Who We Are

The Florida Chamber Health Council focuses on the wellness outcomes employers need regarding mental health, preventative health, and tackling systemic issues, including opioids and marijuana use in the workplace.

We're unifying Florida's job creators to make Florida the healthiest state in America

For over 100 years, the Florida Chamber of Commerce has stood up for what’s right for Florida businesses – now we’re unifying Florida’s job creators to make Florida the healthiest state in America. We know that the success of a business begins and ends with the wellness of its workforce. As Florida’s expert on workplace mental health training, education, and research, we help employers develop programs that cultivate workplace wellness and employee health.

At the Florida Chamber Health Council, we know that our state’s most precious resource is its people. Physical health and mental health must simultaneously exist when it comes to wellness. Let’s work together to create a healthier workplace for job creators and employees.

Our Why

Health is more than just the absence of disease. We need to focus on total wellness and its impact on business. We’re spending $3 trillion yearly because of the mental health crisis, which is expected to triple by 2030. Over 300 million people are affected by depression, and almost everyone knows someone suffering from this crisis. According to the National Institutes on Mental Health, in 2020, an estimated 14.8 million U.S. adults aged 18 or older had at least one major depressive episode with severe impairment in the past year.

Mental health and well-being are essential to maintaining a safe and productive workplace. We look at mental health regarding the potential for depression or addiction. Before COVID, our country was battling a silent pandemic — the mental-health crisis. Mental health was brought into the spotlight during sheltering in place and isolation. Everything was exacerbated by this crisis. Moving forward, how we respond as a Florida business community to the mental health crisis and the actions we take to provide resources to Floridians is more crucial than ever. The only way to reduce and remove the stigma around mental health is to talk about it.

Our Focus

At the Florida Chamber Health Council, we frame health through the lens of wellness, which we define as mind, body, and spirit. Wellness is a state of being in good health, and it needs to be an actively pursued goal, not just the fact that something bad has not occurred. The mind is not just about mental health or behavioral issues. It includes all the thoughts that we have, our awareness, and our consciousness. The body is our physical structure: bones, the flesh, and other vital organs. The human spirit triggers our intellect, emotions, fears, passions, purpose, and creativity. 

All three components cannot be handled separately. Body, mind, and spirit are all part of the actively pursued goal of wellness. In our quest to make Florida the healthiest state in America, and with mental health and well-being essential to maintaining a safe and productive workplace, we offer businesses tools, resources, and education to support business leaders and employees in meeting these challenges in an easy and practical way. 

For example, we share practical wellness tips, such as how humans are hard-wired to remember the negative. We know that negative memories are most resilient to fatigue, making us tired and grumpy. Getting quality sleep is essential to a positive human spirit. Research shows that spending even just a few minutes each day practicing gratitude — particularly at night — can facilitate better sleep and lower blood pressure, making us happier, energized, and healthier. 

What's Next

In addition to talking about mental illness and doing trainings, we will build a lattice structure — a multifaceted, holistic approach to mental health and wellness. We are using a proven initiative developed by the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute for Texas, which has been moving the needle on health and wellness for over ten years. Between 2013 and 2020, 91% of the institute’s mental health legislation priorities were passed into Texas law. Over $3 billion was identified and put towards mental health, resulting in outcome-driven strategies for advancing population-level best practices at scale. We aim to springboard what they’re doing in Texas and capitalize on lessons learned for the health of Florida business. 

We will accomplish this by helping to develop behavioral health systems for the workplace.  We will identify, share, and promote outcome-driven strategies to take population-level best practices to scale for workers and their families. In doing so, we will change public awareness to improve access to effective health care and advance health equity to reduce mental health disparities.