Hawthorn Children’s Psychiatric Hospital certified with the Silver Bell Seal for Workplace Mental Health

JEFFERSON CITY – The Department of Mental Health’s (DMH) Hawthorn Children’s Psychiatric Hospital (HCPH) recently received the Silver Bell Seal from Mental Health America (MHA).


The Silver Bell Seal recognizes HCPH for its Workplace Mental Health. According to MHA, this national certification program recognizes employers committed to creating mentally healthy workplaces. Led by MHA’s history in research and advocacy, “the Bell Seal’s holistic evaluation of employer practices considers the entire employee experience.”


This certification is based on four categories: workplace culture, benefits, compliance, and wellness programs.


“Attracting and retaining staff is a real challenge for the department. Anything we can do to enhance an employee’s workplace experience increases the likelihood they will stay,” said Valerie Huhn, DMH Director.


This is the second award for HCPH’s workplace culture. Earlier this year the hospital was recertified by the Sanctuary Institute for its continued use of the Sanctuary model and having a trauma informed culture. According to the Sanctuary Institute the focus of HCPH “is not only on the people who seek treatment, but equally on the people and systems who provide that treatment.”


“I’m really proud of the Hawthorn team for their commitment to creating a supportive work environment,” stated Nora Bock, DMH-Division of Behavioral Health Director stated. “The work they do is very meaningful, but also challenging. Most of the children served have histories of trauma and helping them work through such issues can take its toll on staff.”


“Mental health and wellness are not just for the individuals we serve, but for everyone. Every colleague. Every community,” said Michael McFarlane, HCPH Chief Operating Officer.

Learn more about the Bell Seal for Workplace Mental Health and the Sanctuary Model. For more information contact Rachel Plaggenberg at Rachel.Plaggenberg@dmh.mo.gov or 573-751-6714.