Enlist advocates within your organization. These advocates can help educate other employees about company benefits. Living your brand within the organization, particularly for leaders, re-enforces the message being communicated.

Closing Keynote, Angela Lee Pucci

As the closing keynote discussion, Angela Lee Pucci told her story of tragically losing her sister and her struggles with mental health. Formerly a mixed martial arts fighter and champion, Angela is now a mental health advocate for individuals in combat sports.

Having someone to confide in and be vulnerable with helped Angela through tough times. Simply having a supportive listener can make a big difference.

She recommended taking time to disconnect from electronic devices. The toxic discourse seen in social media such as negative comments, can weigh heavily on your mind. For parents, she suggests teaching kids how to express their feelings instead of keeping them bottled up.

Angela encouraged everyone to find a supportive community whether it be family or work related and to take care of them. Using the mental health non-profit organization she founded, Fightstory Inc., she is building a supportive community for “fighters of all walks of life.”