Continuing the Conversation on Race: Join Valencia’s Optum EAP Discussion Sessions

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

A Message from Tom KellerDirector, Total Rewards

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of employees have engaged in a heartfelt, spirited email discussion on racial inequality in the United States. To continue those discussions, as well as provide support for employees who may be experiencing overwhelming feelings of grief, anxiety or anger, here are some resources available available to help.

Optum EAP Virtual Group Discussion
In conjunction with Optum, our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provider, Valencia is hosting two virtual EAP dialogue sessions led by one of Optum’s licensed counselors. All Valencia faculty and staff are invited to these informal group discussion sessions. During these sessions, the Optum counselor will invite participants to communicate their thoughts about the current conversation on race with the group. Coping, stress management and self-care techniques will also be shared by the counselor.

Join the discussion at one of the times below:

Date:  Thursday, June 25, 2020
Time:  1 – 2 p.m.
Location: Zoom

Date:  Wednesday, July 1, 2020
Time:  9 – 10 a.m.
Location: Zoom

Optum Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
If you’re unable to join one of the virtual sessions or would like to talk to a counselor one-on-one, Optum also offers counseling opportunities through Valencia benefits and their own free, public emotional support help line.

For full-time employees, Valencia College’s Optum Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available to you, your dependents, and members of your household to help you cope with these types of life events. Call 866-248-4094 (24 hours a day, 365 days a year) and use the access code: Valencia. You may also log on to and use the access code: Valencia. Optum EAP provides confidential, short-term counseling at no cost to the employee.

For part-time employees, Optum is offering a free emotional support help line. This help line will provide those affected access to specially trained mental health specialists. Optum’s public toll-free help line number, 866-342-6892, will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for as long as necessary. This service is free of charge and open to anyone. Specially trained Optum mental health specialists help people manage their stress and anxiety so they can continue to address their everyday needs. Callers may also receive referrals to community resources to help them with specific concerns, including financial and legal matters.

Virtual PJI Circles
Additionally, don’t forget about the Peace and Justice Institute (PJI) Virtual PJI Circles, designed to build resilience within and among us. These safe spaces are created to remove blaming and shaming and to welcome honest, open sharing of personal experiences, struggles and triumphs.

Circles are offered weekly on the following days and times:

  • Tuesdays, 12 – 1:15 p.m.
  • Wednesdays, 4 – 5:15 p.m.
  • Thursdays, 7 – 8:15 p.m.
  • Fridays, 10 – 11:15 a.m.

To register for a circle, click here.


  • April Montallana said:

    Thank you for these offerings.

    PMTue, 23 Jun 2020 16:12:37 +0000Tue, 23 Jun 2020 16:12:37 +0000pm20,4:12 pm

    • Tom Keller said:

      April, you're welcome! I hope you'll be able to join for one of the sessions.

      PMTue, 23 Jun 2020 17:15:31 +0000Tue, 23 Jun 2020 17:15:31 +0000pm20,5:15 pm

  • Mel said:

    Will Optum, offer anymore Zoom sessions?

    PMMon, 06 Jul 2020 14:24:55 +0000Mon, 06 Jul 2020 14:24:55 +0000pm20,2:24 pm

    • Tom Keller said:

      Mel, at this time, we do not have any additional sessions planned. If we do schedule more in the future, we will promote those in The Grove and The Juice. I invite you to explore the Optum Employee Assistance Program (EAP) resources mentioned in the article.

      PMMon, 06 Jul 2020 20:39:13 +0000Mon, 06 Jul 2020 20:39:13 +0000pm20,8:39 pm

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