The City of Joplin recently joined a growing number of Missouri businesses by becoming an awardee of the Missouri Silver Level Workplace Wellness Award. These employers proactively support employees who choose to make decisions to positively support their health. They provide wellness accommodations to help employees make the healthy choice the easy choice. Employers who provide these supports see a positive impact on their business’s bottom line.

Employers that provide wellness accommodations report higher employee retention, lower absenteeism and presenteeism, higher morale, greater productivity, a safer work environment, and reduced health care costs. Many studies have also shown improved employee job satisfaction.

“Worksite wellness programs are a growing trend in businesses today focusing on multiple dimensions of well-being as a means of improving quality of life for employees,” said Suzan Morang, Community Health Planner/Educator for the City of Joplin.

Topics covered in worksite wellness generally focus on chronic disease prevention, such as like heart disease, diabetes, cancer and target changes that make it easier to be physically active, eat healthy, and improve spiritual, emotional, and social wellbeing. Most adults spend at least 1/3 of their day at work, so it’s important there are healthy opportunities and choices in the workplace.

The Missouri Workplace Wellness Award is a collaboration between the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS), Missouri Council for Activity and Nutrition (MOCAN) and the University of Missouri Extension. The program aims to bring an increased awareness about the importance of worksite wellness for employees. The program recognizes employers with policies supportive of employee health and wellness. Health-related policies are formal written statements that are designed to protect or promote employee health such as a tobacco free policy or policy allowing employees to engage in wellness activities on work time.

“We want our employees to know that we support their decision to make healthy choices,” said Morang. “We are extremely pleased to be designated as a Missouri Workplace Wellness Silver Level awardee.”

Missouri Workplace Wellness Award recipients represent a wide range of employment sectors, settings and worksite sizes. To receive the Missouri Workplace Wellness Award, an employer must submit an application to the University of Missouri Extension. Application materials can be found at A listing of recognized businesses is available on the Missouri Department of Health and Human Services website,

For more information on the Missouri Workplace Wellness Award program, visit the program’s website,

Lynn Onstot, Public Information Officer
City of Joplin
417-624-0820, ext. 1204

It is important to take care of our mental health through daily and weekly self-care. There are going to be times in life when we feel overwhelmed. Whether it’s impending deadlines, a long to-do list, or tension with a family member or friend, everyone experiences stress. The response to that stress is what impacts our mental health.

Having healthy practices that reduce stress and enhance our mental well-being can be done through self-care. If you are new to adding self-care to your routine, it can be difficult to know where and when to start. So, what is self-care? Self-care refers to activities and practices that you can regularly engage in to reduce stress and maintain your short- and long-term health and well-being. Below are some ways to incorporate self-care into your daily routines.

Practice gratitude.
Research has shown that consciously practicing gratitude can reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Remind yourself of everything you’re thankful for rather than focusing on everything that has gone wrong.

Take a deep breath.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious, a quick way to alleviate those feelings is by doing breathing exercises.

Write it out.
Writing down why you feel overwhelmed or anxious is another great way to alleviate those feelings.

Ask for help from your social support network.
Your social support network is there for you to lean on if you need to talk things through. Reach out to a friend for a virtual chat or pick up the phone and call a family member.

Practicing self-care strategies can not only provide immediate benefits, but also have a lasting, positive effect on your overall mental well-being. Next time you feel stressed or overwhelmed, try one of the self-care strategies listed above.

Amber Allen, MU Extension Field Specialist in Human Development & Family Science