The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Employee Assistance Program offers a range of free services to university employees struggling with issues such as job stress and mental health.
This fall, the program is offering three courses on parenting, marriage and professional development, in addition to its regular services. Regular services include mental health counselling, work stress support, management counselling, cancer support, trauma debriefing and the employee emergency loan fund.
“We support work and personal issues,” said Kyla Gorji, director of the employee assistance program. “Workplace issues can be stress at work, conflict with someone else, or how to have a conversation with my supervisor. Personal issues range from depression to anxiety and grief. Simply coping with stress can be similar or a lessened version of these concerns. We also provide support for other mental health issues such as substance abuse, eating disorders, coping or marital issues or managing a medical illness.
Employees facing these and other challenges can schedule an appointment with one of two full-time counsellors, Gorji and Valerie Jones.
The program is open to all university employees and appointments are available via telehealth or in person from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Employees can use five hours of administrative leave to EAP visits if they choose to do so.
To schedule an appointment, employees can call 402-472-3107 or 888-445-9881, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Employees can meet with one of two full-time advisors, who are Gorji and Valerie Jones. Gorji and Jones will help guide patients through their difficulties and will typically provide five to eight appointments while they work toward a resolution. For those in need of longer term care, they are able to provide referrals.
Apart from individual advice, employees can take advantage of additional services EAP provides.
For example, in 2019 they opened their “Find Your Calm, Restore Your Zenergy” relaxation room.
The room was opened in 2019 to help employees learn methods to reduce stress and anxiety. Fifteen-minute appointments can be scheduled at any time to use the room, which is equipped with comfort items and a screen equipped with guided meditations.
“Patients can learn meditation techniques and relaxation strategies just by watching videos and being in a quiet space,” Gorji said. “It’s not intimidating at all. It’s about learning mindfulness and it’s a good strategy for reducing anxiety. Mindfulness is important for mental health and people hear a lot about it, but they don’t really understand what it might entail. So it’s a simple way to learn it.
Another additional service that has helped employees is the employee emergency loan fund.
The fund is available for employees who encounter financial emergencies and need immediate assistance.
Employees can borrow up to $1,000 and repay the loan interest-free through payroll deduction within a calendar year. Employees must apply for the loan which is reviewed by a committee and managed by EAP.
Globally, EAP is available to support employees through whatever challenges life may throw at them. You can find more information, tips and tools by visiting the program website.
“We encourage any employee who is struggling to seek help,” Gorji said. “It can be as simple as a phone call or an email”