Tuesday, April 14, 2020
A Message from Amy Bosley, Vice President, Organizational Development and Human Resources
Your health and safety continue to be our first priority, and I hope this message finds you and your family well. These times of uncertainty and rapid change can bring about a mix of feelings and emotions and, when layered with new work and school arrangements, can leave us reeling. Prioritizing your own mental health and wellness is one of the ways to deal constructively with all that we are managing (or trying to). Valencia provides the following resources to support your health and wellness.
Virtual PJI Circles
The Peace and Justice Institute (PJI) invites you to come together and connect through a metaphoric “circle” for building resilience within and among us during these trying times. Each one of us has a story to tell about how we are walking through these challenging days, so join one or more virtual circle and share you story. These safe spaces are created to remove blaming and shaming and to welcome honest, open sharing of our personal experiences, struggles and triumphs.
Circles will be 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.
Optum Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
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 www.liveandworkwell.com and use the access code: Valencia. Optum EAP provides confidential, short-term counseling at no cost to the employee. Optum EAP’s website offers many strategies to help you cope with the stress and challenges of COVID-19, including on-demand webinars and articles.
For part-time employees, Optum is offering a free emotional support help line for all people impacted. 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.
Finally, consider how your physical health may be impacting your mental health and invest time in exercise, meditation, yoga or other activities that help bring focus to your wellness. Valencia’s employee wellness partner, the YMCA of Central Florida, has developed a free virtual wellness center. You can enjoy online group exercise classes from Les Mills and the YMCA, ask their virtual chef a question, find healthy living recipes, get support with chaplain services, and much more.
I’ve also heard colleagues share apps that help with meditation, free-streaming yoga classes and other resources that are helping them keep their mental and physical health a priority. Have you found something that is helping you stay healthy and focused that you could share with others? Please share your recommendations in the comments below.