BENEFITS

Johns Hopkins launches 24/7 expanded employee assistance program

mySupport provides quick access to everything from lawn care services to emotional support groups

Ayzha Corbett

Image caption: Ayzha Corbett

Image credit: Will Kirk / Johns Hopkins University

With a background in psychology, administration, and counseling, Ayzha Corbett is a proponent of seeing each employee in an organization as "a whole person."

"Everyone comes to work with a metaphorical suitcase of challenges and concerns," she says. "Some people keep that suitcase packed up tight, and some people need help in order to be successful at work and content in their daily life."

Corbett, previously an executive specialist in Human Resources, is bringing her philosophy and her compassion to a new role as EAP manager, overseeing an expanded employee assistance program that kicked off April 1. Through mySupport, university and health system faculty and staff can access both free resources and services for hire—from immediate care for critical situations to a helping hand with daily life responsibilities as common as pet sitting or financial planning.

"It's not just responding to emotional challenges. We want to make life easier for our employees."
Ayzha Corbett
Employee Assistance Program manager

The phone line—443-997-7000—is answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

This expansion was driven by a desire to offer more counseling options, Corbett says. Employees and their household and family members now have access to an expanded network of 60,000 counselors located around the country and new televideo options. In addition, employees and their household members will continue to have access to Johns Hopkins' on-site clinical team members on several campuses.

The expansion will offer greater access to employees who are in other parts of the United States and working internationally, as well as those who would rather see a counselor closer to home than a clinician on a Hopkins campus.

Employees will receive up to five sessions at no cost.

In addition, mySupport is bringing together a variety of helpful services to ease the daily life stressors individuals face. Using the same phone number, they can access:

  • Verified referrals for daily life assistance, such as child care and elder care, connections to support groups, and emergency services such as food pantries or heat assistance, among other options
  • Recommendations for convenience services, including things like pet care, lawn care, and home cleaning
  • Legal or financial guidance (including free initial consultations) from qualified professionals on topics such as budgeting, credit, estate planning, and more
  • Identity theft consultations and directions to resources

"Hopkins does already offer robust worklife services, and we are hoping to expand them while making one access point for users," Corbett says. "It's not just responding to emotional challenges. We want to make life easier for our employees."

In an email to employees, Heidi Conway, vice president for human resources for Johns Hopkins University, and Inez Stewart, senior vice president of human resources for Johns Hopkins Medicine, said that they hope faculty and staff will know to reach out to mySupport for all kinds of assistance.

"We recognize the tremendous work you do to make Johns Hopkins a thriving place for learning, research, patient care, and community service," they wrote. "As we strive to do our best at work and in our lives outside of Hopkins, we can all use some extra support at times."

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