The Reason We Should

I love the second Monday in October when the employees of Capital gather for an all-staff training day. I get to see co-workers I don’t cross paths with during my normal work day. I get to meet people who are new to the CCU team. We get to hear a recap about how the credit union is doing and how we’re Doing the Right Thing for our members. And we get to learn new stuff. I love new stuff.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have an employee gathering of any kind in 2020 (for obvious reasons). So much was canceled. I missed going to events. So when the new year rolled around and new vaccines were made available, optimism returned. At least for me. At least for a while. My family got together. I visited friends without worry. The credit union started holding some in-person meetings with employees. It was SO GOOD to be together!

But here we are again… or maybe still is a better word. COVID is still around and people in our community, including our employees, are still getting sick. Back in 2020, when the management team at Capital had to decide how to respond to the COVID situation at the beginning of the pandemic, we approached it like we do all questions, problems and opportunities…by looking at what was best for the people we serve, both members and employees. We followed protocol as best we could (even as the protocol changed…and then changed again), with masks, plexiglass barriers, social distancing, etc.

We wholeheartedly did our best to live our mission of “Doing the Right Thing…one member, one employee, and one situation at a time.”

We had been planning to gather for our all-staff training day in October this year. However, the rise in COVID cases and an inability to provide a safe environment for our employees to meet meant another cancellation.

But as is often the case, when one door closes another door opens.

After the communication went out to employees about the all-staff training cancellation, our president received an email from a staff member asking if we would consider giving employees the day off as a mental health day. It turns out that Sunday, October 10th is World Mental Health Day, and Tom Young thought it was a terrific idea. Why? Because it’s the right thing to do.

Like so many in our community, our employees have stressed over getting sick at work. They’ve faced branch closings due to COVID cases, covered other locations to keep them open, watched co-workers struggle with COVID recovery, and quarantined when exposed to protect others. They continue to do their best to address our members’ needs and concerns, while often running short-staffed. Like most businesses, we are finding it difficult to fill open positions, leaving employees to “do more with less” in order to meet our members’ service needs and expectations. It wasn’t perfect. We weren’t perfect. And our frontline employees took the brunt of member frustrations, whether it was about the speed of service or our management team’s response to COVID.

So, with gratitude and appreciation for all that they do, we are asking our employees to take a paid day off, away from work, refreshing and recharging and focusing on their physical and mental health in observance of World Mental Health Day.

Capital Credit Union exists to do the right thing. We are proud to do our part in respecting the struggles so many people face. To be honest, there was some concern in acknowledging mental health as part of the reason for Capital closing on October 11th. There was worry that some might see it as soft or lazy… an unnecessary inconvenience.

But that is the very reason we should. To take away the stigma. The discomfort. The misconception.

So we invite our community partners and members to do the same in sharing our mission of Doing the Right thing by caring for the whole person in recognition of World Mental Health Day. And we want to give a heartfelt THANK YOU to the many members who have expressed gratitude for our efforts to be there for them. We are so honored to serve you. And I promise all members that we will continue living our mission one member, one employee, one situation at a time.

For more information on mental health statistics and resources, please visit:

Written by: Lisa Drace Hintz

VP Marketing, credit union lifer, and lover of laughter, family, dogs, trees, and most people