Dr. Rohlman is an associate professor in the Department of Occupational & Environmental Health in the University of Iowa’s College of Public Health where she holds the Endowed Chair in Rural Safety and Health. She is Director of the University of Iowa’s Healthier Workforce Center as well as the Director of the Agricultural Safety and Health Training Program in the University of Iowa’s Heartland Center for Occupational Health and Safety. Her research focuses on the health effects of occupational and environmental exposures, with emphasis on the increased workplace risks faced by younger employees. Her studies have examined agricultural workers in the United States and around the world, including research on the effects of pesticide exposure on adolescents and their developing nervous system. She also has studied how lifestyle factors, such as risk-taking, substance use, distracted behaviors, and fatigue or sleep deprivation, can impact safety on the job, as well as the effect of interventions directed toward supervisors and workplace policies. Dr. Rohlman received her masters and doctorate in experimental psychology from Bowling Green State University in Ohio.
Work is beneficial for mental health, providing meaning, purpose, and social interactions. However, aspects of work can also negatively impact health and lead to increased absenteeism, lost productivity and turnover. There is often a reluctance to discuss stress and mental health in the workplace. However, this stigma can negatively impact worker well-being and be a barrier to seeking treatment. Workplace policies addressing mental health are an important first step; they can be used to improve employees’ health and provide a plan for action. When addressing behavioral health in the workplace it is important to move beyond individual solutions to address how the organization of work can impact health. This program will help recognize what to say (and not to say) and describe components of workplace policies to address mental health. A leadership commitment to health and safety, workplace policies, and supervisor training can reduce the stigma associated with mental health and promote well-being in the workplace.