Managing Smart: Supporting Employees and Students With Mental Health Resources

By Sally Leslie, Coordinator, Employee Development

It’s one thing to recognize our own challenges, and another to recognize challenges in others. As a supervisor, however, it’s imperative that you become familiar with the signs of mental health struggles. Mental health is a very real issue and can leave people feeling both emotionally and physically debilitated. While each person experiences emotional distress in a different way, some common indicators that you might observe include persistent sad or anxious moods, feelings of hopelessness, pessimism, guilt or worthlessness, excessive worrying, extreme fatigue, increased absenteeism, a lack of enthusiasm or withdrawal from activities.

Fortunately, at Valencia, we have resources available to help individuals overcome these symptoms and related mental health issues. As a supervisor, you may be able to help affected members on your team by encouraging them to reach out to one of the following resources:

  • The Employee Assistance Program (EAP): The EAP is an over-the-phone counseling service available 24/7 to full-time employees and their immediate household. These services may help employees navigate challenges like work/life balance, legal proceedings and financial woes. For more information on the services EAP offers and how employees can access this Total Reward, click here.
  • United Way 211: This is a community-based program that is available for everyone, including part-time employees. The program offers supportive resources including chat, phone calls and an online database designed to help individuals with crisis support, financial assistance and more. For more information on this program, click here.

For further information or assistance on what mental health resources Valencia offers employees, please reach out to Director of Total Rewards Tom Keller at tkeller8@valenciacollege.edu or 407-299-5000, extension 3888.

It’s also important that we monitor students we come into contact with for these same signs, particularly as academic-related stress can lead to or exasperate mental health conditions.

If you or a colleague recognize these symptoms within a student, consider inviting them to access the BayCare Student Assistance phone counseling services, which is available 24 hours a day. Students may not be aware that this free resource is available, so please be proactive in sharing the number for BayCare, which is 1-800-878-5470. Information about contacting BayCare is also listed on the back of our students’ ID cards. Furthermore, you may encourage students to visit with Valencia counselors.

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