By Melissa Lafrance on September 11, 2018
A new school year is here and as staff and faculty, we may be experiencing a host of emotions. Some days, we might feel excited and joyful; other days we might be overwhelmed. As we bid farewell to another summer and move into the fall, check out the available resources you can access to better manage stress and build resilience. In this month’s Benefits Spotlight, let’s look at the services and resources available through Workplace Wellbeing & Benefits, UBC’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) and UBC’s Extended Health Benefits Plan that can help you manage stress and build resilience.
Mona’s Challenge: When it’s difficult to bounce forward
Mona is excited to welcome back the fall semester and the many eager students to campus, some of whom will be coming to her for support. Dedicated to her role and to enhancing the student experience, Mona knows that the coming months will be busy and sometimes stressful and overwhelming. This knowledge is causing Mona to feel anxious and wonder if she is prepared to manage her emotions and to handle students who may come to her in distress.
How HR resources can help:
There is a range of programs and resources available to help improve individual mental health and resiliency, and support UBC workplaces that want to enhance the mental health and wellbeing of its staff and faculty. Visit our Mental Health webpage for more information, including:
- Tools and resources for staff and faculty
- Upcoming workshops
- Training programs and on-demand workshops
- Mindfulness and meditation
If you are enrolled in UBC’s Extended Health Plan, you can access counselling services from a licensed psychologist, registered social worker or registered clinical counsellor and be 100% reimbursed up to a maximum of $2,500 for each person per benefit year. For more details, refer to the information applicable to your UBC Employee Group.
Marc’s Challenge: When you want to be a healthy role model for your team
Marc manages a team of employees at UBC. He understands that he plays an important role in creating a positive and healthy working environment. Marc wants to be equipped to respond and support someone in distress and also wants to lead by example by taking a proactive approach to manage his own stress levels.
How HR resources can help:
Marc might want to think about professional development opportunities in this area including Health & Wellbeing Workshops and training programs. Marc can also access free, individualized Coaching support through HR’s Coaching program and access the Orange Insert for ways to help staff and faculty in distress.
How EFAP can help Marc:
UBC’s EFAP provider, Morneau Shepell, offers a range of supports and resources for managers, including manager consultations to help equip Marc to notice when someone is struggling or to refer his staff to counselling through EFAP.
Stress Coach Connects is a free, self-directed, online program. In a quick call to EFAP, Marc could enrol to assess, understand and manage high stress through tracking tools, goal setting, resources, and support from a counsellor via online chat.
Morneau Shepell delivers support services in a number of ways, including in-person, over the phone and through the web. Choose the format that works best for you. To book services or to learn which service is right for you, call the Shepell Care Access Centre at 1-800-387-4765 or visit www.worklifehealth.com. (Note: Please enter “University of British Columbia” as your organization.)
Photo Credit: UBC Communications & Marketing
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By Melissa Lafrance on December 7, 2016
As the busy holiday season begins to ramp up with to-do lists and social commitments at work and home, it can sometimes feel a little overwhelming. We have some ‘holiday helper’ articles for you by Shepell, UBC’s EFAP provider, that can help you maintain your wellbeing during the holiday season.
- Rediscover the joy of the holidays with Make it Meaningful: Reconnecting to the Spirit of the Holiday Season
- Become a smart shopper and creative gift-giver with Tips for Savvy Holiday-season Spending
- Warm-Weather Activities to Bring Your Family Together
- Time Out: Making the Most of the Holidays
It’s important to remember that the holiday season can also bring up feelings of loneliness, sadness and pressure. It’s not an uncommon occurrence to feel a range of emotions during this time of year.
- Read more about loneliness and the holiday season
Employee and Family Assistance Program Services
UBC’s EFAP provides confidential counselling and work-life consultations to eligible UBC faculty, staff and their dependents. EFAP counseling services can be accessed by calling the Shepell Care Access Centre, 24/7, at 1-800-387-4765.
Counselling services include but are not limited to issues related to:
- Personal/emotional(stress, anxiety, depression);
- Couple/relationship(communication, separation/divorce);
- Family(parenting, elder care);
- Work (workplace violence/harassment and conflicts); and
UBC staff, faculty and dependants have many ways to get help today, all completely confidential. Review the services available here and use the icons under Get in Touch to book your service anytime, anywhere.
If you have questions about the UBC EFAP or Shepell, contact Melissa Lafrance, Health and Wellbeing Associate, at 604-827-3047 or email@example.com.
Extended Health Benefit Plan
Don’t forget to get the most of your UBC benefits this December by reviewing your Extended Health Benefit Plan.
The plan is designed to help promote the continued health and wellbeing of UBC staff and faculty. Benefits include coverage for a wide range of services that are beyond the scope of coverage of BC’s Medical Service Plan.
Want to learn more?
Learn things you should know about your travel benefits coverage before you go on vacation.
If you have questions about your UBC Extended Health benefits, contact UBC Benefits.
By Melissa Lafrance on October 5, 2016
As the seasons change, our moods and behaviours can shift also. With the days getting shorter and temperatures colder, we may not be as motivated to be out and about or to maintain vibrant social circles. The following three articles by Shepell, UBC’s EFAP provider, can help support you with tools to improve and maintain your social wellbeing.
Most people know that proper nutrition, exercise, and relaxation techniques can reduce stress, but being social is just as important. Learn skills and strategies to improve the quality of your relationships with A friend, indeed: friendship as a source of solace and support.
Perhaps you are in a new work environment or in a new neighbourhood. Maybe you feel the need to build your social support network. If so, check out Building and maintaining a social support network.
Managing a social life with a busy schedule can prove to be demanding. For advice on fitting social time into your schedule, read: Maintaining friendships on a busy schedule.
UBC’s EFAP provider, Shepell, offers counselling services for support with the following:
- Relationship Challenges
- Stress & resiliency
- Family concerns (communication, parenting, dynamics, and more)
- Workplace communication
- Workplace conflicts
To get started with Shepell’s Relationship Support Services, call 1-800-387-4765 or browse through their available services online.
To learn more, see related Workhealthlife articles.
- Working together: strategies to improve your employee-supervisor relationship
- Fun and easy team building ideas
Family/couple relationships & communication:
- Building and maintaining healthy relationships
- Rekindling the couple relationship after having a baby
- Squeezing in your main squeeze: making time for your relationship
- Improving family communication
By Colin Hearne on October 1, 2014
We can all feel nervous, shy, or bashful at times. This type of social anxiety can be a helpful feeling when it motivates us to necessary action, or warn us of danger. However, when anxiety begins to impacts our lives, including how we think, feel and act, it is important to realise that help is available.
UBC ‘s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) provider Homewood Health offers a unique, short-term and solution-focused counselling approach that focuses on enabling individuals, couples and families to work on their life problems, including anxieties. The information you share with UBC’s EFAP provider is confidential, and is not shared with UBC. The University is not told the identity of those using EFAP services, including online services.
To access UBC’s EFAP services through Homewood Health, visit www.homewoodhumansolutions.com or call 1-800-663-1142 (toll- free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week).
The Canadian Mental Health Association tells us that many people who experience an anxiety disorder think that they should just be able to ‘get over it on their own,’ whereas others may need time to recognize how deeply anxiety affects their life. Anxiety disorders are real illnesses that affect a person’s wellbeing. It’s important to talk to a doctor about your mental health concerns. Sometimes, physical health conditions can cause symptoms of anxiety. Your doctor will work with you to look at all possible causes of anxiety.
Want to know more?
For more information on UBC’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP), visit our website. To book a presentation for your unit to review the free EFAP services available for UBC staff and faculty, contact Colin Hearne, Health and Wellbeing Associate, at 604-827-3047 or firstname.lastname@example.org.