The May 2021 edition of the Policy Research Associates monthly newsletter included announcements, publications, and the latest posts from the PRA blog.

This newsletter contained the following headlines:

  • Sarah Desmarais, PhD, Joins Policy Research
  • Memorial Day: Honoring Heroes, and Preventing Suicide
  • Celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month
  • Do You Really Know Resilience? New Research: How Organizations Should Be Preventing Burnout

Policy Research welcomes Senior Vice President Sarah Desmarais, PhD. Dr. Desmarais is responsible for developing and providing oversight on research projects, as well as administrative and management duties in support of a variety of other projects. She received her Master’s and PhD in Forensic Psychology and Law from Simon Fraser University in 2005 and 2008, respectively. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia. Prior to joining PRA, Dr. Desmarais was a tenured Professor of Psychology and University Faculty Scholar at North Carolina State University. There she held leadership positions including serving as Director of the Center for Family and Community Engagement and Coordinator of the Applied Social and Community Psychology Graduate Program. She also was a member of the NC State University Research Leadership Academy and Academy of Outstanding Faculty Engaged in Extension.

At the end of this month, communities will join together as trumpeting parades and quiet observances honor the memories of U.S. men and women who died while in military service. Alongside these hallmarks of Memorial Day, there is a grief that has too often remained unspoken and unrecognized: that experienced by those left behind when a servicewoman or serviceman dies of suicide. While we celebrate and commemorate those brave lives lost in physical battles, the numerous lives lost to the raging battles of the mind are no less fallen and deserving of honor. These are the battles that continue to be fought long after the physical war is over. The issue of death by suicide among these heroes transcends all race, age, and socioeconomic factors, and the painful ripple effects of the loss carry far beyond any one family.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and each year Policy Research celebrates this opportunity to raise consciousness around the importance of mental health care and to encourage people to seek help when they need it.

Why is wellness important to your company or business? Why invest in the wellness of your people? While your answer as an organization is going to be as unique as the personal goals we have for our wellness as individuals, one thing is for certain. The pandemic upset the work/life balance of people around the world. We’re experiencing burnout on a scale of which most organizations have never seen. Leaders are beginning to rally around resilience and look for ways to build their workplaces, cultures, and resource base to help employees adapt effectively to life events.

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This resource was first shared in 2021.

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