Oct. 11–15, 2021 • Austin, TX
Bouncing Back: Boosting Mental Resilience and Building Organizational Immunity
Our Forum21 theme explores how resilient organizations are reshaping their health and well-being initiatives to boost employee mental health, dismantle systemic racism, and cultivate community partnerships that will rebuild trust in institutions.
The worksite health promotion movement grew up as a strategy for boosting productivity and managing healthcare costs related to chronic diseases. The good news is that the same lifestyle factors that reduce metabolic risks are those that also boost immunity to infections. The bad news, though, is that the pandemic laid bare how readily an infectious disease can discriminate against essential versus non-essential workers, between the obese and the fit, and along racial and economic lines.
Businesses that bounce back stronger in 2021 will be those that boldly reimagine organizational well-being and commit to redesigning work and wellness in ways that strengthen immunity for all in the workforce by redressing the inequality experienced by too many.
This HERO conference will be held as our nation rides the “second wave,” that is, we will be paying the mental health toll from the pandemic at a time when we have barely recovered from the physical, economic and social tolls that have already left us spent. Still, our optimistic “bouncing back” imagery for this Forum’s theme is a nod to the imagination and positivity that has always been a strength of the worksite health promotion professional community.
At Forum21, we will feature organizations with stories to share about how the pandemic has changed, and will continue to reshape, their workplace mental health services. Experts in resiliency, stress management, and positive psychology principles will describe best practices and future trends in how individuals and organizations effectively adapt after significant setbacks. And with a goal of containing future contagions, we will carry forward our efforts at reckoning with systemic racism, understanding mental health disparities, and sharing research and innovations that make our profession better and better at promoting health for all.
HERO so looks forward to reconvening face to face with so many friends and professional colleagues whom we’ve missed seeing in person. So, it should not go without saying that HERO’s usual “fun factor” conference components will be back in full force, and we’ll happily be “keepin’ it weird” in Austin. (Line dance anyone?) As Stevie Ray Vaughn, Austin’s iconic rock star, said: “If time is all that we got, then baby let’s take it. Lovin’ is a lovin’. The moment is a-right.”