[Reprinted from an email sent March 8, 2022, to all Penn faculty and staff]
Dear Penn Community:
News about the current international events is unsettling and you may be looking for ways to work through the stress, anxiety, and concern you are feeling. We want to remind you that the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is here for you and your families. We also want to share a few tips and additional resources to help you deal with the uncertainties that we face.
- Notice your feelings and emotions and when you are feeling uncomfortable. Paying attention to your emotions can diffuse their intensity.
- Limit your exposure to media coverage by staying informed but with boundaries, focusing on balanced sources of information.
- Talk to people with whom you feel safe. This can help you feel more connected and less alone.
If you are a parent or guardian, you may be particularly sensitive to the need for resources to help you talk with your children about war. Penn’s Graduate School of Education recently published the article, Explaining war to children, with six tips for navigating this topic with kids.
Families can also contact Penn’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for help in navigating these challenging times. EAP can provide counseling and referral services to you and your loved ones, as well as connect you to resources to help you work through the grief these events can create. EAP offers materials for coping with traumatic experiences, ways to help those who struggle with feeling safe at school, home, or work, and information for quickly responding to an active shooter situation.
Penn’s EAP is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to assist you. Please feel free to contact the EAP at any time.
Penn’s EAP provides eligible faculty and staff and immediate family members, including your spouse, dependent children, your parents and parents-in-law, access to free, confidential, 24/7 counseling and referral services for personal and professional life issues from any location.
EAP resources for managers include coaching for team challenges, personal or professional, interpersonal issues in the office and critical incident debriefings following a traumatic incident for the organization.
EAP services are available by phone, email, webchat, and video sessions. Health Advocate EAP counselors will connect you with the right experts at the right time: masters level clinicians, work/life specialists, medical bill negotiators, and financial and legal professionals. In addition, Health Advocate offers multi-language capabilities.
Each eligible member can receive up to eight free counseling sessions per distinct problem, per year, from the time of your initial intake. If you exceed this limit, Health Advocate will make every effort to coordinate services with your existing health insurance. You may be referred to your insurance plan for services, where applicable, before your eight sessions are completed if it is determined that your clinical needs require treatment beyond the short-term scope of EAP.
EAP and other support resources are detailed in the MindWell at Penn digital guide.
You can also visit the behavioral health coverage webpage for more information about behavioral health benefits available through Penn’s medical plans for eligible faculty and staff and enrolled dependents.
Remember that you are never alone when coping with trauma and anxiety.
Division of Human Resources