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ARA of Arkansas president highlights mental health awareness

By Kerrigan Ambers

May 16, 2023

Kerrigan Ambers

Kerrigan Ambers

Hello, American Rental Association (ARA) Region Four members.

I hope all is going well at your operations. I would like to focus on a very important topic that I don’t think we focus on enough: mental health. Mental Health Awareness Month, which is in May, is an annual observance dedicated to raising awareness around mental health challenges.

The goal of Mental Health Awareness Month is to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness while increasing access to mental health resources, support and educating the public about the importance of mental health and well-being.

Mental health awareness in the workplace should be a focus year-round. However, in our fast-paced world of work, it’s easy to forget and oftentimes gets pushed to the back burner.

That’s why Mental Health Awareness Month is the perfect time to remind your team to prioritize their mental and physical well-being, especially in today’s environment.

Mental health awareness in the workplace involves creating a supportive environment that promotes positive mental health and well-being, reduces stigma and provides resources to support team members who may be struggling with mental health challenges.

Here are six tips for crafting an effective mental health awareness message to your team:

  • Keep it simple and straightforward.
  • Be empathetic.
  • Highlight the resources available.
  • Encourage self-care.
  • Lead by example.
  • Make it an ongoing conversation.

We often get caught up in financials, inputs and outputs. We forget that our team members have lives outside of our organizations. We must be sure to keep our teams safe and healthy in 2023 and for years to come.

This Mental Health Awareness Month, I hope I can count on you to reflect on your organization’s approach to employee wellness and promote appropriate resources as you see fit.

In addition to this important subject, I am happy to report that our region has recently offered some great events for members.

  • On April 11, the ARA of Oklahoma offered its “Get the 411 for your rental business on 4-11” at Red Door Event Suite in Edmond, Okla. Those who took part learned about the full offering of ARA member benefits, gained tips to keep their equipment safe and highlighted effective social media and marketing strategies. For the 25 attendees, it was a well-rounded offering well worth everyone’s time.
  • On April 21, the ARA of Louisiana and the Texas Rental Association joined forces to offer their first fishing tournament on Toledo Bend Lake in Louisiana. Even though the weather didn’t cooperate, some hearty souls still went out and tried to catch a few.
  • Then on April 25, my state chapter, the ARA of Arkansas, offered the ARA Certified Mobile Elevating Work Platform (MEWP) Train-the-Trainer program at United Rentals in Springdale, Ark. Graduates of the program are now qualified to train operators and their customers using ARA materials that satisfy OSHA requirements and the new ANSI A92 standards. It was a great event and all who attended got a lot out of it.

Plus, the Texas Rental Association is gearing up for its next Roundup. If you are in Texas, you won’t want to miss this. For more information, click here.

If you haven’t already, be sure to attend events offered by your state chapter. You will receive valuable information and connections with your fellow rental operators.

Leslie Hunter, CTA, director of event design & rentals, Factor 110 Event Solutions, Oklahoma City, has taken her state chapter involvement to the next level. She recently stepped forward to join the ARA of Oklahoma board. Congratulations, Leslie. I know you will get so much out of your board service.

In closing, I hope everyone has a great spring and summer. Be safe, make sure your staff is well-trained and is laser-focused on excellent customer service. For help in any of these areas, go to ARA’s RentalU. It is full of all kinds of resources. And, most importantly, take steps to help your employees with overall wellness, including their mental health. That is an area we have to take seriously.

Kerrigan Ambers, ARA of Arkansas president
United Rentals
Rogers, Ark.