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Behavioral Health and The Pandemic: Workplace Impacts

Welcome to the very first episode of the all-new podcast series Last Thing Discussed, Benefits Talk for the Workplace, presented by The Standard!

Join Carolyn McArdle as she dives into conversation on the topics that matter most to human resources professionals. In each episode she takes a closer look at providing the best benefits package and resources to employees, creating a roadmap to ensure they lead both healthy and productive lives.

This week she is joined by two of The Standard’s very own subject matter experts, Debra Villar, manager of disability medical resources, and Dr. Dan Jolivet, Workplace PossibilitiesSM practice consultant, to discuss behavioral health in the workplace. Together the trio talk about how COVID-19 has affected everyone differently and the new realities American workers are facing today. Did you know that prior to the pandemic, 1 in 4 adult Americans were struggling with a diagnosable mental health or substance use disorder? Sadly, since the beginning of the pandemic that number has grown to 1 in 2. In fact, younger workers are struggling most. And people don’t know where to go for help.

Employee productivity and engagement have also been impacted. Behavioral health in the workplace is an issue that employers can no longer ignore. Good mental health awareness and support are key to building a happy and healthy work environment that can accommodate employees’ needs.

Debra and Dr. Dan are here to give us insight into how positive change can be made. This is an episode you really don’t want to miss! So sit back and get ready to enjoy Last Thing Discussed, Benefits Talk for the Workplace presented by The Standard.


Debra Villar 
Manager of Disability Medical Resources, The Standard

Debra Villar is a manager of disability medical resources for The Standard where she leads a team of nurse case managers, vocational case managers and behavioral health managers to deliver an exceptional claims experience. Debra joined The Standard in 2012 as a behavioral health case manager evaluating conditions, treatments and making outreach calls to patients during their time of disability. She is also a licensed mental health counselor and certified case manager. Her work experience includes a background in individual, group and family counseling. She spent several years providing intensive case management support to individuals in the community who suffered from severe and chronic mental illness and substance abuse issues, as well as jail system experience as a transitional case manager assisting psychiatric inmates reintegrate into society with the appropriate medical and housing services.

Dan Jolivet 
Workplace Possibilities Practice Consultant, The Standard

Dr. Dan Jolivet started working in the behavioral health field in 1980 as he was completing a degree in mathematical statistics and wanted to get some hands-on experience in an applied scientific discipline. His first direct service job in the field was a 1981 work-study position at a Community Mental Health Center (CMHC) in Seattle, where he quickly became hooked on trying to understand how people change. See the Workplace Possibilities Blog.

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