Thought Leadership

Self-care is essential in serving others



Self-care imageby Becky Rauen, Presbyterian Homes & Services senior vice president and chief human resources officer  

Self-care is essential in serving others. We’re reminded of this truth every time we travel by commercial airline:

Should the cabin experience sudden pressure loss, stay calm and listen for instructions from the cabin crew. Oxygen masks will drop down from above your seat. Place the mask over your mouth and nose. … Pull the strap to tighten it. If you are traveling with children, make sure that your own mask is on first before helping your children.

While it may feel selfish not to tend to others first – especially one’s own children – doing so could endanger their lives and yours.

Perhaps no issue is of more importance to me professionally than “care for employees.” Those who work in senior housing and services are caretakers, focused first and foremost on others. And, it takes great emotional strength to extend oneself in this way. Unfortunately, this often leads many industry employees to take care of themselves last.

Senior living employees today face many stresses and pressures, some from work and some from personal life. At times, life’s demands can feel overwhelming. To serve others, one must be prepared for and resilient in stress. Fortunately, resilience skills can be learned.

One of the most prevalent and persistent stigmas regarding mental health is that an individual thinks or feels he or she is the only one struggling. This is simply not true. Experts tell us nearly half of Americans will at some time in their lives experience a mental health problem, but only one in five will seek care.

This spring, Presbyterian Homes & Services (PHS) is unveiling new benefit program called “Learn to Live.” It is a best-in-class mental health solution to help develop new skills to manage stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, substance use and other common challenges.

The program’s tools are delivered through computer-based-training, awareness campaigns, online resources, staff trainings, one-on-one coaching, teletherapy and other means.

Presbyterian Homes & Services (PHS) genuinely cares. In fact, employees are the most important resource in our ministry. Our employees can only best serve others when they have the tools, resources and support they need to be emotionally and mentally healthy.

We are confident Learn to Live is the next right resource for PHS employees. Those using the tools and resources have reported a 46 percent improvement in depression and anxiety measures, and 75 percent say they are more productive at work.

Importantly, this program supports the Christian underpinnings of our ministry (e.g., “love one another”, John 13:34, and “bear one another’s burdens”, Galatians 6:2).

I am genuinely excited about the impact this new benefit offering will have for our employees and their families.  I look forward to its launch, and for this opportunity to learn new skills and new ways to approach life’s challenges. First pray, then do.

Want to know more about employment with PHS … visit: 

Becky Rauen joined PHS in September 2023. She brings 25 years of experience in leading human resources in complex health care environments. She also currently serves as president of the board of directors for the American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration. Becky says, “One of the main reasons I chose PHS is because of the organization’s focus on Christian culture and the centrality of the employee experience to the mission of PHS.” 




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