Associates’ wellbeing is at the forefront of importance to us, including mental health. In 2021, we announced a new onsite counselor available to all St. Louis associates as part of our Employee Assistance Program (EAP)—a third party program that provides confidential support to promote physical and mental health. Meet Delores.
How did you get your start in counseling? Was there anything that encouraged you to follow that career path?
I originally majored in architecture, so that is a good question! I have always been interested in how people think and how they make certain choices—what makes them tick, so to speak. I took some psychology courses on Trauma Studies and Deviant Behavior, and I was hooked. I have been in private practice for about 10 years, and I have worked with companies across the country doing crisis work and assisting with a variety of wellness training.
What are some of your favorite mental health tips that someone can implement into their everyday routine?
1. Focus on what you can control. Engaging in present-focused awareness and what is happening right now is effective for managing strong emotions.
2. Label your stress. Labeling your stress can change the way you respond to it. Specifically, labeling helps us externalize the stressor. Locating the burden of stress on a situation helps make sure that you’re not merging the stress with the self.
3. Take an at-home personal day. Sometimes you might not have the financial backing or availability for a full-on vacation away from home, but prioritizing you-time is a necessity, regardless. So, even if you can't leave home, take a personal day to rest and unwind.
4. Exercise for at least 20 minutes every day. Exercise is an amazing stress-reliever. It can lower your blood pressure, improve your sleep, and give you more energy, according to the American Heart Association (AHA).
Tell us about your job and responsibilities here at Nestlé Purina.
I am here to provide counseling and teach techniques to help reduce or prevent life-stressors. My responsibilities include individual counseling, wellness training, critical incident debriefings in case of emergencies, and community resources.
How do you like to spend your free time?
Free time?! I love playing with my two Shih tzu and Yorkie terrier mixes, Chloe Bella, and Baxter Blue. Pre-Covid, I loved to travel and experience new things. Since Covid, I have reintroduced myself to drawing, gardening (fruits, vegetables, and flowers). I enjoy interior design and have helped several friends decorate their spaces.
How does Nestlé Purina show it values mental health in the workplace?
The most important thing is bringing your fur babies to work! Research shows bringing pets to work relieves stress, improves communication and collaboration amongst colleagues, and enhances work/life balance. Additionally, including a wellness center complete with an EAP counselor onsite shows that Purina wants you to take care of yourself first!
Read more about our comprehensive benefits here.