Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI)
DEI Mission Statement:
We strive for an environment where we actively promote curiosity and incorporate principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion with our employees and clients through education and honest dialogue. In doing so, we believe we can provide the most engaging and effective treatment program for our community.
What DEI means to us at Elements:
Diversity means the range of variety in our identities, demographics, thoughts, and experiences. Equity is providing the skills and opportunities to make equal access possible to everyone. Inclusion means valuing everyone in our community and creating space where people feel inspired to bring more of themselves.
How We Got Started:
We want to be fully transparent that we haven’t figured it all out, and may never, and we know that is part of the work of our DEI journey here at Elements. Everyone has a different starting place when it comes to DEI work. Ours started when Sabrina Hardy, as a Field Mentor, saw the need for more support and to hold space for conversations around racism, homophobia, and any array of “-ism”. In 2018, Sabrina used her Advanced Lead development project as a launching pad to form Elements’ DEI Committee, bringing together representatives from different areas of both programs to focus on the growth and education of the program, and the creation of a more intentional treatment process. In early 2020 the DEI Committee was formed, comprised of people in varied departments and roles and inclusive of all employees who wish to join. Fittingly, Sabrina now represents our community as Head of Diversity and Inclusion.
Why DEI matters to us:
While being transparent that the racial diversity among our employees is low, we want to create a program that welcomes a diverse employee and client population. Diverse in all categories such as and not limited to: race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, education, gender identity, personal interests, and all the way to worldly views. We seek to invite a community that is more representative of the demographics of this country. We believe that having more diverse employees is important in order to better serve an array of clients and in turn, create a more intentional treatment process.
We at Elements value DEI because equity is essential to the effectiveness of our treatment programs. The root of inclusion is to create belonging. We believe the work starts internally with all our employees, from our board members to our field mentors, by increasing awareness of biases and dismantling them. We believe this is crucial in creating more openness and respecting differences. As mental health professionals, we also see the importance of an individual being able to be their whole self. Creating an environment for someone to be their whole self ultimately helps them feel more seen, heard, and valued. We believe that by doing our internal work first, we can create communities with our employees that in turn creates a safer environment for our clients–psychologically, emotionally, and physically.
How we approach DEI (Currently and Future)
We are pursuing continuing education and doing our work and realizing we are never ‘done’. We have developed a DEI strategic plan that will be incorporated in all areas of our organization’s development. The plan was informed by the suggestions of Field Consulting and developed by the Head of Diversity & Inclusion, Sabrina Hardy.
What we have done to date:
- We are looking to our current and future recruiting efforts for more diverse employees.
- We also see the need to consistently provide training to be able to effectively create this space for our clients.
- Quarterly newsletter that is distributed internally to all employees to keep them up to date on what Elements has been working on and what direction we would like to go.
- Maintaining a DEI Committee with meetings every three weeks which are open to all employees to provide input, feedback, and training.
- Working with the outside resource of Field Consulting to further dig deep into our company and provide guidance and feedback with our on-going process of DEI.
- Incorporating DEI training to new hire field training.
- Maintaining a minimum standard of bi-annual surveys and company wide training.
- Continuing to seek opportunities to provide town hall environments.
- All of this work begins during staff’s initial training and continues throughout employment.
What we plan to do moving forward:
- We are working with the state to develop inclusive policies.
- We are developing curriculum and resources to add to the field mentor handbook and the client expedition guides.
- We will hold at minimum Bi-annual, company wide DEI trainings to build upon the foundational skills discussed during onboarding.
- We will hold an annual DEI training with board members.
- We will hold an annual DEI training with the clinical department.
- We will offer coaching sessions to all employees to facilitate the integration of organizational changes and individual growth and development.
- We will hold quarterly Townhalls to hold space for Elements employees to discuss the organizational changes, challenges they are facing, and to give feedback.
- We will continue to survey our employee demographics and assess strategies for recruitment and retention.
- We will continue to survey our employees on how we are doing with our DEI initiatives.
- Every year we will evaluate our initiatives to inform plans moving forward.