Post-Election Support Resource Guide

drawing of US capitol
Image from Pixabay.com

This week, the Washington State Employee Assistance program is offering a special series of live post-election support sessions. One per day on weekdays starting the day after Election Day through Monday, November 9. The EAP is also offering several webinars on keeping up on your mental health and wellbeing. Below are the details from the director of the Employee Assistance Program:

A message from Darrow Brown, Director of the Employee Assistance Program:

In the midst of a pandemic, civil unrest, racial discord and household financial insecurity, we have now arrived at Election Day 2020 – a day that has certainly heightened the stress, worry and anxiety for many.  To support you and your employees, the Washington State Employee Assistance Program offers the attached resource guide.  Note, the list is not an exhaustive one, but should help to provide you and your employees support and a way forward during the coming days.  Please be sure to send the guide to your employees.

Post Election Support Sessions

In the guide, you’ll see that the EAP is offering live, supportive post-election sessions starting Wednesday 11/4.  At present, there will be one session per day on Wednesday 11/4, Thursday 11/5, Friday 11/6 and Monday 11/9.  We will assess the schedule and frequency, based on requests and feedback in the coming days.  To see a list of dates and times and to register, you and your employees can visit our Webinars page.  We here at the EAP understand the potentially precarious and emotionally-charged nature of these sessions.  The intention is to provide a guided, facilitated and supportive response that attends to employees’ emotional and behavioral needs. The underlying EAP approach is to “do no harm”, including not inviting and/or allowing discussions of a political nature.

Thank you for the continued support of The Washington State Employee Assistance Program and for your dedication to employee wellness.

LLN Lunch and Learn: Checking in During the Pandemic

From the Latino Leadership Network:

We care about you. How are you holding up? The LLN Executive Board is preparing a Lunch & Learn from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Sept., 23 via Zoom to help you check in with yourself as we connect with one another and get tips on managing stress, isolation, and teleworking from Indira Melgarejo, LLN’s Health & Wellness Chair, formerly a psychologist in Venezuela.

A survey released by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention in August revealed that 41 percent of respondents reported symptoms of mental disorder, including trauma-related symptoms, depression, and anxiety. The study found a higher prevalence of symptoms of depressive disorder, suicidal thoughts, and anxiety among Hispanic respondents. (Source: ABC News)

So it is not surprising that in our own survey in June, LLN members said they are most interested in LLN activities that focus on managing stress, isolation, and teleworking. Let this lunch break be your time to briefly engage with your peers across the state enterprise and come away with vital information you can use

Registration Information: .Sign up to attend this Zoom meeting on our Eventbrite page

EAP Self-Care and Resilience Building Webinars Schedule for August and September 2020

home office

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.

  • Thursday, August 20, 2020  9:30am-11:00am  Register
  • Thursday, August 27, 2020  1:00pm-2:30pm  Register
  • Wednesday, September 23, 2020  8:30am-10:00am  Register
  • Thursday, October 1, 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.

  • Tuesday, August 25, 2020  8:30am-10:00am  Register
  • Thursday, September 17, 2020   2:00pm-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.

  • Tuesday, August 18, 2020  8:30am-10:00am  Register
  • Tuesday, September 15, 2020  8:30am-10:00am  Register
  • Thursday, September 24, 2020  2:00pm-3:30pm  Register
  • Wednesday, September 30, 2020  10:00am-11:30am  Register

Washington State Employee Assistance Program

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

Visit the EAP website.

Strategies to Support Each Other through COIVD-19

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in the Washington State Employee Assistance Program’s April 2020 Newsletter

lotus blossom in pond
Image from Pixabay

Here are a couple of strategies you can try right away to help all of us be our better selves and work together through the COVID-19 outbreak, adapted from the Greater Good in Action and Center for Healthy Minds websites:

Maintain a calm, stable presence

We know that maintaining a sense of calm presence is better for us, our families, our workplaces and our communities. And, we’re human, so sometimes without realizing it we suddenly find ourselves caught up in anxiety and fear – maybe we feel our racing heart, or hear our irritated voice while talking to our child or partner or colleague.

How can we regain our sense of calm? In addition to taking a walk or talking with a calm friend, another way to find a sense of calm is by shifting your breathing pattern so your out-breath extends longer than your in-breath. This activates the vagus nerve, the major channel of the parasympathetic nervous system that helps us to “rest and digest.” Following stimulation of the vagus nerve, your heart rate slows down, your blood pressure decreases, your muscles relax and your body calms. The vagus nerve communicates your body’s new sense of calm to your brain, so the brain relaxes as well, and you experience a sense of peacefulness. To try this practice, breathe in through your nose for 3 seconds and out through your mouth for 6 seconds. Start with 6 cycles, which will take about 1 minute.

Remember our common humanity: combat stigma and cultivate loving kindness

Throughout human history, marginalized groups have been scapegoated and blamed for disease outbreaks and other crises. During the current COVID-19 outbreak, news reports have continued to show people of Asian descent across the US being attacked, harassed, shunned or otherwise victimized because the virus appears to have originated in China. In addition, some political leaders and media influencers have referred to COVID-19 by names that encourage stigma and bias, such as “the Chinese virus” or “Kung flu.”

What can we do? We can speak up to combat racism and stigma, refer to the virus by its official names of “COVID-19” or “Coronavirus”, model acceptance and compassion to our children and take other anti-racist actions. In addition, we can consciously practice loving kindness. Studies show that a loving kindness practice is one of the most effective ways to increase empathy and compassion for others and potentially decrease bias towards stigmatized groups. And, when people feel more connected to others, they feel a greater sense of personal happiness. Try this 15 minute loving kindness practice.

For additional tools and resources, see EAP’s COVID-19 Resources page or contact the EAP for further support, at 1-877-313-4455.

Webinars: Successful Teleworking and Working through Family Challenges During COVID19

kid and parent sitting at computer
image form pixabay.com

The Washington State Employee Assistance Program has a series of upcoming webinars on successfully  working from home and coping with challenges during the current COVID-19 pandemic, which are open to all state employees. 

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.

Self Care with the WA State EAP (live)

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

Monday April 20  10:00 a.m. -11:30 a.m.  Register Today

Thursday April 23 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Register Today 

Leading Teams and Supporting Employees through COVID-19 (live)

Tuesday April 21 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.   Register Today

Wednesday April 22  3:00 p.pm. – 4:30 p.m.  Register Today

Working from Home during COVID-19: Coping with the Challenges, Setting Yourself Up for Success (live)

Tuesday April 21  3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.     Register Today

Parenting and Family Challenges: Helping Yourself and Your Family through COVID-19

This webinar will offer insight into likely parenting and family challenges and tips and strategies to help support your family’s emotional health and wellbeing.

Monday, April 20, 2020  2:00pm-3:30pm   Register Today

Wednesday, April 22, 2020  10:00am-11:30am  Register Today

Thursday, April 23, 2020  9:00am-10:30am  Register Today

See all COVID-19 Related Webnairs & Resources

Six Tips to Strengthen Your Immune System

woman jumping

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in the Washington State Employee Assistance Program’s April 2020 Newsletter

Strengthen Your Immune System

You and your family are working hard to limit your exposure to COVID-19 by social distancing, washing your hands, not touching your face, cleaning frequently-touched surfaces and more: all of the actions recommended by the CDC, Washington State Department of Health and World Health Organization (WHO). What else can you do? To support your immune system to function at its best, it’s more important than ever to take these commonly recommended self-care actions:

1) get adequate sleep (7-9 hours for most folks)

2) eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants

3) move your body regularly

4) avoid smoking and heavy alcohol/substance use

5) maintain a healthy weight

6) manage your stress. This advice is even more important for older adults because they are at greater risk for severe illness from COVID-19, as the immune system becomes less efficient with age.

Examine gaps in your immune system maintenance plan, and talk to your medical doctor, health/wellness adviser or an EAP counselor for support with healthier self-care actions and overcoming any roadblocks. You can also watch the EAP’s on-demand webinar on self-care during COVID-19 or visit our COVID-19 Resources page to sign up for an upcoming live webinar.

Staying at Home and its Impact on Your Mental Health

woman sitting in front of laptop chewing a pencil

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in the Washington State Employee Assistance Program’s April 2020 Newsletter

Is Staying Home Putting Your Safety or Mental Health at Risk?

Social distancing, working from home, self-quarantining, sheltering in place…we are all implementing some combination of these COVID-19 responses to keep ourselves, our families, and our communities safe. But actions that keep us at home and away from public spaces put some community members at risk in other ways. For example, those who are living with an abusive partner or a person with a substance use disorder are now more likely to be exposed to unsafe situations. And those who struggle with depression, anxiety or substance use may be feeling isolated and lonely, with worsening symptoms.

Sound familiar? Reach out for help now – call 9-1-1 if you or someone you know needs urgent help, call the EAP at 877-313-4455, or contact one of these resources:

·         Domestic Violence/Abuse

·         Suicide/Depression/Anxiety

Also see Taking Care of Your Mental Health in the Face of Uncertainty and Coping with Stress During an Infectious Disease Outbreak

Free Webinar: Maintaining Your Composure in the Face of COVID-19

COVID 19 model

Submitted by WaTech

A webinar for state employees on how to maintain composure through the COVID-19 epidemic is set from 8-9 a.m. Friday, March 20.

The webinar is called: Keep Calm and Carry On: Maintaining Your Composure in the Face of COVID-19. You may register (no charge) at this link.

The webinar is presented by Workplace Options in partnership with the Washington State Employee Assistance Program (EAP), a service of the Department of Enterprise Services. The EAP also offers a guide: Coping with Stress During an Infectious Disease Outbreak.

Here is a description of this Friday’s webinar:

The COVID-19 outbreak has led to widespread fear on a global scale. The pervasive impact of the outbreak on a humanitarian and economical scale has caused many of us to experience extreme levels of uncertainty and anxiety. As every person and every organization tries to quickly adapt to the constantly changing situation, societal stress levels remain high. Given that stress has an adverse impact on our immune system, it is more important than ever to maintain a healthy sense of perspective, focus on practical ways to adapt to the situation and respond to the outbreak with calm and composure.

The webinar will cover:

  • Strategies to tackle feelings of anxiety and stress.
  • Practical techniques for working from home.
  • Ways to address signs of panic in the workplace.
  • When to reach out for further help and support.

For more information about the EAP, visit their website or call 877-313-4455.

 

Upcoming Online Training: 3 Ways to Manage Stress in Uncertain Times

Stress Management

by Rachel Friederich, ICSEW Communications Chair

In light of current events, many state workers have been encouraged to telework. Amy Leneker, who has presented at many ICSEW meetings and is the founder of Compass Consulting is offering three upcoming training sessions on how to manage stress in uncertain times.  The courses are online, so you can participate from home!

3 Ways to Manage Stress in Uncertain Times

  • April 1 from 10:00 – 11:00 am
  • April 1 from 1:30 – 2:30 pm
  • April 28 from 10:00 – 11:00 am

Register online at www.AmyLeneker.com/Events

Contact:

Amy Leneker, MPA

Leadership Consultant &

Certified Dare to Lead™ Facilitator

Compass Consulting, LLC

Email     Amy@CompassConsultingTeam.com

Phone   (360) 455-7600

Web      www.CompassConsultingTeam.com