By Gayle Robb
TSEA Comp & Benefits Assistant
This is a stressful and difficult time for state employees and the State of Tennessee as a whole. COVID-19 has brought many changes to how we live our life, changes in daily routines, financial pressure and social isolation.
The global pandemic may likely continue well into 2021 and possibly beyond. Most of us just wish it would go away and that we could go back to life as we knew it, especially as we approach the holiday season. Feelings of social isolation and loneliness are on the rise. And along with it are feelings of anxiety and depression.
TSEA reached out to Benefits Administration for information and resources for state employees about pandemic anxiety and coping with worry, stress and fear. There is help available.
As a state employee, you have resources available to you to help you cope with all of life’s challenges, but especially during the pandemic, through your EAP program. For links to the below resources, or to learn more, visit www.Here4TN.com or call 855-Here4TN. Resources include:
1. Virtual Visits – you don’t have to see a provider in their office. You and your benefits-eligible dependents have access to five free virtual EAP visits. Virtual visits can also be utilized through your behavioral health benefit if you are enrolled in the state health plan.
2. Sanvello – an on-demand mobile app to help with stress, anxiety and depression. Connect with powerful tools that are there for you right as symptoms come up. As a State health plan participant, the premium Sanvello app is available to you at no extra cost as part of your benefits.
3. Talkspace – online therapy including text, audio and video within a secure app. With Talkspace online therapy, you can regularly communicate with a therapist safely and securely from your phone or desktop. Make continual progress at your pace. No in-person office visit required. Talkspace is available for both EAP and behavioral health visits. (EAP visits will require an authorization by calling 855-Here4TN or obtaining the authorization through Here4TN. com.)
4. Take Charge at Work – here to help working adults recognize and manage symptoms of stress and depression at work. The goal of the program is to help employees find better work-life balance, so they can get back to feeling productive and enjoying their lives. Call 855-Here4TN or visit www.Here4TN.com to take the assessment and see if you qualify.
5. Substance Use – when you use an Optum® substance use disorder (SUD) Preferred Provider for inpatient, residential or facility based ambulatory services such as intensive outpatient treatment, your costs will be waived as part of your State of Tennessee behavioral health benefits. Here4TN can connect you with a network SUD preferred provider. Call 855-Here4TN (855-437-3486).
Find more Coronavirus help and information on the Partners for Health website at tn.gov/PartnersForHealth.
Remember to follow the CDC guidelines of being safe by cleaning and disinfecting work areas, staying home when you are sick, washing hands frequently, social distancing and wearing a mask.
If you have any questions, please call TSEA Compensation & Benefits staff at 615-256-4533 or 800-251-8732.