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Building a Mindset of Mental Fitness in Your Workforce

Hear leaders from Cisco, REI, and Kaiser Permanente discuss how prioritizing mental fitness can contribute to a healthier, more engaged workforce while reducing health care costs. Learn ways to normalize daily care for mental wellness, maximize available wellness offerings, and more.


Moderator: Deb Friesen, MD, MBA, FACP, Physician Advisor, Customer Clinical Solutions, National Sales and Account Management, Kaiser Permanente


  • Scott Floyd, Global Benefits Leader, Cisco
  • Jacqueline Harp, Southeast Regional Director, REI
  • Carrie Owen Plietz, FACHE, Regional President, Northern California, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. & Hospitals

Key takeaways

  • What mental fitness is: A combination of activities, habits, and attitudes that contribute to overall emotional health and well-being. Just like physical fitness requires regular activity to stay fit and prevent health risks, mental fitness keeps your emotions and mental state healthy. By integrating daily mental health practices and tapping into available programs to support self-care, this movement aims to empower employees to take a preventive approach to mental health, fostering resilience and well-being, and reducing or avoiding serious illness.
  • Practical ideas of how leaders can incorporate mental fitness into their workplace:
    • Lead by example: Have leaders share how they are doing with their teams to create a culture of psychological safety.
    • Promote work-life harmony: Use email signatures to help set healthy boundaries and expectations. Example: I am sending this email at a time that’s convenient to me. Please do not feel like you need to respond right way, respond when convenient for you.
    • Encourage and celebrate joy: Create space for a belly laugh in the middle of meeting.
  • Spread awareness of existing resources and tools
    • Tap into Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) or Business Resource Groups (BRGs) to share resources with members.
    • Encourage managers to share relevant resources with employees during one-on-one check-ins.
    • Place information about resources in highly visible areas, like over a time clock or in a breakroom, and make sure resources are easy to access by including a QR code, URL or phone number.

Additional resources you may find helpful

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The views and opinions expressed by presenters and participants are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Permanente Medical Groups, Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., and each of their affiliates and subsidiaries (“Kaiser Permanente”).