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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 – its essential to your overall health and quality of life.

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

At WashU, we care about you and want to make sure you know about the resources available to help you thrive and navigate life’s challenges. In addition to your physical and financial well-being, take time to care for yourself or a loved one’s emotional well-being. By removing the stigma and taking away the barriers to treatment, Mental Health Awareness Month serves as a reminder that help is 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 present ‘8ight Ways to Wellness for WashU Employees’, actionable steps that contribute to good mental and physical health. View all 8ight Ways to Wellness, particularly #5 – Use mindfulness and other healthy ways to lower stress.
  • UnitedHealthcare Behavioral Health Benefit | UnitedHealthcare (UHC) members can access 24/7 support for a range of needs, including counseling, medication management and substance abuse recovery services. Learn more about this behavioral health benefit. For assistance in navigating UHC resources or locating a mental health provider, contact WashU’s dedicated UHC Nurse Advocate, who provides confidential assistance for all WashU employees or their dependents.
  • 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, the Healing Ourselves series and the 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. Join faculty from the Department of Psychiatry for two webinars to learn how to support the well-being of our community:
  • Work-Life & Family Care hub | WashU provides resources for children and older / 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. View details of the Express Scripts Home Delivery benefit (PDF).
  • 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, to help you with things like finding pet care, planning an event and much more.
  • 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 provides a monthly newsletter that includes well-being information and updates. Check your inboxes each month, and read past editions of the Resource online.
  • Employee Affinity Groups | Education and Engagement supports several staff and faculty Affinity groups at WashU as a source for employees to build connections and find community. These groups are self-governed and led by volunteer staff and faculty leaders that support diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts that shift the culture and climate of the WashU community.
  • Managers support employee health | Taking care of your staff’s well-being is an important part of your job as a manager. Review this toolkit to familiarize yourself with resources that can help your employees cope with stress, manage their work/life balance and take care of themselves and their household members.

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.