This is guest post by Liza Gulezian, the People Operations leader on the team at Punchcard. Her responsibilities include working with Punchcardigans to keep them safe, especially when working remote. In this post, she talks about the various employer resources that are available today to support your teams.
The quick fluctuation in our working environments and styles brought upon by the COVID-19 pandemic response has dramatically increased the need for mental health support services for the masses. As employers and leaders, we seek to provide resources to help our employees navigate this new territory. If your organization is anything like ours, it has become very clear that this toolkit must include resources for mental health.
If your company provides extended health benefits, then there is a good chance that this includes an Employee Assistance Program (or EAP). These programs usually include access to mental health services including counseling via phone and video. I suggest reaching out to your benefit provider or broker to inquire about this program. If it is available, then share the information with your employees and encourage them to use the resource.
In addition to our internal Employee Assistance Program, we have been sharing the following mental health resources with our staff and encourage you to do the same.
Alberta Health Services
COVID-19 Mental Health Support Texting Program
Alberta Health Services (AHS) has launched a free service providing subscribers with a daily text message geared toward positive responses to aid in easing tensions and anxieties brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
You can read more here or subscribe to the service by texting COVID19Hope to 393939.
AHS Mental Health Resources
AHS encourages Albertans to visit ahs.ca/helpintoughtimes for additional mental wellness resources, including a list of telephone support lines, information on community supports, as well as podcasts and videos on a variety of topics.
COVID-19 and Your Mental Health
AHS has put together a list of helpful tips for dealing with the stresses related to a public health emergency, like the COVID-19 outbreak.
Read more at Alberta Health Services Pandemic Help.
University of Alberta
Mental Health Support Program
A new program from the University of Alberta Centre for Online Mental Health Support providing three-to-five-day programs offering mental health advice and support. The first program to be offered, Preventing and Reducing Anxiety and Depression Symptoms for Adults, is a five-day program for $10.
You can find additional information about this program and many others being offered at http://www.comhs.health/.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
CDC Stress & Coping with the Coronavirus Disease 2019
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have provided information about coping with the stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic, including:
- Ways to cope with stress;
- Taking care of your mental health;
- Ways to support your children;
- Ways to support your loved ones;
- Common reactions to COVID-19;
- Advice for people coming out of quarantine; and
- Things you can do to reduce secondary traumatic stress reactions.
You can read the full article at https://www.cdc.gov/.
Canadian Mental Health Association
Webinars for Employees and Employers
A social enterprise of the Canadian Mental Health Association, Mental Health Works, is providing free webinars to help employees and employers address the issues associated with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The webinar topics include:
- Stress and Anxiety – April 14 from 1-2 p.m. MST/3-4 p.m. EDT
- Being Mindful at Work – April 15 from 11-noon MST/1-2 p.m. EDT and April 17 from 8-9 a.m. MST/10-11 a.m. EDT
- Isolation and Loneliness – April 21 from 10-11 a.m. MST/12 – 1 p.m. EDT
There are also webinars specific for health workers and professionals associated with front line support.
Visit Mental Health Works to view and register for available webinars.