Porter-Starke Services Honored for Workplace Practice That Promotes Employee Involvement

Porter-Starke Services, a licensed community mental health center for adults, families, adolescents and children with mental health or substance abuse issues, was presented with a Best Practices Honor from the American Psychological Association (APA) at the annual Psychologically Healthy Workplace Awards ceremony held on March 8, 2014 in Washington, D.C. Porter-Starke Services was recognized for its work to forward their vision of inspiring people to advance the health, balance and hope of the community, through The Inspiration Project. The project, based on the This I Believe writing model, invites people to share a story from their own life that illustrates their core values or beliefs.

Porter-Starke Services has shown its commitment to employees through sponsorship of writing workshops that invite employees to share their work with each other and the public. The Inspiration Project has strengthened the organization by giving employees an opportunity to share what is important and meaningful to them with their colleagues. This practice, an example of employee involvement, is one component of a psychologically healthy workplace. Porter-Starke Services was one of three organizations to receive the Best Practices recognition in 2014. The organization is a previous winner of the Indiana Psychological Association's state-level Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award, qualifying it to be nominated for APA's Best Practices Honors.

"We wanted to give life to the words of our mission, vision and values as we strive to make Porter-Starke Services the best place to work and the best place to receive care," said Rocco Schiralli, President/CEO of Porter-Starke Services.

In January 2012, Porter-Starke introduced This I Believe to employees and other organizations and sponsored writing workshops for all who were interested. In May 2012, The Inspiration Project debuted at the company's annual Living Health, Balance & Hope Symposium featuring keynote speaker Dan Gediman, Executive Director of This I Believe. More than 300 audience members heard participating Porter-Starke Services employees and members of its Board of Directors read their essays to great acclaim. In its first year, more than 150 employees participated and shared their own statements of personal belief – stories that have brought the Porter-Starke Services family closer together. The Inspiration Project has also strengthened the organization's mission to advance the health, balance and hope of its community by providing the experience to other organizations in the community and are in the planning stages with Lakeshore Public Media to record and broadcast locally written essays.

"Forward-thinking employers such as Porter-Starke Services are going beyond the typical wellness program to focus on a broader view of well-being," says David W. Ballard, PsyD, MBA, head of APA's Center for Organizational Excellence. "When an employer is truly committed to helping employees thrive, psychologically healthy workplace principles become ingrained in the very norms, values and beliefs that are part of the organization's culture. In turn, this helps employees perform at their best, on and off the job."

The Best Practices Honors is a national recognition that highlights those local Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award winners with a single program or policy that contributes to a psychologically healthy work environment and meets the unique needs of the organization and its employees. Nominees come from a pool of previous local winners and are selected through a competitive evaluation and judging process.

More information about the Best Practices honorees and APA's Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award winners is available at http://www.apaexcellence.org/media. Organizations interested in learning more about creating a psychologically healthy workplace or applying for an award in their state, province or territory can visit http://www.apaexcellence.org. The Psychologically Healthy Workplace program is a public education initiative from APA's Center for Organizational Excellence.
For more information about The Inspiration Project, visit www.porterstake.org/inspiration. To schedule your organization to participate in The Inspiration Project, contact Sandy Carlson at scarlson@porterstarke.org or 219.476.4557.

Porter-Starke Services is a community mental health center serving Northwest Indiana. The 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization provides quality mental health care and addiction treatment services to over 11,000 people annually and has full-service locations in Valparaiso, Portage and Knox.

The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. APA's membership includes more than 134,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people's lives.