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Well Wisconsin Radio

Well Wisconsin Radio

Hosted by the WebMD Team

A podcast discussing topics of health and well-being from experts around the State of Wisconsin. Tune into Well Wisconsin Radio whenever you want and wherever you are! Subscribe to Well Wisconsin Radio in the podcast platform of your choice to be notified when each new episode is released.

Note to those eligible for the 2024 Well Wisconsin Incentive: only episodes of Well Wisconsin Radio from season 3, dated November 2023 and later will qualify for well-being activity credit.


Mental Health with Derek Bell 

Host: Hello, and welcome to Well Wisconsin Radio, a podcast discussing health and wellbeing topics with experts from all around the state of Wisconsin. I’m your host Renee Fox, and today my guest is Derek Bell, vice president of solutions and clinical operations at Vital Work Life. As a national recognized expert in the health and wellbeing field, Derek enhances cultures of wellbeing through promoting gratitude, resilience, and joy. He previously served as Executive Director of the National Wellness Institute and National Wellness Conference and Director of Well Being and Joy of Practice at Ascension. He is also an educator and teaches a unique well-being course, Finding Purpose and Meaning in Our Work, in the MBA program at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point. 

Derek, thank you so much for joining us today as we observe World Mental Health Day and the importance of talking about mental health. 

Guest: Thank you so much. It’s a, it’s an honor to be here and talking to your community about these, uh, amazing, important and wonderful, wonderful things. We so appreciate it. So on October 10th, the World Foundation of Mental Health is going to encourage colleagues friends, families to come together on this day to talk about mental health.  

Host: So, we would really love to hear from you with your experience, addressing this important topic and just wanted to see if you can start off by giving us tips on how we can start this conversation, whether that is sharing how we’re feeling, or maybe we just want to check in with a loved one. 

Guest: Yeah, that it’s such a wonderful question because it requires a lot of, you know, what I like to call like tactical level things that must set the right kind of conversation up. We know, and we understand there’s stigma and there’s a lot of feelings and there’s a lot of, um, things that are happening in someone’s life that we’re not maybe aware of the depth of a lot of what’s going on. So, to enter a conversation is always kind of a, it’s a really difficult thing for us to wrap our heads around. So doing it correctly could really lead to a lot of benefits. And it, it, while it’s challenging, it’s incredibly important to do a couple of things in building understanding and support. 

And so what we like to do and think about is like, how can we create that safe space, that environment and carve out the appropriate way that a conversation can happen so it has legs so it can do something to help someone move further down a path or to help a family together move down a path. 

And so it’s really important to do. To do a couple of things. One is to really find the right time and place, find a comfortable private setting. Everyone, you know, think about can everyone sit down without distractions or time constraints, and this can help create that in that environment. That open conversation environment is kind of, as you’re thinking about starting, this is to kind of do a self, you know, evaluation, kind of a safe place, scan, like, could this, is this a right place? 

For a conversation. And can we do this without distractions? Is there, is this a place where this can happen? And then before you go into that conversation, you should also be planning, like think about what it is that you want to say and think about the specific areas of mental health, possibly that you’re thinking about discussing. 

What is it? What’s the issue need? And have you thought about a lot of the reasons why so kind of doing your own route analysis and getting to the point to making sure that you’re prepared to talk to someone and that you’re also prepared to the whole host of different things that could come out of this conversation and that you have a clear idea of what your message, what Kind of what you maybe want or what the person may need as best as you can determine that to help communicate more effectively. 

That’s good to write some things down and have notes and just be prepared for things. These conversations can often get derailed early. So, you want to make sure you have a plan coming into it. And you, you need to make sure too, and this comes into thinking about are there things that are, that you must prep in that environment as well in Creating an honest and open environment is one of them that could be done by an agreement. 

If you have a group of people, if it’s a one-on-one conversation, then you can just start by expressing your own feelings and experiences. And, and you can even, you know, start it by creating a safe space for this to kind of an entry point of saying, you know, I’ve been feeling really stressed late. Stress lately, and I wanted to talk to you about it. 

And then you start to carve out the space for a sharing environment. And it’s like this safe space tent for this talk to happen in. And then encourage that sharing to continue and let family members know that you’re interested in their thoughts and feelings as well. So it’s not just like one person carrying a conversation if it’s a family environment, but you think about how can you get everyone involved? 

And they may have varying degrees of involvement, but you’re inviting that opportunity into this. Area and have people talk about their own mental health and act and really practice that active listening really spend and that’s something you may want to practice going as be prepared for that listening. 

Am I Am I really to let am I here to let someone continue their thoughts and feelings without? Interjecting or having any kind of presumption or preconceived notion about what’s going on? Because we very well might not know all of it. Yeah. And then it’s also good at this, you know, this creates this opportunity. 

A lot of times there, there’s a, to break through the stigma and create this opportunity for sharing is to also think about what information do you have about certain conditions or prevalence? And again, this is really kind of dependent upon what the issue is but dispelling some myths. and misconceptions is critical, and it can help family members feel better about this topic. 

You may have varying degrees of people that are very comfortable with mental health and mental well-being related issues, and you may have some family members that really struggle with that. So, to be able to talk about this as more of like a safe space and that we’re sharing and we’re trying to help each other and That helps create that environment for people, and some people like data. 

Some people like stories, and some people honestly just want to be heard. And so, in doing that, you can also think about other things like resources, books, websites, or other information that can help people. And you don’t And, and the hard part is that you kind of want people that you’re trying to help to do something sooner than later, but you also must be patient and understand that this talk may need time to settle in. 

But if you have some other things that they can go to, they can go back and read, they can look at something, they can think about just processing this and that, and just that act of offering support and time to talk that usually sets That’s the stage. I mean, that’s what you want is a step to set that stage for the evolving discussion and all likelihood. 

You’re not going to resolve something in a first-time discussion. It’s going to be a relationship and trust building activity that you have to kind of continue to water and support and nurture and grow. And that gets into that’s. That, that as a, if between family members, empathy and support are kind of the harder things because we all want to like prescribe ways. 

We all want to help people get somewhere when we think we have the right ideas for them. And oftentimes we really don’t. And our job is to be empathetic and that, that means that create that supportive environment and remind people that we’re in this together, no matter what our feelings or thoughts may be about it, but we’re here to support. 

And really. Really keep coming back to that. Cause people will have, it’ll sway back and forth between what they think they’re going to do or what they want to try and achieve. And sometimes we forget that it’s really for the other person. Cause we just were so invested in this, and we care so much. And that’s sometimes not even the point. 

The point is to just care and let them and create the care that’s independent of your kind of distance that part of it from you and help them and see what it is that they need help with. And that helps normalize that idea of seeking help. Again, it’s, it’s again, you’re, what you’re trying to do is really. 

Provide community and relationship building so that it breaks some feelings and mitigates those feelings of isolation, which we know are important in this process. And then. And, and, and hopefully in normalizing it, you continue to have conversations, which is always. Yeah. Really crit. Sometimes we talk and then we think it’s resolved, or we talk and, uh, we’re all done with that, but we’re not really resolved yet. 

And so, it’s important to continue to follow up and keep open lines of communication and check in. And, and the check ins don’t always have to be direct to topic. The check ins can just be checking in. And sometimes that’s just what people want is to know that they’ve been seen and heard. And we’ll get to the other stuff as this continues to grow and the trust is built both ways. 

And so it’s, it’s really important and, and, and it’s not as simple as sometimes I think we may jump in and just want to help everyone, you know, especially all of us in wellness, we come into this field because we want to help people, but sometimes we have to take a step back and think about the appropriateness of that help. 

What do we really, what’s the real goal here? And that requires a little bit of planning. And like I said, some more practical level approaches to engaging in the conversation, which will hopefully lead to a better place for someone. 

Host: Really helpful information. And I agree, it’s so important to really have that thought and a plan in place before we start those conversations and make sure that they go successful. And it’s a continuous approach. Really helpful. Thank you so much for sharing that. I love the human flourishing program that you’re using. You shared that model with me that Harvard university developed, and I love how it measures the five central domains of happiness and life satisfaction being number one, number two, the physical and mental health. Meaning and purpose is the third one, the fourth one being character and virtue. And then our fifth category here, close social relationships. Can you talk more just about those five central domains and just this approach to measuring well-being and if there are any takeaways around how we can use this model to identify and make improvement in our own lives. 

Guest: Yeah, what I love about the opportunity that this tool provides us is, and this is one of these kind of definitional things that happens to us sometimes when we get into trying to assess wellness is we tend to drive ourselves into these buckets of things that happen to us and that we can measure medically or biomedically and we kind of forget or we don’t know accurately how to assess the way that we feel. So, this this has been a program and there’s a lot of really good work that’s been going into things like this. It’s how can we assess and study joy, like, you know, you can’t change what you can’t measure. So, it’s important for us to learn how to measure other things and flourishing is something that we can measure, and this ties neatly into our ideas about again, going back to like the core root of what we’re trying to do is to improve the physician’s opportunity to be connected to their work and do a good job. 

Well, that’s tied to your vocation and your ideas about how you’re the meaning and purpose of your work and, and your ability to do that, your physical and mental health, your happiness and your life satisfaction. And your connection. So, when you look at a tool like this and being a mental health well-being provider to increase opportunities to discuss this in a way that’s more closely tied to our values and that alone starts to get us down a little different path than just taking some blood pressure or, you know, doing some other things that we typically do in the wellness field. 

So, to tie this back into what we’re doing on, on the coaching and counseling side is just an absolute kind of like, uh, it’s a different path that brings everything back to when we look at. How can we take our ideas about wellness, our physical, emotional, meaning, and purpose, and legal, financial, relational, professional, like a lot of those buckets that where we typically are trying to determine what our wellness needs are, this anchors that into how, okay, this tells us how we can, where, or where can we find ways that we don’t feel like we’re flourishing. 

How can we identify these areas that are somewhat challenging for us? And that’s common among us. Our basic human needs need to be met. And this allows us to understand that in a deeper capacity. And then that allows us to have a different kind of template to work forward. It illuminates a different path forward than just trying to prove, you know, like fix X condition. It’s like, no, all of this is interconnected, and all of this is about your flourishing. And so, this builds that around for us to help us really get to meaning and purpose and have a conversation about that in a deep and meaningful way for the people that we serve. 

Host: Yeah, I love that. We have talked a lot about meaning and purpose in our wellness program and through this podcast this year, and it’s something that our audience I think is very interested in. Can you talk a little bit more about the importance that having purpose plays in our mental health and really helping us experience joy and meaning in our lives? 

Guest: Yeah, this has been the most exciting area, I think, in the field over the past few years because it was, it’s largely, I don’t want to say it’s been neglected, but it’s been undervalued and somewhat underestimated in the big picture of what we’re really trying to do here. 

And I really applaud the work of Vic Strecker and Jessica Grossmeier in being proponents for understanding the value in, and building and pulling together all the research that proves that having meaning and purpose in your life will help you lead a healthier life. And it does it in different capacities, and there’s different modalities that we look at there. 

But in the big picture, having meaning and purpose in our life is important for our ability to live longer, healthfully, and mitigate some levels of disease. Obviously, we’re not getting rid of disease here, but we are able to mitigate and live healthier lives, which helps, but it also helps us reframe. 

And this is what I love most about it is, what are we talking about when we’re talking about wellness? And it gets us back to the core reason why this field existed, you know, it grew out of the reasons why this field exists in the first place. And it’s kind of like we spent a lot of time building wellness programs to do a lot of things that took kind of those core values. 

And I like to say the soul out of wellness. And, you know, while we’re intending to justify our existence, we got a little sidetracked and trying to assess, uh, steps and provide broccoli and aerobics and chasing wellness programs through health cost containment. And to our credit, we’ve been able to identify areas where we can do that. 

We’ve identified ways that we can do that. And I worked in providing onsite healthcare for a decade and we can do that, but that’s different than wellbeing. That’s part of a picture and we’re missing the most soul enriching part. And so, you know, and I like Vic have talked about this, getting us stuck out of this trap like the eat, move, sleep, workplace type of programming and get back into thinking about what it is that really matters to us. 

Get back to our why and that opportunity has given us a couple issues to help us reframe well- being and move forward, I think, in a better way. And that is going to be this definitional approach to what is wellness. What is well-being, what are we talking about when we talk about it, but also how, what is that relationship to work? 

And this brings in a lot of incredible, interesting work from Gallup and John Clifton and Ryan Wolf have been really knee deep in helping us identify, like we’ve had this blind spot about happiness and satisfaction in our work. And, and we have, and we know leaders, so we work a lot with healthcare providers. We also work a lot with leaders in general, they’re burned out as well. And then if that’s kind of the template people are walking into when they go to work, it creates a lot of struggles for the organization to move forward. If we’re just, you know, kind of like trudging on this burnout treadmill. 

And so, and that’s been, and that’s where we come back to this, like definitional approach is what are we, when we’re, when we think about well-being, what are we, how are we defining this at the organizational level? And I love this analogy from Laura Putnam is we’ve kind of spent a lot of our time and energy focused on the fish only to return it to toxic water. 

And we keep trying to fix the fish. Like we’re, we’re negligent in fixing the water. And so, we need more of this systems level approach and that, that ties us back into our organizations and our work. So how can we promote wellbeing and joy with work? I don’t like to say at work because I want to say with work because it’s. 

We, we get into that values-based approach and then it kind of reframes at the organizational level, like, well, what can we do? And when we think about wellbeing, and I love that, Cohen, Ryan Pickerel, and the people there have taken on this approach, even prior to COVID of reframing what wellness, when we talk about it and talk about it more in a values-based approach and that can change the paradigm at any organization if you start thinking about in terms of holistic growth, like how can we grow our employees? How can we build connections? How can we celebrate achievements? How can we foster joy and the reasons why they work, which? Starts to get in people practicing and doing work at the top of their licensure or their skill set those things You don’t find those typically in like blood pressure screenings, right? 

But they’re there but we know they’re there those of us that have worked in this field long enough know that the improvement in here can help us improve there too. So, that’s what gets back into these really great conversations we’re having and COVID kind of like exacerbated things that were already going on, but it helped us think about, well, what is decent work and what are our basic needs and work that’s productive, safe. 

And we have psychological safety and security, and we have voices in our decisions that impact our work and safety. And we have prospects for development and growth, and we have connection and that culture of belonging. And in our work, and we work in an environment that’s fair and equitable, all of these are kind of basic needs, and they speak to us at that level of I’m doing something productive, I am able to contribute in that, that’s the soul of wellbeing. When we get into it, we are able to, if, when we can elevate our work and our practice, then those are the parts of those feelings of meaning and purpose that stay intact. And one of my greatest people I’ve ever worked with, Amy Wilson, and when I worked with her at some time at Ascension, we, she had built this element of joy. 

Concept around how can we assess joy, and if joy is the antidote to burnout, why are we always talking about burnout, why don’t we figure out what brings people joy? That ties into what Vic and Jessica were talking about with meaning, purpose and transcendence. And so if we focus on connection, purpose, meaning and joy and by joy, I mean, I don’t mean like happiness, but problem solving and feeling like you’re moving forward and you’re resilient and you can withstand things and you’re feeling like you’re growing, then, then we can enhance our meaning and purpose. 

And when we assess these things, we can also identify where we feel like our basic needs aren’t met because if we apply, and Amy did this, apply Maslow’s hierarchy of needs if our basic needs aren’t met, we’re not going to struggle to get to transcendence, right? So, let’s start with what needs to be met to move forward and then continue to layer. 

As we move up from our basic needs, we move up to what happens in our environment and our leadership. And do we feel like our leader is connected to us? Are they, are we being cared for? Which gets into a whole other podcast about leadership and well-being strategies. But as we move up this hierarchy of needs them, then we can get to the transcendence and purpose. 

And for, for someone like me who is coming from healthcare, that’s why everyone goes into healthcare is because their meaning and purpose is intact. They’re getting attacked and they’re being abused by the system. And so, we have to work within that system to create that opportunity for them to have times for breaks, to not have so much time spent in their electronic health record, EMR. 

There are certain needs that need to be met in order for us to connect people back to their meaning and purpose. And we know if we don’t, that’s going to lead to burnout. And so, getting to the things that can create joy for us is, is really, it’s a different way of thinking and your best wellness program could be a leadership program. 

You may not need that health screening if you have a leader led strategy there that helps increase a culture of belonging and promotes growth and skill development in these areas. And so, when, when we look at, you know, what can we do, it’s like we need to think about what are we calling well-being and how can that change the way our organization operates. 

Host: Yeah. I really like the focus on, you know, finding your joy and how that is connected to purpose. So, for anyone who might be experiencing challenges and might find it difficult to find joy, like some of the examples that you mentioned with healthcare employees, but other people who have different challenges as well, what advice do you have for someone who is really having a hard time experiencing joy. 

Guest: So, what I would tell them is you are not alone, and finding meaning and purpose can be impacted by so many things and it’s contextual. And it’s also something that I don’t think we spend a lot of time in. We don’t spend enough time doing this. 

And so, this ties into the class that you had mentioned that I teach it at UWSP finding meaning and purpose in our work. We need to be intentional about a lot of things about what we want. And so, we do some exercises in value mapping and there’s several ways, like this is not a foolproof way. 

This is a way that I found that speaks to people to get them to get to what their values are and to help address these things. But there’s other things you can do and everything from the Myers Briggs to DISC assessments that like anything where you’re really taking a step into learning how you think or what your preferences are is a step in the right direction. 

So, what I like to do is to take information like that and then put it into something that someone can think about and use it to. Give themselves directionals in their life. And so, in this class, we spend a lot of time value mapping. And we start with, like, who are you? Like, let’s get down to, like, the core thing. 

Write down, on a sheet of paper, all the different roles you play in your life. And then next to those, write down what you feel like are your strengths. And then what are areas where you feel like you’re not doing as well? These aren’t necessarily weaknesses, you could be okay at it, but it just could be like you’re struggling in this area right now for various reasons. 

It could be organizational, it could be that you’re in the wrong job, it could be that you’re, you’re doing too much for, for something that is not giving you any kind of reward. Right. So, this gives you a chance to kind of take a step back. And I started thinking about this during COVID, I was listening to this podcast about how the scariest part of COVID was that it allowed us time for reflection. 

And a lot of people hadn’t spent time in reflection. And then they, the reader went on to read this blessing from John O’Donoghue about a new beginning and about removing like the undergrowth of what is accumulated. And so, I hadn’t thought about it that way. And I thought, yeah, like we had been moving so fast. 

And the reason why everyone, and there were a lot of people like quitting jobs and doing stuff was that we’d accumulated a lot of stuff that we weren’t sure we needed anymore. And so tying that back into like this process is to give us time for reflection and think about like what we want to do, what are we good at and not have to spend a ton of time really thinking about really keeping it focused on me and what am I good at and what does this mean to other people and, and have people draw arrows to things that are more meaningful and then identify their biggest strengths. 

Like name three or four things that you really like here and then what are a couple of things that you want to work on? And then we go from there into, I have my students draw themselves. So, let’s take a step back, draw yourself as an object that would embody these things. And it’s always this really cool exercise. 

I’ve done it with healthcare leaders and, and people in community settings. And it usually brings out some really deep emotion about things, but it also brings out something in someone that they’re like, I am not, this is what I’m good at. Do we all know what we’re good at? So, like finding meaning and purpose in our work isn’t always like this, like I have to do all these assessments. 

Sometimes it’s just, take some time to reflect and just put down a few values and then assess like how well are you practicing those that probably tells you where your meaning and purpose and joy are and then how can we cultivate that? You know, how can we, so what can we do? And then I always have like action, like, well, you know, what can we do? 

And it always brings me back to this idea of people play some purpose. And so, a lot of times when, when we’re working in this environment, it’s like, are we, do we have the right people positively impacting my life? Am I am positively impacting someone’s life. Sometimes I’m the root of that problem. Now I know, all right, am I in the right place? 

And for a lot of like career paths or like, I’m thinking of changing, this is a way and I’ve had a lot of students think about their next job after this, or even like changing career paths to some degree, because they’re like, you know what, I really like this one. This is where my strengths are. 

I should lean into this a little bit more and then that helps answer purpose a lot like purpose is a hard word. What is my purpose in life? It’s sometimes ambiguous It’s not as clear as all of us would want But you know that you’re living your purpose when you’re doing really good work and it could be making copies for the next community event, but that community event is so important to you. Those are the kinds of things that we need to take time to assess and think about and those that usually helps bring out this type of like feeling in people and connect you back to joy in a way that’s meaningful to you, so it’s not fleeting any more, it’s deeper than that. 

Host: I love it. Oh, your class sounds really interesting and I love that exercise. Do you also have your students focus on gratitude and using that to help find joy in our lives? 

Guest: Yeah, so I’ve done a lot of work with gratitude. I feel like gratitude is this amazing tool that we also haven’t given enough space to, but when we do, it’s so meaningful and we know the science behind gratitude, it rewires our brains and there’s neurochemical responses. 

And that’s, again, that’s for another podcast, but we know it improves optimism, joy, and resilience. And so, um this is something beyond this class, but we do practice it in this class because it’s good for these future business leaders. Again, this is a class and an MBA program, so it’s incredible that it’s in the business administration program. But these are the future leaders, and this is where wellness needs to be, it doesn’t need to be siloed off into health education, but it has to be expanded to the organizational like roots and that that’s where future business leaders can be really good advocates and champions of this. 

I introduced these ideas of gratitude, one, two, three, and letters of gratitude and thinking about doing, you know, having, we have kind of create a class gratitude wall and, kind of where everyone is able to talk about something in a meaningful way. So, it isn’t just like, oh, I’m happy for the sun. 

It’s like, what is it about? Or like your letter of gratitude is, well, what was it about the action that someone did for you that was really meaningful and what was important about that and how did that impact you? If you cover those three bases and you still give it to them, then you’ve opened the gateway. 

They’re right there if you, if you’ve opened the gateway and so opportunities like that and gratitude one, one, two, three is a really common practice to get people to do that practice of like, I’m grateful for, and then really dive into that a bit. And we know that there are other ways that it starts, like that idea of gratitude becomes something more than just that idea of a thank you, which we know it’s more far more than that, but that’s the key that we can get into and learn more about. So, what can we do to create an environment that celebrates like gratitude and other things that create that similar kind of response. And so, we’ve also introduced things in this group, like, cause a lot of these people are going to be business leaders. And so how do you, when you start a meeting, how do you start that? Do you have moments for sharing, caring connection? Do you do a head, heart, health check in? 

Yeah, we may want to do these things. And we also talk a lot about the value of micro moments and two of my most favorite people, Maggie Goff and David Hokie are two of the leaders in different ways, but preach this value. And it’s in taking the opportunity to celebrate a micro moment is incredibly eventful for us and it’s inexpensive. It’s usually a fleeting thing that happens. And when we’re not taking the time to be present and reflect in that moment, then we’re letting those pass by. And so, we also practice this, like what was it that happened today that surprised you, but you felt good. Talk to me about that. 

And then you find in when you can start celebrating those, then you’re also, now you’re rewiring the brain again and you’re creating these moments of joy and you spring a few of those together. Together. Now you’re developing. And growing your resilience. And now you’re starting to change as a person and getting more, um, you’re having a better opportunity to celebrate life and, and some things about life that are meaningful to you. 

And David, who also is a programmer, put this idea into call centers. And I worked with nurses using VR goggles that you could create these like 30 second to two minutes or three minutes of time that set aside for like a reflection or like in a call center, you get a robot call from a mindfulness, kind of like app or like something, that’s like rain falling or it’s the sea, you know, shore line and then for the VR goggles is feeling like you’re at a beach and for those few minutes during a day, especially for like nurses and healthcare, those are some of the most important because you’re renewed and you’re rejuvenated. And the research behind that proves that, that we can do better if we have an environment that’s thinking about these things. What are our priorities? If our priorities are people, then these are the kinds of things that we should be doing and implementing more often and frequently. 

Host: Yeah, I love that. What a, a creative way to use virtual reality to put yourself on a beach and experience just a wonderful outcome from that. That’s especially helpful on a cold Wisconsin day. That’s a creative strategy. Any final advice for our listeners, if maybe someone who’s just wanting to get started on taking steps to really focus and improve their mental well-being.  

Guest: Yeah, I would go back and just remind everyone, no one has this figured out. We’re all works in progress. And so, when I worked at the National Wellness Institute, our director, Bill Hettler, our board of directors’ leader, he came up with the original six-dimensional model of well-being in the seventies. And so, I was always curious, now many years later, like, what are your thoughts? And, you know, he’d be the first person to tell you, despite having the copyright on the original, on the six-dimensional model, he’s like the best wellness model is the one that works for you. And so, when we approach our ideas about well-being and mental health and mental well-being is there is not one answer and wellness. 

And I go back to this and this idea that wellness looks different to everyone every day. Yeah. And so, we have to be mindful of that. Like we’re, we’re going to ebb and flow and our purpose is going to ebb and flow with us. You know, but the values that we hold should be intact and those inform that purpose as it kind of grows and changes through our life cycle. 

So, I would say that’s the thing, like when we talk about well-being, I love that a lot of times we spend time talking about physical health, eating right. That’s incredible. That’s awesome, but why? And you get into the why and get into the heart and soul of matter and practicing presence and gratitude in what do you value and if you spend time doing things that are important and meaningful to you. Then some of this other well-being stuff kind of falls in place, not always but you know the route that you need to go on and at the end of the day, you know people in our connections and these ideas, when they all come together, then we can say that we’re living a good life. And that’s what gets us through the most challenging and difficult times. 

Host: Yeah, absolutely. Such great advice. I really appreciate all the insight and great examples and really appreciate your time talking with us today. 

Guest: Thank you. 

Host: Thanks, Derek.  

Do you have a goal to improve your mental health, better manage stress or get more sleep? When it comes to making changes, we can all use some help. A WebMD health coach can be the beneficial guide you need to get the real results you’re looking for. Hear how coaching impacted a fellow Well Wisconsin participant’s life.  

It’s a good program. You should check it out. They, check in on you, make sure that, uh, um, you know, that you’re meeting your goals. They’re not judgmental. They, they take care of you. They, you know, they want, it’s not, it’s not a sprint, you know, this is, it’s a marathon what you’re going through. So, um, and they understand that and they coach you, they help you out, you know, and if, you know, something goes wrong, if you, you know, you gain weight when you wanted to lose weight. Well, hey, you know, start over. And they coach you. They help you out. So, enjoy your journey.  

WebMD coaches are trained health professionals, ready to support you whatever your goal. Get started today by calling 800-821-6591 or send a confidential message on www.webmdhealth.com/wellwisconsin.  

Well Wisconsin participants, our new 2024 program kicks off in January and we’ve got a few surprises in store, including new well-being resources. More support for mental health and chronic conditions. World-class coaching. And best of all-new activities to find more fun and connection. Log in to the Well Wisconsin portal in 2024 and explore new ways to nourish your well-being in the beautiful state of Wisconsin…right where you belong.  

Thanks for listening today. I hope you enjoyed this show. You can find our survey in the Well Wisconsin portal and our transcripts and previous episodes at www.webmdhealthservices.com/WellWisconsinRadio. If you’re listening to this podcast on your platform of choice, be sure to subscribe so you will never miss an episode.  


Show Notes

Join us as we observe World Mental Health Day with an interview full of tips for starting conversations around this important topic. We’ll also explore the importance purpose plays in our mental health and how it contributes to experiencing joy and meaning in our lives. Don’t miss this interview with Derek Bell, Vice President of Solutions and Clinical Operations at VITAL WorkLife. As a nationally recognized expert in the health and well-being field, Derek shares examples of his work experiences in enhancing cultures of well-being through promoting gratitude, resilience and joy.

Hear more from Derek and stories about adversity, resiliency and joy on his podcast—Highway to Well at www.derekbellwellness.com.

The information in this podcast does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should not be used as a substitute for healthcare from a licensed healthcare professional. Consult with your healthcare provider for individualized treatment or before beginning any new program. 

Season 2

Well Wisconsin Radio

Mental Health with Derek Bell

October 6, 2023
Well Wisconsin Radio

Purpose and Goals

January 5, 2023
Well Wisconsin Radio

Advance Care Planning

December 1, 2022

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