Many employers have programs and initiatives in place to manage, maintain or improve the health of their employee population. If resources are not available to create a new migraine program from scratch, it may make sense to incorporate migraine education and awareness into these existing efforts. This can go a long way towards providing employees the information they need to better understand the basics about migraine or to more effectively manage the condition.
Programs and resources in this category are often provided to improve the health and well-being of employees, thus improving productivity, absenteeism and job satisfaction. The focus is typically on awareness and education in lifestyle areas including physical activity, smoking, diet and stress. Using an established wellness program can be a very effective way to educate an employee population about migraine basics and support those suffering from migraine as they manage common triggers including diet, exercise, sleep and stress. Existing channels and resources can be used e.g. onsite programs/staff, newsletters and company intranet for health education, skill building and coaching.
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
This type of employee benefits program, in place to support the mental health and emotional well-being of employees, can also support those with migraine. According to the American Migraine Foundation, migraine patients are between two to five times more likely to have symptoms of stress and anxiety than patients without migraine. In fact, 50% - 60% of migraine patients suffer from an anxiety disorder and stress is a trigger in nearly 70% of those with migraine. If promoted effectively, the resources and services offered by an EAP could benefit those with migraine in significant ways, including support with identifying and managing migraine triggers such as stress.
Onsite wellness/fitness centers
These facilities offer easy-to-access activities and programs for healthy living, and contribute to improved work-life balance, job satisfaction and morale. Since lifestyle habits and activities can impact the severity and frequency of migraines, incorporating these services as part of a migraine program can support employees as they learn to avoid or manage triggers through lifestyle change. In addition, individuals can take steps to improve overall health, also important in reducing the risk of severe attacks.
Chronic condition management programs
This type of program targets individuals with a specific disease or condition and is typically data driven and focused on evidence-based, measurable outcomes. If your organization already has the structure in place to provide programs for chronic condition management, you may want to consider incorporating those diagnosed with migraine into the group. This type of effort can help a person with migraine get properly diagnosed and treated. In addition, information to enhance self-care, so important to living a healthy and productive life with migraine, can be provided. With any disease management program, it is especially important to include continuing education and engagement activities for optimal success.
Click on Tools & Resources for a comprehensive grouping of links, printable and customizable tools and other resources that support your efforts to integrate migraine awareness and education into your existing employee health programs and initiatives.