Announcements Benefits Well-Being Work-Life

May: Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental health impacts how we think, how we feel, and how we act. The term “mental health” includes psychological, social and emotional well-being. It’s important to understand the impact our mental well-being can have on our day-to-day lives, relationships, careers and goals. It affects our ability to make decisions, handle stress, and how we show up for ourselves and those close to us.

Mental health is more than the absence of mental illness – it’s essential to your overall health and quality of life.

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

At WashU, we are committed to your well-being and want to make sure you know about the resources available to help you navigate life’s challenges and thrive. Taking care of your emotional well-being is as important as looking after your physical and financial health. Mental Health Awareness Month serves as a reminder that it’s okay to seek help for mental health issues and that support and treatment are readily available and accessible.

Available WashU Resources

Mind/Body Well-Being Hub

Evidence-based programs offer employees and family members the opportunity to assess their current health status, set goals for improving health habits and join a community of well-being advocates. Bookmark the Mind/Body well-being hub to revisit at your convenience.

8ight Ways to Wellness

WashU Human Resources team partnered with Dr. Graham Colditz, MD, DrPH, to develop ‘8ight Ways to Wellness for WashU Employees’. These actionable steps can help improve the physical and mental health of employees. You can view all 8ight Ways to Wellness, with particular emphasis on #5 – Use mindfulness and other healthy ways to lower stress.

UnitedHealthcare Behavioral Health Benefit & Nurse Advocate

UnitedHealthcare (UHC) offers its members 24/7 support for various behavioral health needs, including counseling, medication management and substance abuse recovery services. To learn more about this benefit, contact WashU’s dedicated UHC Nurse Advocate, who provides confidential assistance to all WashU employees or their dependents. She can also help you navigate UHC’s resources and locate a mental health provider.

Move into Mindfulness

Reduce stress, increase focus and develop practical coping skills through WashU’s signature mindfulness programs, including Mind-Body Stress Reduction (MBSR) series, mindfulness drop-in sessions, Healing Ourselves series and the on-demand mindfulness audio library.

WashU Psychiatry

Schedule a mental health appointment with WashU’s Department of Psychiatry, a team of psychiatrists and therapists dedicated to employees and dependents enrolled in a WashU medical plan. WashU therapists take a goal-oriented, actionable approach to assist with various social, emotional, or behavioral challenges you or your family member may be facing. Some of the typical presenting struggles employees or dependents may seek therapy for include chronic or situational stress, anxiety, depression, persistent relationship conflicts or unhealthy behaviors you would like to change.

Please note: This therapy program is designed to be short-term in nature and many people find therapeutic benefit in around six to 16 sessions. Your provider will check in periodically regarding your progress and the potential need for a referral to a long-term community provider. On or around session 12, your therapist will collaborate closely with you to find a long-term therapy provider.

Work-Life & Family Care Hub

Knowing that family members are safe and well-cared for is the cornerstone of a healthy work-life balance. WashU provides resources for children and older adult or dependent adults, as well as mental health resources for caregivers, children and older adults. Learn more by visiting the Work-Life & Family Care hub.

Express Scripts

Employees enrolled in a WashU medical plan have prescription drug benefits administered by Express Scripts, including home delivery of maintenance prescription medications at a reduced cost.

Work-Life Solutions

The university’s employee assistance program (EAP), Work-Life Solutions, offers free, confidential resources for employees and household members at no cost, for every aspect of your life. This can include counseling or concierge services, which can help you with tasks like finding pet care, planning an event and much more.

Spaces to Pause on Campus

WashU offers a variety of on-campus spaces where employees can take time to pause and enjoy a moment of quiet. Utilize one of these WashU spaces for prayer, meditation or reflection.

The Resource Newsletter

The Office of Human Resources sends a monthly newsletter full of well-being information and updates. Check your inbox each month and read past editions of the Resource online.

Employee Affinity Groups

Education and Engagement provides support for several staff and faculty Affinity groups. These groups, which are led by volunteer staff and faculty leaders, offer a space for members to connect and find community. They are self-governed and their leaders work to promote diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives that aim to positively impact the WashU community’s culture and climate.

All employees (regardless of campus affiliation) are welcome to explore Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Allyship & Social Justice (IDEAS) at the Department of Medicine.

Managers Support Employee Health

As a manager, one of your responsibilities is to take care of your staff’s well-being. At WashU, we offer a wide range of resources that can help your employees manage stress, balance work and personal life and take care of their own and their family’s health. It’s important that you familiarize yourself with the resources in this toolkit so that you can support your employees in accessing the help they need.

Thrive tip: Visit the WashU HR Well-Being Hub to view additional resources to support you and your family’s mental health and emotional well-being.