By Melissa Lafrance on March 7, 2018
There’s no better time to think about food: March is National Nutrition Month! At UBC, food and nutrition are important priorities of UBC Wellbeing, and your UBC benefits offer many services and programs that can support you (and your eligible dependents) in the shift to healthier eating and living. Read on to learn more.
Extended Health Benefits: Registered Dietitians & Naturopaths
Did you know that the UBC Extended Health Benefits plan offers coverage for a wide range of services, including paramedical practitioners such as registered dietitians and naturopaths?
Registered dietitians provide advice and counselling about diet, food and nutrition. They can help you make healthy food choices and manage any special health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, allergies and obesity.
Registered naturopaths use a natural and holistic approach to the maintenance of good health and can help you improve digestion, boost energy levels and make proper nutrition and food choices.
To learn more about coverage and reimbursements for registered dietitian and/or naturopath services, visit our Extended Health page.
Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) Services
UBC’s EFAP provider Shepell offers four services that can help you and your eligible dependants with healthy eating. All services are provided by telephone consultation. To book services or to learn what service is right for you, call the Shepell Care Access Centre at 1-800-387-4765 or visit www.workhealthlife.com.
(Note: Please enter “University of British Columbia” as your organization.)
1. Nutrition Support Services
Make positive changes to your diet or connect with a registered dietitian who can assess your eating habits, identify dietary concerns and answer nutrition-related questions. Through Shepell, access the following support services:
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Healthy eating on-the-go
- Well-balanced vegetarian diets
- Lowering/managing cholesterol levels
- Reducing high blood pressure
- Regulating diabetes
- Preventing heart disease
- Preventing osteoporosis
- Boosting stress resilience
- Accommodating shift work
2. Health Coaching
Shepell’s health coaches provide support and motivation to help you reach your lifestyle goals, including creating a risk-reduction action plan that targets:
- Weight management
- Healthy eating
- Smoking cessation
- Responsible alcohol use
- Stress management
- Exercise as a component of a healthy lifestyle
3. Naturopathic Services
Interested in learning more about naturopathic medicine and how it works? Shepell’s naturopathic services offer everyday lifestyle practices to help you improve digestion, boost energy levels and make proper nutrition and food choices.
4. Healthy Weight Management
With the support of a personal coach, you can manage your weight by learning how to make positive physical activity and nutrition changes. Shepell’s program consists of:
- An online assessment
- An interactive online program, including trackers, goal setting and challenges
- A smart scale to track progress and outcomes
- Consultations with a coach over the phone or through online chat
By Melissa Lafrance on December 7, 2017
UBC’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) provides confidential counselling and work-life consultations to eligible UBC faculty, staff and their dependents. EFAP can be accessed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including over the holidays.
As the busy holiday season begins to ramp up with to-do lists and social commitments at work and at home, it can all feel a little overwhelming. Many challenges and complex feelings can come up, such as loneliness for people who live far away or are estranged from their families, anxiety from too many social interactions and to-do items, worry from financial stress, or frustration and anger caused by family arguments. Whatever your challenging situation or feelings about it, EFAP is here to help. Their counselling services include, but are not limited to, issues related to stress, anxiety depression, relationships, parenting, family dynamics, elder care, workplace conflicts, and substance use/addiction. Consultations are also available to help with debt and finances, career transitions and healthy food choices during the holidays.
To review their services, visit the Shepell website, UBC’s EFAP service provider. (Note: Please enter “University of British Columbia” as your organization to access the site.)
If you need immediate support, call Shepell’s Care Access Centre at 1-800-387-4765.
Prepare for Any Vacation with Shepell’s My EAP Mobile App
You can also prepare for the holidays and get vacation-ready with Shepell’s My EAP mobile device app. Download the My EAP app to gain immediate, confidential and secure access on the go.
Explore Holiday Helper Articles
Here are some holiday-themed articles for you by Shepell that can help you maintain your wellbeing during the holiday season. (Note: Please enter “University of British Columbia” as your organization to access these articles.)
- 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
- Time out: making the most of the holidays
- Learn how to have a stress free holiday season
It’s important to remember that the holiday season can also bring up feelings of loneliness, sadness and pressure. It’s not uncommon to feel a range of emotions during this time of year.
- Read more about loneliness and the holiday season
- Spot the holiday “blues” and explore helpful tips
- Find out steps to maintain good relationships during the holidays
For more information, including requesting brochures, booking an EFAP orientation presentation, or sharing compliments or concerns about your counselling experience with Shepell, please contact:
Health & Wellbeing Associate
Extended Health Benefit Plan
Don’t forget to get the most of your UBC benefits 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 BC Medical Services Plan coverage.
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.
Posted in Benefits Spotlight, EFAP | Tagged balance, coaching, counselling, EFAP, Employee and Family Assistance program, family, Holidays, resilience, resources, Shepell, stress management, Support | Leave a response
By Melissa Lafrance on September 13, 2017
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 anxious and stressed. As we bid farewell to another summer and move into the autumn, check out the available resources you can access to better manage stress and build resilience.
UBC Employee & Family Assistance Program: support services for you and your eligible dependents
- Interactive online program to help you assess, understand and manage stress
- Effective stress management tools with progress, mood and stress level tracking; goal setting and action tools; helpful resources; thoughtful journaling; and life support anytime via online chat
Anxiety Support Group
- Private and secure online support group of 4-5 people led by a clinical counsellor
- Access to real-time interactions with a clinical counsellor and other group members (from outside UBC)
- Group work that includes in-session online activities, homework and self-guided learning modules
- Confidential, short-term and solution-focused one-on-one counselling
- 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 addiction
- Variety of delivery methods to best suit your needs, including over the phone, in person, email, secure video chat, and more
To access these services, contact Shepell:
- By calling the Care Access Centre at 1-800-387-4765
- By visiting Shepell website
Counselling Services Coverage through Extended Health Benefits
UBC’s Extended Health plan provides coverage for counselling services and testing. For more details regarding referrals, services and claims, refer to the Extended Health Benefits webpage.
Personal & Professional Development Opportunities for Stress Management and Resilience Building
- Stress Release Workshop Series (free for UBC staff & faculty, Point Grey Campus)
- Mindfulness Programs at UBC
- Professional Development Workshops at UBC
- Stress Strategies: A web-based decision-making tool to assess stressors and assist in developing an action plan for reducing and managing stress in all aspects of life
- Stress 101: Learn about stress response and how to cope with stress in your daily life
- Mindful Moments: Mindfulness and meditation practices, information and research
- Free financial support for UBC staff and faculty
- Workplace Stress Busting Tips
- Understanding Stress
By Miranda Massie on May 4, 2017
If someone had told me a few years ago that I would eventually be writing articles about sex for work, I probably wouldn’t have believed them! It was a common belief at the time (and for many still is), that it was okay to talk about certain aspects of health at work, but sex was definitely not one of them.
Personally, I don’t see how I can honestly and authentically do my job without acknowledging all of the facets of wellbeing that contribute to overall health. I may be biased by the fact that I have a background as a sexual health educator, but I like to dedicate at least one editorial a year to my often underrated, overlooked and sometimes stigmatized friend: sexual health. (Bonus: I get to come up with catchy, tongue-in-cheek titles!)
My top tips for getting re-acquainted with your sexual health
If you don’t use it, you might lose it.
As comical as it sounds, when it comes to sexual health, research says it’s true. Regular use and care for our reproductive parts and sexual organs helps to keep them, and their owners, healthy. Click here to learn more about the health benefits of keeping sexually active.
Parents: It’s going to be ok!
When you’re a parent, talking about sexual health with your kids can add another layer to a tricky topic, one that can provoke both anxiety and stress. For any parents or guardians out there looking for tips on how to talk about this topic with your kids, consider registering for our upcoming workshop:
Find study buddies
There’s a lot of research going on at UBC that relates to sexual health. One example is the UBC Sexual Health Laboratory. Consider signing up to take part in a study – the topics are varied and there are a range of participation options (online, in person, solo, with a partner, etc.). These are often wonderful opportunities to contribute to learning and research while discovering new things about yourself and your sexual health.
Avoid Dr. Google
When it comes to a topic like sexual health, my advice is avoid Google. Not only is there a lot of misinformation on the Internet, but search results can often be unreliable. Learn more about the dangers of Dr. Google here and see the suggestions below for more accurate online sources.
Seek out the right sources
As an alternative to Google, I recommend checking out the following resources for unbiased, non-judgmental sexual health information:
- SexandU: Rated one of the top 10 health websites in Canada, this site is run by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
- Options for Sexual Health: Educational resources for all ages and services available for free to all residents of BC.
- Scarleteen:Don’t be fooled by the teen/20’s label: This site has accessible information and advice for all ages.
- Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights:Like the World Health Organization, but for sexual health in Canada. Policy, research, advocacy and information.
- Experiencing a non-consensual or unwanted sexual experience can have negative impacts on your mental health and physical health and wellbeing. If you need to speak with someone, you can contact your EFAP at 1-800-361-5676 or learn about sexual assault resources at UBC. Information related to UBC’s new Policy on Sexual Assault and Other Sexual Misconduct will be disseminated in the coming weeks.
Sexual health is a broad and diverse realm of our wellbeing that can include intimacy, relationships, sexuality, gender, safety, reproduction and personal values. This month, I encourage you to have fun exploring what sexual health means to you.
All my best,
By Melissa Lafrance on May 4, 2017
Guest contribution by Dr. Thara Vayali
When it comes to stress, we’ve all certainly got enough to go around. But when it comes to talking about stress, our language might just end with the words “I’m stressed.”
Although it may be a true feeling, “I’m stressed” doesn’t leave us with options for understanding and managing our situation. To talk about stress in a functional way, we need to be specific about our stressors, and we need clarity on how each stressor affects the body and mind.
Becoming familiar with the words used to describe stress and its impact on health is health literacy – which is essential to help us better understand our bodies, address our stress and find solutions.
How many of the words in bold below can you define? How many of these words could you use in context this week?
Stress: A pressure or tension exerted against a material, psyche or syllable. (i.e. distressed jeans, first day of a new job, EL-e-phant)
Stressor: Any agent, environment or condition that puts pressure on an individual. Not all stressors are negative.
Challenging stressors teach us about self-assurance, inspiration, disappointment, decision and consequence, autonomy, mastery and purpose. Challenge creates EUSTRESS.
Eustress is positive stress. It is often managed with responsive problem-solving, long-term planning, clear thinking and agility in the body, which helps minimize the stress. Eustress builds strength of emotional maturity and physical robustness.
Unrelenting burdens – where we don’t have the time to reflect, recover or repair – put us in a state of alarm and exhaustion. Our immune systems malfunction, our vessels clog and become weak, we become inflamed (emotionally and physically), our pain receptors start firing inappropriately, and we can become nervous, anxious and depressed. Burdens create DISTRESS.
Distress is negative stress. It is often managed with reactive behaviour, short-term solutions, fuzzy logic and comfort food, which compounds the stress. Distress causes the unravelling of mental stability and physical health.
Once we know that we are experiencing distress, it’s even more helpful to know what type of stressor is causing it:
Physical stressors: Illness, insufficient sleep, poor nutrition or hydration, physical strain, sounds and smells.
Emotional stressors: Grief, resentment, fear, anger, shame and anxiety.
Cognitive stressors: Unprepared problem-solving, information overload, rapid demands and over-thinking.
What underlies our response to these stressors is our autonomic (automatic) nervous system, which has two main operating modes:
- Sympathetic nervous system: Nerves in our spine light up when we feel fear or nervousness. These nerves prep us for the “fight or flight” response. The five main clues that this system has been triggered include sweating, increased heart rate, more blood flow to the big muscles and lungs, tunnel vision and less tears/drooling. This system makes us REACT.
- Parasympathetic nervous system: Nerves in the brain and in the pelvis that light up when we feel calm and safe. These nerves allow us to “rest and digest.” The five main clues that this system has been triggered are less obvious, and include less sweating, lowered heart rate, increased digestion, peripheral vision, more tears/salivation. This system helps us RESPOND.
Both of these states are involuntary. They turn on and off depending on our perceptions and our context and are not controlled by our more mature, rational selves. Our job is to create an environment that allows for growth more than depletion.
React: To immediately speak or take action in a situation. Reactions are often instinctual and based on emotions and personal history, and they happen without reflection. Reactions are not negative unless they create negative outcomes. Healthy reactions come from practice. Practice is pausing and responding.
Respond: To take into account the context and desired outcome of a situation, and choose a course of action based on your values. Practicing responsiveness regularly builds the capacity for healthy instincts.
Adrenaline: A hormone (a chemical messenger) produced in the adrenal glands, which sit above your kidneys. When the system becomes alarmed or frightened, adrenaline surges in the bloodstream. Adrenaline helps us get hyped up for the “fight or flight response.” It lasts for around 20 minutes and then passes the torch to…
Cortisol: A hormone that is also produced in the adrenal glands. This hormone is useful for a multitude of important body functions. It rises after adrenaline peaks and it sends messages to keep us alarmed and vigilant if a stressor happens to extend for longer than 20 minutes. Cortisol is only meant to be put to work in this way for a few hours.
Acute stress: A short-term situation that happens when stressors pop up, challenge us and then resolve as the situation calms down. Adrenaline and cortisol shine in acute stress and help us move quickly, stay focused and get stuff done. Although the situation can be distressing, it passes.
Chronic stress: When overwhelming stressors arrive and do not recede. In these situations of chronic stress, cortisol is required in constant amounts, and this unrelenting stream impacts our energy, our intellect and our motivation. The distress lingers and can hinder our best intentions.
Stress reduction: Preventive actions that decrease the likelihood of unhealthy cortisol fluctuations. These actions can include avoiding certain situations, altering your behaviour, accepting the change or adapting to the situation.
Stress management: Preventive habits that assist resiliency. These are also called mindfulness tools, and can include finding quiet time, building sensory awareness, choosing priorities and drawing boundaries.
Stress release: Recognizing what you feel and finding an outlet for the feeling, including exercise, cleaning, laughter and time in nature.
Resilience: This is the power you have to pick yourself up after any type of stressful circumstance (which can include adversity, conflict, loss of control, uncertainty, positive challenge or increased responsibility). Resilience determines how you react or respond. Healthy resilience allows you to absorb, process and move forward. Healthy resilience is built from knowing you have the tools for stress reduction, management and release.
I encourage you to get comfortable with these words so you can be specific and more accurate when describing the types of stress you experience. It will also put you in a better position to understand what’s causing your stress and allow you to find healthy solutions to reduce, manage and release your stress, and to become more resilient.
Once you have the vocabulary, you are ready to go out into the world and be a Stress Literati!
Stress management resources at UBC
- Stress Coach Connects: An online stress management program through UBC’s Employee and Family Assistance Program
- Learn to Meditate Workshop Series: A three-part series to learn how build a personal meditation practice
- Virtual Health Fair: Online resources and self-assessment tools
Thara Vayali is a Naturopathic Doctor & Yoga Teacher in Vancouver and is also a UBC alumnus. She is obsessed with intestinal and immune health, hormones, and pain-free bodies. She is the creator of Change Natural Medicine: Budget conscious, membership based health consulting.
Posted in A Thoughtful Mind, Guest Contributor, Mental Health | Tagged definitions, Dr. Thara Vayali, health literacy, impact, language, learning, reactions, resources, Stress, stress management, Support | Leave a response
By Melissa Lafrance on September 13, 2016
A new school year is here, and as staff and faculty, we may be experiencing a realm of emotions that comes with it. Some days, we can feel excited and joyful, other days we may be anxious and downright stressed! As we bid farewell to another summer and move into the autumn, check out the helpful resources you can use to better manage stress.
UBC’s Employee & Family Assistance Program is here to support you and your eligible dependants with the following services:
- Stress Coach Connects
- Interactive online program to help you assess, understand, and manage stress
- Effective stress management tools with progress, mood, and stress level tracking; goal setting and action tools, helpful resources, thoughtful journaling, and life support anytime via online chat
- Anxiety Support Group
- Private and secure online support group led by a counsellor
- Access to real-time interaction with a counsellor and other group members (from outside UBC)
- Group work that includes in-session online activities, homework and self-guided learning modules
- Counselling for a variety of work, health, and life challenges
- Confidential short-term one-on-one counselling
- 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 addiction
- Variety of delivery methods to best suit your needs including over the phone, in person, email, secure video chat, and more
To access these services, contact Shepell:
- Call the Care Access Centre at 1-800-387-4765
- Visit the Shepell website
Counselling Services Coverage through Extended Health Benefits
UBC’s Extended Health plan provides coverage for counselling services and testing. To find out more details regarding referrals, services and claims, refer to our Benefits FYI article on Counselling Services Benefits.
Personal & Professional Development Opportunities for Stress & Time Management
- Health and Wellbeing Workshops
- Professional Development Workshops at UBC
- Stress Strategies: A web-based decision making tool to assess stressors and assist in developing an action plan for reducing and managing stress is all aspects of life.
- Stress 101: Learn more about the stress response and how to cope with stress in daily life.
- Mindful Moments: mindfulness and meditation practices, information and research.
- Free Financial support available for UBC staff & faculty
- Workplace Stress Busting Tips
- Understanding Stress
By Melissa Lafrance on July 6, 2016
We hear a lot about relationships. There are love/romantic relationships, partnerships, work/colleague relationships, friendships and even ships that have sailed. In service of all these outside relationships, we often overlook or even neglect our most important relationship: our relationship with our own selves, or our self-relationship.
When we think about relationships, we often think about the ways in which we are connected and linked with another person. Our minds don’t often go right to our self-relationship. Having a healthy self-relationship can have an immense impact on our frame of mind, which influences our interactions, emotions, experiences and outcomes, and challenges can arise as a result.
Here are just a few things to keep in mind to improve your self-relationship:
Care for your basic physical and mental needs
Start by getting enough good quality sleep, which is absolutely essential to good health, effective functioning, and safety. Eight hours of sleep a night is optimum for healthy adults. Read more about sleep.
We all have priorities in our lives, and it can sometimes seem that there is no time for taking care of ourselves beyond our basic needs. However, a balance is needed in all areas of our lives to build resilience. Caring for yourself involves intentional actions and effort to take care of our own physical, mental, and emotional health. What self-care looks like varies from person to person, but can be in the form of enjoying a bath, cooking, listening to music or podcasts, meditating, travel, exercising, or simply taking a five-minute breathing break in a quiet room to refocus. Check out more ideas for self-care.
Practice love and kindness towards yourself and others
This can take on many forms, and let’s face it, our world needs some love and kindness. Consider practicing loving-kindness meditation, which focuses on developing feelings of goodwill, kindness and warmth towards yourself as well as others. Download free audio recordings of guided meditations. Select the Loving Kindness Meditation link and go through the practice. You can choose yourself as the medication’s focus.
Reflect and be aware of your thoughts, feelings and emotions
On a regular basis, ask yourself “what am I feeling?” and “what am I thinking?” Be curious as to why you are reacting a certain way or why certain things mean so much to you. Keep a journal and write down your thoughts, feelings and emotions. This can help you become more self-aware.
Work towards positive mental health
Positive mental health is a state of being in which social, emotional, and spiritual factors intersect to create a high level of functioning. Positive mental health can coexist alongside mental illness. Find out more about positive mental health.
Thrive is a UBC-specific initiative focused on building positive mental health for students, staff, and faculty and reducing stigma. Thrive week occurs each year during the first week of November and involves a variety of awareness building and knowledge sharing events. Learn more about Thrive.
Take a moment to look in the mirror and speak positive and uplifting words to yourself. Continue speaking these affirmations to yourself every day, and you will bolster your self-confidence and self-acceptance. Check out these 35 affirmations you can say to yourself or write on post it notes.
Ask for help and seek out resources
Many supportive resources are available for UBC staff and faculty. Check out this month’s Benefit Spotlight on healthy relationships to learn about resources you can access through the UBC Employee and Family Assistance Program.
The following resources are available:
- Employee and Family Assistance Program
- Thrive at UBC
- Mental Health Resources at UBC (including available workshops/trainings)
- Learn to Meditate 3-part Series (July 11, 18, 25)
- Mindfulness and Meditation at UBC
- Making the connection: tactics for a healthy mind and body
- Getting involved in summer activities with colleagues
- 6 ways you can have a healthy relationship with yourself
By Miranda Massie on May 5, 2015
I wanted to spend this month’s editorial taking about an aspect of health that is very close to my heart. This particular topic is not often openly discussed, especially among adults and yet, at its core, is strongly linked to both our mental and physical wellbeing.
A lack of open dialogue and access to accurate information on this topic can lead to misinformation, confusion, shame and even illness. Have you guessed it yet?
Let’s talk about sex.
In my life outside of UBC, I am a community sexual health educator. I feel passionately about empowering society (particularly children and youth) with accurate, informative and non-judgmental sexual health information. According to the World Health Organization, sexual health is “a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence.”[Source]
There are myriad of different elements related to sexual health that can impact our overall wellbeing including reproduction, sexuality, infection and disease prevention, intimacy, pleasure, relationships, safety, body image, and more. The presence of a challenge or a decline in one area of our health can impact other areas of our life in ways that we perhaps do not realise.
Sex and sexuality are very personal and discussing them openly can be challenging. Knowing where to access accurate and unbiased information can also be a frustrating task that may lead to additional stress and anxiety.
Like other aspects of our wellbeing, there are valuable benefits that can be had from caring for our sexual health! There are also some interesting facts to be aware of that may normalize (self-imposed or societal) feelings of inadequacy.
Facts about sexual health:
- Emotions can impact libido or levels of sexual desire.
- Levels of sexual desire differ from person to person and from day to day. Do what is right for you, not what you think or hear is ‘normal’.
- Overall sexual satisfaction is linked to overall quality of life.
- Certain medications (particularly those used in treating mental health conditions) can decrease your libido or levels of sexual desire.
- Though some physical functions may diminish over time, sexuality does not disappear with age. Good health has been found to be a strong predictor of being more sexually active later in life.
Health benefits of sex:
- Intimacy (sexual or emotional) fosters wellbeing and its absence may be psychologically and physically harmful to our health.
- Knowing and confirming that you are free of infection or illness can alleviate stress and anxiety.
- Sexual activity has been linked to lower blood pressure.
- The hormone oxytocin is released during orgasm. Oxytocin can result in better sleep, enhanced feelings of optimism and can promote a sense of bonding.
- In men, more frequent ejaculation has been linked to a reduced risk of prostate cancer.
- Experiencing a non-consensual or unwanted sexual experience can have negative impacts on mental health and wellbeing. If you are in need of support, options include counselling, advocacy and support services. Options include your EFAP at 1-800-361-5676 or the Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centres (604-876-2622).
Have you ever heard the expression that ‘the sexiest body part is the brain’? That is why is it important to keep learning and to remain critical of where you access information. When we don’t know enough about our sexual health or if we are ashamed to talk about it, there is a chance of putting our health (or the health of others) at risk.
Though the physical act of sex occurs behind closed doors, our sexual health needn’t exist surrounded by silence. I am opening the door to a conversation around sexual health today and I invite you to think about the role that it plays in your life. Everyone deserves accurate sexual health information in order to lead safe, pleasurable and fulfilled lives.
All my best,
Looking for trusted and credible information and resources?
Videos, reading lists and websites for youth, adults, parents, seniors and more:
Chao, J-K., Lin,Y-C., Ma, M-C., Lai, C-J., Ku, Y-C. , Kuo, W-H., Chao, I-C. (2011) Relationship Among Sexual Desire, Sexual Satisfaction, and Quality of Life in Middle-Aged and Older Adults. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy 37(5).
Frappier, J., Toupin, I., Levy, J.J., Aubertin-Leheudre, M., Karelis, A.D. (2013). Energy Expenditure during Sexual Activity in Young Healthy Couples. PLoS ONE 8(10): e79342. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0079342
Rathus, S.A., Nevid, J.S., Fincher-Rathus, L., Herold, E.D., McKay, A. (2013). Human sexuality in a world of diversity (4th ed.). Toronto, ON: Pearson Education Inc.
Rogers, P. (2014, 07/21) The Health Benefits of Sex. Healthline. Retrieved from: http://www.healthline.com/health/healthy-sex-health-benefits#Overview1
By Miranda Massie on April 8, 2015
My partner and I recently met with a financial advisor. We are currently in the midst of planning for our future, feeling caught between student loan debt and an uncertain job market, while looking ahead to home ownership and starting a family.
In a city like Vancouver, the financial prognosis is grim and we have often put off facing our finances due to the stress and overwhelmingly gloomy outlook that comes with it. We have met with advisors at our banks in the past, but often left feeling as though we had sat through a sales pitch instead of a counselling session. Denial was our financial strategy of choice, but that can only work for so long.
In last month’s editorial, I wrote about embarking on an emotional cleanse and getting rid of the negative impact that bottling up emotions can have on our health. I think that this same idea applies to finances. We (as a society) tend to not talk about money. We have been socialized to keep financial matters to ourselves, as well as dealing with the myriad of emotions that come along with them. Keeping all of this stress and uncertainty to ourselves can take a toll on our mental health, relationships and overall wellbeing.
What I discovered is that it feels great to talk about money out loud, especially with someone who knows their stuff. Our discussions with the financial advisor were calm, frank and filled with humour and even prompted discussions with friends on the subject. The advice was invaluable, as well-sensitive and honest.
This month, I invite you to talk about money. Say the words out loud, either to yourself, a loved one or a financial professional. Letting someone else in, especially on this topic, can alleviate some of the inevitable financial crunch that we feel we are under.
5 fun facts I learned from financial planning
It’s ok to dream and to say what you want out loud. Do not apologise for lofty goals. You will only have a chance to achieve them if you are realistic in planning for them.
You find out where you are. Knowing where you stand, whether positive or negative will always set you up in a better position for success than not knowing at all.
Financial advisors are not all sales people. I used to fear going into see a financial advisor because I always felt like I was being pushed towards something I didn’t really need. Find someone you trust and stick with them.
It feels great to have a plan. The benefit of seeing professional advice is that you no longer have to guess at whether you are doing the right thing or making the right financial move. The decisions are still yours accompanied with guidance from a professional.
We don’t need it all now. Of course we have dreams and plans for the future but waiting for them is okay. Taking the time to plan and save now will ensure that our goals are all met in the long run.
Looking for free or affordable financial advice?
Financial Support Services from UBC’s EFAP provider Shepell.
Know Your Financial Advisor-online search tool
Posted in Editorial, EFAP, Mental Health, Miranda Massie, Spot Light | Tagged editorial, facts, financial health, fun, mental health, money, money management, planning, resources, Support | Leave a response
By Colin Hearne on April 8, 2015
More than six million Canadians—35% of the Canadian workforce—provides informal care to a family member or friend. The recipients of care are primarily seniors, and most caregivers are 45 or older. 44% of caregivers are ages 45 to 64, ‘sandwiched’ between caregiving and child rearing.
Canada’s aging population means that these pressures and their consequences will only increase. According to the Employment and Social Development Canada Report from the Employer Panel for Caregivers, by 2031 the number of people over the age of 80 requiring care is projected to double. At the same time, older workers will account for an increasing share of the Canadian workforce.
At UBC, we recognize that many demands exist outside of the workplace for staff and faculty, particularly when it comes to looking after our elders. The following resources are available to assist you and your family in navigating elder care and caregiver support.
Senior Care and Caregiving Support Resources
Senior Care Support
Shepell, UBC’s Employee and Family Assistance Program provider, has a service to help you conduct your own customized search for elder care resources. You can search for providers who offer homecare assessments, long-term facilities, assistive care facilities, and facilities geared toward specific health care needs or cultural and language preferences of your family member. For a full list or to access services, click here and search under the Health & Wellbeing tab.
Senior Care Specialist
Faculty and staff can speak to an Elder Care Specialist through Shepells Life Events service. The Eldercare Specialist can point you in the right direction for housing, qualified care and any other questions you may have. Click here for more information.
Senior Care Support Resources
For a range of informative senior care articles, click here. Topics range from: Slowing Down to Help Aging Parents, Nutrition and healthy well-being for elders in your life, Having an older relative move in: making the transition a smooth one; and many more.
Caregiving Support – Counselling
Balancing elder care and/or family care with career responsibilities can feel overwhelming and extremely stressful. Be sure to take care of your own physical, emotional and social needs. Confidential counselling services are available through Shepell. To make an appointment, call 1-800-387-4765.
UBC’s Health, Wellbeing and Benefits Team has also compiled a list of available suggested resources (including leave information) to assist you and your family in navigating elder care and caregiver support.
Eldercare 101 – What You Need to Know to Care for Your Aging Parents
Whether you care for aging parents in your own home, or manage elder care plans from a distance, most of us don’t know where to go for reliable answers. Join Home-to Home, a seniors advisory and assistance business based in Vancouver in this one-hour session and learn all you need to know to care for your aging parents: . Click here for more information or to register.
By Colin Hearne on September 9, 2014
For many people, balancing life at home and at work can have its ups and downs. Those who have children at home while working may find life particularly hectic: scheduling children’s activities, planning for family time, and still allowing some you-time can seem impossible.
For some, life is further complicated by needing to provide care to aging parents or relatives. At UBC, we recognise that many demands exist outside of the workplace for staff and faculty, particularly when it comes to looking after our elders. UBC’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) has resources to assist you and your family in navigating elder care and caregiver support.
Elder Care Resources at UBC
Homewood Health, UBC’s EFAP provider, has an online database to help you conduct your own customised search for elder care resources – you can search for providers who offer homecare assessments, long-term facilities, assistive care facilities, and facilities geared toward specific health care needs or cultural preferences of your family member. UBC staff and faculty also have access to Homewood Health’s free online Busy Family for Seniors toolkit. The toolkit provides:
- A resource and financial services locator;
- An “ask an expert” function, informative articles and links to research;
- Roadmaps for services based on need (e.g., in home, residential facilities or community based);
- Comprehensive quality of service checklists for hired providers; and
- A family needs inventory to help organize priorities and concerns.
Want to know more?
Come to Healthy UBC’s free workshop “Elder care 101 – What You Need to Know to Care for Your Aging Parents“on Sept. 23, 2014, 12-1pm.(Register online)
New name, same great servicesUBC’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) provider Homewood Human Solutions has changed its name to Homewood Health. While their name has changed, their services and contact information remain the same. The website can still be reached at www.homewoodhumansolutions.com
- The phone number remains 1-800-663-1142 (toll- free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
All Counselling, Plansmart and Online services continue as before.