By Keisha Pittman
TSEA Comp and Benefits Manager
This is a stressful and difficult time for state employees and the State of Tennessee as a whole. Fear and anxiety about COVID-19 and social distancing can be overwhelming. TSEA wants to make sure employees not only have information regarding safety and protection from the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) and TN Department of Health but also to make sure employees know the benefits of taking care of one’s mental health.
According to the CDC, we all react and handle stress differently. Stress can cause changes in our sleeping patterns and eating habits. It is important to know that the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) professional staff can assist during this stressful pandemic outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The CDC and National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommend the following coping strategies:
–Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
–Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate.
–Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep.
–Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
–Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
EAP services are available to all benefits-eligible employees and their eligible family members, even if they are not enrolled in medical insurance. EAP services are offered at no cost to those individuals eligible to participate. Get five (5) EAP visits, per problem, per year and per individual. Available in person or by a virtual visit.
Preauthorization is required to utilize your Employee Assistance Program. Simply call 855.437.3486 or go to Here4TN.com to obtain your preauthorization. If you prefer to access services over the phone, in person or by virtual visit counseling is available.