Our ability to live, learn, work and support ourselves and our community depends on being mentally healthy and resilient. Part of this involves not only knowing how to support yourself and others, but also understanding when you need assistance and where to go for help.
Since it’s Thrive month, we share two stories below that introduce the resources available to support you and to help you support others.
Elaina’s Challenge: Supporting a thriving team and workplace
Elaina supervises a team of employees at UBC and tries her best to set a supportive and respectful atmosphere. Recently, she noticed that Frank has started to act differently. Typically a very social person, he’s now avoiding team gatherings and eating lunch alone. He seems to have lost his sense of humour and appears more tired than usual.
Elaina has approached him a couple of times to ask how he’s doing, but the answer is always the same: “busy but good.” Elaina is increasingly concerned, but doesn’t know how to approach the topic and doesn’t want to offend or upset him.
How HR resources can help Elaina respond to and support Frank:
To help Frank and other staff and faculty in distress, a great resource for Elaina is the Orange Insert, a guide that helps managers like Elaina recognize unusual behaviour and respond with concern and empathy. She can also contact UBC’s Advisory Services for support and access online information for managers.
Because Elaina likes to take a proactive approach to her role, she can consider professional development opportunities that will help her better manage future situations. The opportunities available include health and wellbeing workshops and trainings, and free and individualized coaching support.
How EFAP can help Elaina:
UBC’s Employee & Family Assistance Program (EFAP) provider, Morneau Shepell, offers a range of supports and resources for managers. They include consultations to help managers recognize the signs of someone struggling or to refer staff to EFAP counselling support. Manager consultations offer advice and resources to promote a healthy working environment while supplementing the guidance provided by HR Advisors and HR Associates.
Morneau Shepell delivers support services in a number of ways, including in-person, over the phone and online. That is, Elaina can chose the format that works best for her. To get started, she can call the Shepell Care Access Centre at 1-800-387-4765 or visit the online resource hub. (Note: Please enter “University of British Columbia” as your organization.)
Laurence’s Challenge: Supporting your own mental wellbeing
Laurence feels overwhelmed and often finds himself worrying about work. This happens even when he’s at home trying to focus on caring for his family and other life demands. He feels anxious and worries it’s putting a strain on his personal and professional relationships. That’s why he is looking for ways to better integrate work and life.
How EFAP and UBC’s Extended Health plan can help Laurence:
Laurence can turn to EFAP for confidential counselling and consultative services. This service can help him and his dependents find solutions not only to work-life integration, but also anxiety, challenging relationships and more. Experienced professionals are available 24/7: in-person at various locations across BC, over the phone in multiple languages, via video, or through First Chat.
Similar to Elaina, Laurence can also call the Shepell Care Access Centre at 1-800-387-4765 or visit the online resource hub.
In addition, through UBC’s Extended Health Plan, he can access counselling services from a licensed psychologist, registered social worker or registered clinical counsellor. The service is 100 per cent reimbursed up to a maximum of $2,500 for each person enrolled per benefit year. For more details, Laurence can refer to his UBC Employee Group.
How HR resources can help Laurence:
With a wide range of programs and resources available to help improve individual mental health and resilience of UBC staff and faculty, Laurence can visit UBC HR’s Mental Health page for more information.