Worried about getting sick with COVID-19 or helping loved ones stay safe and healthy? Or perhaps financial or parenting concerns related to the virus or its associated social distancing requirements are keeping you up at night? Whatever the specifics, you can find professional, always available emotional and practical assistance through Johns Hopkins' mySupport program.
As always, throughout the coronavirus pandemic mySupport counselors are available to faculty, staff, and their household family members at 443-997-7000 (select option #2) 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to assist with emotional support and daily life assistance.
"With the peak of the COVID-19 crisis approaching, mental health and wellness resources like the ones mySupport provides are more important than ever as our employees begin to shift out of a crisis response phase into a coping phase," says April Floyd, senior director of Benefits & Worklife. "We're here to help you cope with COVID by providing licensed clinicians, crisis response services, and lots of resources."
In addition to in-the-moment telephonic assistance and televideo sessions, mySupport has established an online COVID-19 resource center that can help you tackle some of the many challenges associated with the coronavirus pandemic.
Some of what you'll find through the resource center:
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) Preparedness Guide, with links to national health and emotional support resources, as well as to grocery and meal delivery apps, and information about prescription delivery, financial assistance, temporary housing, and fitness and health.
- Coping with COVID-19 webinar series, covering topics such as staying calm, overcoming parenting challenges, staying connected, and relieving stress.
- Resources for parents and children, with webinars about meeting parenting challenges and helping children cope with coronavirus worries, videos for children on mindful living and staying healthy, and more.
- Advice for staying connected while social distancing, including guidance on overcoming loneliness, staying connected with older adults, and even social media etiquette.
- Self-care resources, with tips on improving sleep and nutrition and living mindfully.
- Mental health resources, including information about the signs of mental illness, online assessments for anxiety and depression, and a link to PsychHub's COVID-19 Mental Health Resource hub.
- Help with grief and loss, with a podcast and infographic on grieving while staying at home.
The resource center also includes guidance for medical staff and caregivers and for those dealing with workplace changes, such as working from home, losing a job, or managing teams remotely.
Need more support?
If you're in need of more help, mySupport offers referrals to licensed clinicians in the community for you and your household family members for up to five visits per concern. mySupport also provides sessions with the mySupport Onsite Clinical Team (formerly the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program, or FASAP), which is made up of licensed clinicians who are also Johns Hopkins employees. You can request an appointment online or can call 443-997-7000 (select option #2) and ask to be transferred to the Onsite Clinical Team.
"mySupport onsite clinicians understand the particular challenges affecting the Johns Hopkins community during the COVID-19 crisis," says Frances Callahan, assistant director for mySupport. "They also understand how COVID-related concerns can complicate existing mental health problems, relationship difficulties, and grief and loss. The Onsite Clinical Team is ready to provide confidential, compassionate support to employees and their family members, no matter the reason for distress." Because of COVID-19, sessions are currently being conducted by televideo or telephone.
Help for managers
Managers can also turn to mySupport for concerns about employees who report to them, including consultation with a mySupport clinician for professional guidance on how to proceed. To consult a mySupport onsite clinician, call 443-997-7000 (select option #2), 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. When you call, be sure to clarify that you're a supervisor wishing to consult about an employee concern. Managers also can refer employees directly to mySupport by having them call 443-997-7000 (select option #2) or fill out a form to request an appointment.
For teamwide help, mySupport offers crisis response services, available by televideo or telephone. Such services help managers provide an appropriate response to the COVID-19 crisis and other difficult workplace events. mySupport provides the following services:
- Consultations with managers and supervisors to plan a response to staff who are coping with this crisis
- Staff briefings and tips for coping
- Small group interventions
- Virtual outreach to provide initial support and psychological first aid
- Same-day appointments for crisis victims
- Individual assessment and referral for emotional problems related to this crisis
- Virtual departmental briefings for supervisors and tips for supporting employees
- Resource materials for individuals impacted by this crisis
For more HR guidance regarding the novel coronavirus, including university policies; what to do if you are diagnosed with or exposed to COVID-19; and information about leave, child care, and travel, go to HR's coronavirus webpage. Additional pandemic information and resources for the JHU community can be found on the Hub's COVID-19 Information webpage.