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Polk County is known for its citrus, cattle, agriculture, and phosphate industries, which play a vital role in contributing toward a healthy state economy. Locally, the Polk County Board of County Commissioners has stepped up in a big way to support their employees: leaders have created an environment and culture where employees feel safe and heard.

The county offers many unique programs around mental health support for its employees. These include:

  • Holding multiple trainings and certifications in supporting an individual’s mental, physical, and professional well-being through Organizational Training and Development
  • Supplying an on-site Wellness Coach
  • Delivering peer support for the County’s Fire Services team
  • Focusing on retention and morale team building, support, and flexible scheduling where available
  • Providing an on-site gym free to employees
  • Pumping up EAP programs to support personal and family well-being

As a result of their offerings, Polk County received the top Platinum Bell Seal designation from Mental Health America this year.

The process was collaborative, with Polk County and Thrives working as a team, Andresen said. It took about six months and was well worth it.

“Everyone struggles at times and there should not be a stigma attached to getting assistance,” said Marcia Andresen, Health and Human Services Director. “We thought going through the (Bell Seal) process would highlight those county assets.”

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