January is a time for new resolutions, fitness regimens and preparing ourselves for the year ahead. January is also an important month at UBC, as we host the fourth annual UBC-wide Suicide Awareness Day on January 29th.
The workplace is one of key environments affecting mental health and well-being. According to the World Health Organization:
Gainful employment provides experiences that promote mental well-being through the provision of structured time, social contact, collective effort and purpose, social identity, and regular activity. Unfortunately, the workplace can also be the source of nonproductive stress leading to physical and mental health problems, including suicidal thoughts and behaviours and suicide.
Through Suicide Awareness Day, UBC’s Suicide Awareness Committee hopes to highlight awareness and combat stigma surrounding suicide with the key message of “Reach Out.” This phrase is meant to encourage a caring campus community in which people feel empowered and educated to assist those contemplating suicide or those affected by suicide. It is also intended to reduce the stigmas surrounding suicide in the hopes that people will feel more comfortable asking for help.
Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) Counselling
If you are struggling with a difficult situation or are feeling suicidal, you may benefit from speaking to a counsellor at Homewood Health, UBC’s EFAP provider. The information you share you’re your counsellor is confidential between you and Homewood Health, and will not be shared with UBC. The University is not told the identity of those using EFAP services, including online services. For more information, visit www.homewoodhumansolutions.com or call toll-free 1-800-663-1142.
Using your Extended Health Benefits
The UBC Extended Health plan is designed to help promote the continued health and well-being of UBC staff and faculty. Benefits coverage includes a wide range of services that are beyond the scope of coverage of BC’s Medical Service Plan; including a $1,200 annual maximum for a psychologist (A doctor’s referral is required). For more information, click here.
- If you would like to be involved in UBC’s Suicide Awareness Day 2014, click here or call 604-827-3047.
- If you have questions about your UBC Extended Health benefits or need help filing your claim, contact UBC Benefits here. For information about pre-authorizations, call Sun Life directly at 1-800-361-6212 or submit a secure message via the Sun Life Members website. Be sure to have your Access ID and password ready.
- Contact a mental health professional or call 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) as soon as possible if you are concerned about someone who exhibits one or more of the following:
- Feeling hopeless
- Feeling rage or uncontrolled anger, and seeking revenge
- Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities, seemingly without thinking
- Feeling trapped, as if there were “no way out”
- Using alcohol or drugs increasingly
- Withdrawing from friends, family, and society
- Experiencing anxiety, agitation, or sleeplessness, or sleeping all the time
- Dramatic mood changes
- Feeling that there is no reason for living and having no sense of purpose in life.