ICSEW-Business Resources Joint Gathering for Allyship is Aug. 26

Save the date!

savethedate

The leadership from every Washington State Business Resource Group (BRG) and the Interagency Committee of State Employed Women (ICSEW) are holding a joint virtual gathering the from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 26.  

The purpose of this event is to:

  • Promote intersectional allyship by:
    • Sharing about each group,
    • Developing an understanding of different ways to be an active ally, and
    • Opening space for members to connect with other communities on a human level.
  • Provide attendees with actionable avenues to be an effective ally for different communities.
  • Unify and prepare all communities to collaborate to achieve shared goals.

Further details on how to register and attend this free event will be coming soon.

If you need accommodations to attend this event, please contact DIN@ofm.wa.gov right away. 

State Launches Washington Listens Hotline to Support People Affected by Stress of COVID-19

The program includes a phone line to speak with support specialists and connect to community resources

Release date: July 6, 2020
Release Number: FEMA R10 COVID-19 NR-003
call-3613071_640 (1)

OLYMPIA–In response to COVID-19, Washington has launched Washington Listens, a support program and phone line to help people manage elevated levels of stress caused by the pandemic. People who call the Washington Listens support line will speak with a support specialist and get connected to community resources in their area. The program is anonymous.

“Washington Listens helps people cope and strengthen their resiliency in these uncertain times,” said Sue Birch, director of the Washington State Health Care Authority, the agency managing the program. “It complements the state’s behavioral health response services by providing an outlet for people who are not in crisis but need an outlet to manage stress.”

“This pandemic has had far-reaching effects that extend beyond our physical health. We are still in this fight against this virus, and this assistance will help Washingtonians recover during this uniquely stressful time,” said Mike O’Hare, FEMA Region 10 administrator.

The Washington Listens support line is 1-833-681-0211. It is available from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. TTY and language access services are available by using 7-1-1 or their preferred method.

Providers and tribes that have partnered with Washington Listens include American Indian Community Center, Colville Tribe, Community Integrated Health Services, Crisis Connections, Frontier Behavioral Health, Okanogan Behavioral Healthcare, and Swinomish Tribe.

The Washington Listens support line is made available by a $2.2 million Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program (CCP) grant funded by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). This program supports short-term interventions to mitigate stress, promote the use or development of coping strategies, and provide emotional support to help Washingtonians understand and process their stress.

Resources and self-help tips are available on walistens.org.

Washington State EAP COVID-19-related Webinars for July and August

The Washington State Employee Assistance Program, EAP, is offering webinars on a variety of COVID-19 related topics to support emotional and mental health and wellbeing. Register for an upcoming live session or view a pre-recorded session on-demand below. More sessions will be added regularly.

EAP also has a website with links by topic to helpful resources from addiction to finances to parenting to support for marginalized communities.

Navigating Change in Challenging Times

In our ever changing world, learning how to navigate change is an essential skill—one that can be developed. In this webinar we’ll talk about the impact of change, actions you can take to navigate change based on your unique response to stress, and resources available to support you.

  • Friday, July 24, 2020 8:30-10:00am  Register
  • Tuesday, July 28, 2020  3:30-5:00pm  Register
  • Wednesday, August 5, 2020 2:00pm-3:30pm  Register
  • Tuesday, August 11, 2020  10:00am-11:30am  Register
  • Thursday, August 20, 2020  9:30am-11:00am  Register
  • Thursday, August 27, 2020  1:00pm-2:30pm  Register

Navigating Change Handouts:

Self Care with the WA State EAP

This webinar addresses the emotional impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and offers ideas for self-care and strategies for managing stress and fear.

  • Wednesday, July 22, 2020  3:00-4:30pm  Register
  • Monday, July 27, 2020  2:00-3:30pm  Register
  • Tuesday, August 4, 2020  8:30am-10:00am  Register
  • Thursday, August 13, 2020  1:00pm-2:30pm  Register
  • Tuesday, August 25, 2020  8:30am-10:00am  Register

How to Build Resilience When Your Job Involves Helping Others in Crisis

This webinar is intended for those who are supporting others in crisis e.g. customers, clients, students, employees/staff. During this webinar you will learn how your mind and body responds to stress, possible impacts on your emotional and physical well-being, strategies to build resilience, and supports and resources available to you.

  • Tuesday, July 21, 2020  8:30-10:00am  Register
  • Wednesday, July 29, 2020  2:00-3:30pm  Register
  • Thursday, August 6, 2020  9:30am-11:00am  Register
  • Wednesday, August 12, 2020  8:30am-10:00am  Register
  • Tuesday, August 18, 2020  8:30am-10:00am  Register

For more information about the Washington State Employee Assistance Program or to view other COVID-19 related resources, please visit

Washington State Employee Assistance Program

Phone: (360) 407-9490 or toll-free at (877) 313-4455

Visit the EAP website.

How to Be a Good Ally

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in the Washington State Employee Assistance Program Newsletter

rainbow striped sidewalk
image from pixabay

(Adapted from the Department of Enterprise Services’ “DES Daily” blog)

Creating a supportive and accepting environment allows everyone to bring their true selves to work. We can extend our recognition of Pride Month and commit to supporting LGBTQ+ folks all year-round, and we can amplify and support the movement for Black lives by asking ourselves: What does it mean to be a good ally? 

The State of Washington’s Rainbow Alliance and Inclusion Network (RAIN) helped outline things you can do:

Listen and learn

Have an open mind and listen without judgement:

  • Let those who are marginalized take the lead. Listen to their direction and work with them to support their needs.
  • Don’t get defensive or discouraged when you get things wrong. You’re going to make mistakes, and that’s okay.

Have empathy

Being a good ally means having empathy and compassion for people whose experiences are not your own – it’s not about you, it’s about how to support achieving equality.

Be vocal and visible

A large part of being an ally is being visibly vocal about it and shouldering some of the burden of educating others. Use your voice to advocate for others, even when it may be uncomfortable.

Covered by PEBB or SEBB? Use Smart Health to Support Your Mental Health

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in the Washington State Employee Assistance Program July 2020 newsletter.

SmartHealth logo

If you have medical coverage through SEBB or PEBB, the SmartHealth wellness platform is another free tool you can sue to help support your mental health and wellbeing. SmartHealth offers a wide variety of free activities that can help reduce stress, build resiliency and increase connections. And you’ll earn points for each activity you complete. if you earn 2,000 points by Nov. 30, you’ll qualify for the $125 wellness incentive (for most, a $125 deduction to your 2021 medical plan deductible).

For example, through the following SmartHealth activities you can earn 100 points and:

  • Build a mindfulness practice with the video series: A Beginners Guide to Mindfulness
  • Learn how to increase your happiness through “Offered by Yale: The Science of Well Being” course
  • Become more knowledgeable about COVID through “COVID Resources: Plan, Prepare, Respond”

To find out more, go to your PEBB or SEBB SmartHealth benefit page, or login to SmartHealth to get started.

Many of us are now experiencing depression or anxiety. Here’s how to recognize signs and get help

depression

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in the Washington State Employee Assistance Program’s July Newsletter.

Nearly one third of adults in the U.S. now show signs of clinical levels of depression or anxiety, according to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).  For some, it can be difficult to know when to reach out for professional help.  Please consider contacting the EAP for support, at 877-313-4455, if you’re experiencing any of the following:

  • a traumatic event or vicarious trauma leads to prolonged symptoms of re-experiencing (flashbacks, nightmares), avoidance (of thoughts, people, situations), negative thoughts and mood (shame, fear), and arousal & reactivity (irritable, angry, reckless, issues with concentration or sleep).
  • anxiety causes you to worry excessively in intensity, frequency, or amount of distress it causes, or when you find it difficult to control the worry (or stop worrying) once it starts.
  • you are feeling little interest or pleasure in doing things you once enjoyed, or you are feeling down, depressed, hopeless, or are having thoughts of suicide.

In the NCHS survey, Black and Latinx/Hispanic adults were more likely to report anxiety or depression than whites or Asians. This tragic yet unsurprising result makes sense, given the harsh realities and impacts of longstanding systemic racism in our country coupled with the disproportionate health and economic burden of COVID on BIPOC. Know that EAP is committed to and is actively working to dismantle oppression within our program and services. We wholeheartedly support your right to have a safe space in counseling, and you are welcome and encouraged to ask for a counselor who identifies as a person of color—we will do our best to accommodate your request.

For additional resources, check out our COVID-19 Resources and Racism & Mental Health Resources pages.

Remember: you are irreplaceable, and your mental health and wellbeing are precious. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us, at 877-313-4455.

The ICSEW is hosting TWO Virtual Workshops August 4

Inclusive Presence, Effective Visuals in During Virtual Meetings Among Topics

The ICSEW will be hosting two virtual professional development workshops from 8:30 a.m. to noon on  Tuesday, Aug 4.

The workshops, How to Use Visuals to Increase Engagement During Virtual Meetings, followed by The Power of Inclusive Presence, will be accessible via Zoom and Facebook Live. Note: Zoom attendance is limited to 300 and available by registering through Eventbrite. If the event is sold out on Eventbrite, please view on Facebook Live.

Register for the training through Eventbrite here.

drawing of computer monitors with people on them

Presentation 1: How to Use Visuals to Engage Virtual Meeting Participants

In the wake of COVID-19 while physical distancing measures prevent in person gatherings, virtual meetings have become the norm.

Perhaps you’ve thought, just because technology makes virtual meetings possible, it doesn’t mean it makes them easier or better.

 Join professional visual facilitator, Lisa Arora, to learn how when the meeting must go on, you can use visual communication to increase engagement and improve the experience in virtual meetings.

In this workshop, you’ll explore common challenges in engaging participants in video conference meetings. She’ll get you thinking about the role visuals can play before, during and after your virtual gathering and leave you with tips, tools and practical strategies for delivering a better virtual event with the use of interactive visual communication.

About the Presenter:

portrait of LIsa Arora
Lisa Arora

Lisa Arora is a professional visual facilitator and mediator. For 12 years, she has served public sector, corporate and non-profit clients around the globe. She has hundreds and hundreds of visual meetings under her belt that span all industries, most of these in healthcare.

Arora’s specialties include: community consultations, public dialogue and cross-sector collaborations, executive strategy sessions, board retreats, strategic visioning sessions, scenario planning, teambuilding and performance improvement initiatives, and ideation and process improvement projects

Arora also speaks about visual methods at dispute resolution conferences and is the creator of Big Beginnings in Visual Mediation, the world’s first online program that teaches mediators online how to leverage the power of visuals to resolve disputes faster and easier. Arora has authored three  industry best practices eGuides and guest authored chapters in two anthologies on visual facilitation.

Presentation 2: The Power of Inclusive Presence 

As we wake up and become more aware of equity and the vastly different experiences and levels of access in our workplaces and in society, you may find yourself experiencing a wide range of uncomfortable feelings: frustration, despair, excitement or awkwardness. Are you holding back your full and authentic self out of fear or uncertainty? Learn simple embodied practices to become more grounded and confident enough to take risks, speak your truth and make authentic connections.

About the Presenter:

Larisa Benson

Larisa Benson is the host of The Government Joy Network, a movement of civic leaders transforming governance from the inside out.  After a full career of exercising creative innovation in senior positions from inside the halls of government, Benson began teaching in a compassionate leadership program that was born inside Google and is now a global nonprofit leadership institute.

Benson weaves together leadership presencing practices, human centered design thinking and the latest neuroscientific research about othering, being and belonging in different communities. Serving as faculty in the University of Washington’s Executive MPA and Lean Six-Sigma certification programs has granted her the honor of teaching and mentoring hundreds of leaders throughout the region. She can often be found wandering forest trails and rivers on the homelands of the Nisqually and other Coast Salish peoples in the Pacific Northwest.

July 2020 Celebration Meeting Preview

confetti with ICSEW logo
Image created by Rachel Friederich

Virtual Celebration Will Be Tuesday, July 21 on Zoom and Facebook Live

Dr. Karen Johnson, Equity and Inclusion Administrator for the Washington State Department of Corrections, will be the keynote speaker for the Interagency Committee of State Employed Women’s 2020  transition celebration. The event will be held virtually place from 8:30 a.m. to noon. July 21 via Zoom and Facebook Live.

Registration Information: Zoom attendees must register through EventBrite. After registering through EventBrite, attendees will receive a confirmation email with the Zoom meeting link. Zoom is limited to 300 attendees. The ICSEW will also live stream the event on its Facebook page.

The transition celebration is one of the ICSEW’s largest events of the year. It celebrates the committee’s accomplishments over the past year and also serves as a way for the general public and perspective members to learn about the committee’s work. The event is filled with inspirational speakers and professional development presentations. Current Perspective ICSEW members are encouraged to attend. Current a members are encouraged to attend and invite guests and their agency sponsors.

The meeting will also contain a short ceremony recognizing outstanding work of current members and thanking members whose terms of service are ending for their contributions. ICSEW executive board members will also welcome newly-appointed ICSEW representatives and alternate representatives.

Jasmine Pippin-Timco and Debra Lefing, co-chairs for the ICSEW’s Public Outreach subcommittee will also announce the recipient organizations for its annual charity drive. Each year the ICSEW Public Outreach Subcommittee coordinates a statewide charity project for a Washington State Combined Fund Drive charity. This year, the subcommittee will be collecting gift cards and supplies for organizations that offer shelter, support and other resources for victims of domestic violence.

About Dr. Karen Johnson

Dr. Karen Johnson
Dr. Karen Johnson

As part of the DOC’s team devoted to diversity, equity, inclusion and respect, Johnson says she feels blessed to be in a space that aligns her professional and personal passions.  DOC’s mission is to improve public safety by positively changing lives, and its goal is to prepare incarcerated individuals to successfully return to their communities. Working for fairness and equity fuels her.

Johnson also volunteers her time with national and local organizations and causes focused on improving the lives of children, women and underserved populations.  These include serving on the boards of the Making a Difference Foundation, The YMCA,Olympia-Capital Centennial Rotary ClubJunior League of Olympia, and the Washington State Commission on African American Affairs. Johnson has been recognized by the Washington Association of School Administrators, the Olympia Education Association, theWashington State Thurston Group, Olympia High School, and Rotary District 5020 (encompassing Vancouver Island and North West Washington from Pierce County south to Woodland including the Olympic Peninsula) for her volunteerism.

Johnson holds a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy, a master’s in public administration, and doctorate in Urban Services. She is also a member of the 2018 Leadership Women America cohort.

 

Employee Assistance Program Self-Care Webinars for State Workers, June and July Schedule

woman sitting in front of laptop chewing a pencil
image from Pixabay.com

Upcoming Live Support Webinars

EAP is offering webinars on a variety of COVID-19 related topics to support emotional and mental health and wellbeing. Register for an upcoming live session or view a pre-recorded session on-demand below. More sessions will be added regularly.

EAP also has a website with links by topic to helpful resources from addiction to finances to parenting to support for marginalized communities.

Navigating Change in Challenging Times

In our ever changing world, learning how to navigate change is an essential skill—one that can be developed. In this webinar we’ll talk about the impact of change, actions you can take to navigate change based on your unique response to stress, and resources available to support you.

  • Wednesday, June 24, 2020 1:30pm-3:00pm  Register
  • Tuesday, June 30, 2020  8:30-10:00am  Register
  • Wednesday, July 8, 2020  3:00-4:30pm  Register
  • Tuesday, July 14, 2020  10:00-11:30am  Register
  • Friday, July 24, 2020 8:30-10:00am  Register
  • Tuesday, July 28, 2020  3:30-5:00pm  Register

Self Care with the WA State EAP

This webinar addresses the emotional impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and offers ideas for self-care and strategies for managing stress and fear.

  • Tuesday, June 23, 2020  3:00-4:30pm  Register
  • Monday, July 13, 2020  10:00-11:30am  Register
  • Wednesday, July 22, 2020  3:00-4:30pm  Register
  • Monday, July 27, 2020  2:00-3:30pm  Register

How to Build Resilience When Your Job Involves Helping Others in Crisis

This webinar is intended for those who are supporting others in crisis e.g. customers, clients, students, employees/staff. During this webinar you will learn how your mind and body responds to stress, possible impacts on your emotional and physical well-being, strategies to build resilience, and supports and resources available to you.

  • Thursday, June 25, 2020  3:00-4:30pm  Register
  • Monday, June 29, 2020  2:00-3:30pm  Register
  • Friday, July 10, 2020  8:30-10:00am  Register
  • Wednesday, July 15, 2020  3:00-4:30pm  Register
  • Tuesday, July 21, 2020  8:30-10:00am  Register
  • Wednesday, July 29, 2020  2:00-3:30pm  Register

Washington: Coming Together to Learn, Support, & Connect

Together we will learn a new concept or skill to support our well-being and have an opportunity to connect and support each other.

  • Thursday, June 25, 2020  12:00-12:30pm  Register
  • Thursday, July 9, 2020  12:00-12:30pm  Register
  • Thursday, July 16, 2020  12:00-12:30pm  Register
  • Thursday, July 23, 2020  12:00-12:30pm  Register
  • Thursday, July 30, 2020  12:00-12:30pm  Register

See all COVID-19 Related Webnairs & Resources

Construction on State Employee Child Care Center Starts June 22

New Child Care Center Will be Located on Capitol Campus

in Olympia

Washington State Capitol Building
Cherry trees in bloom outside the Washington State Legislative Building in Olympia. Photo by Rachel Friederich

From the Department of Enterprise Services:

Construction begins the week of June 22 for a new Capitol Campus child care center that will serve state workers in Olympia. The Department of Enterprise Services is overseeing construction of the center which is located on the corner of Maple Park Avenue Southeast and Capitol Way South.

Construction activities for the week of June 22 include:

  • Installing the building’s foundation.
  • Removing five trees, one of which is in poor health.
  • Removing another tree, a large sugar maple at the intersection, to make room for new curb ramps for pedestrian safety at the crosswalk.

Construction impacts

Construction is expected to be noisy at times and may intermittently impact vehicle and pedestrian traffic. Work will take place approximately between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. The construction plan meets the safety guidelines under Gov. Jay Inslee’s Safe Start Washington direction. Sign up for updates on construction impacts here.

Get updates on child care center operations

DES is overseeing the process to hire an operator for the center. Steps include issuing a request for proposal, selecting an apparent successful bidder, and then signing a contract. Sign up to receive updates on the hiring of an operator for the new child care center. You will be notified when a waiting list for child admissions has been established.

More information about the child care center

The future single-story, 9,600 square-foot building will become the southern gateway to the Capitol Campus. The Legislature funded the $10 million project in 2019.

The center will be built with an eco-friendly design that focuses on conserving resources, ensuring air and water quality and reducing waste. Ultimately, this project will add 37 new trees to Capitol Campus. The mix of deciduous and flowering species are in addition to the 100 new trees being planted on campus in association with a National Association of State Foresters Centennial Challenge.

The new child care center does not replace the existing care center on Perry Street (5 Cs), which will continue its operations at that location.

More information

For more information, visit the DES Capitol Campus Child Care Center Project page or email childcarecenter@des.wa.gov.