EAP will start new groups this Fall
In the past, the EAP has hosted a Grief Support Group that has been very well received. Thus, we are in the process of forming one which will begin in the next few weeks. The group will be held at lunch time (noon-1:00) in the EAP office conference room at 419 West Redwood Street, Suite 560.
EAP counselors are determined to continually try and meet ever changing needs of the employees on campus. Thus, 2 new groups have been suggested:
Sleep Hygiene (which will include information about how to get better sleep. Better sleep has been connected with better mental and physical health. Come and meet with us to find ways to fall asleep faster, stay asleep through the night and awaken refreshed! Zzzzzz…)
Menopause Support (If you are experiencing symptoms related to menopause, please join us for this informative and supportive group!)
If you are interested in being part of the above listed groups, please contact Maureen McCarren at firstname.lastname@example.org to express your interest. You can also call her at 667.214.1560 for more information.
If you have other ideas for groups you would like to see hosted in the EAP, please let us know. We are here to serve you!
The city of Baltimore is experiencing a difficult time. In the aftermath of the funeral of Freddie Gray, violence and the destruction of property occurred in parts of the city. The media has been showing constant coverage of the events. It may feel like it is impossible to escape newscasts and stories and images of the event. Many of you may live in the affected area while others of us are deeply concerned.
We are saddened by the death of this young man. Many of us may feel confused, frightened and not quite sure how to respond.
During a time like this, normal reactions include different feelings, thoughts and behaviors:
Feelings may include: sadness, anger, anxiety, uncertainty, irritability, vulnerability, helplessness, shock and disbelief.
Thoughts – difficulty focusing, disbelief, overwhelmed, confusion, preoccupation, sense of uneasiness
Behaviors – difficulty sleeping, appetite disturbance (can’t eat or eat too much), absentmindedness, withdrawal, isolation, increased use of substances (alcohol or drugs) restlessness and crying.
What can I do to help my children?
Children are especially frightened when they see what is happening.
Monitor or discourage children from watching media coverage.
Allow them to voice their fears.
Assure them that you will keep them safe.
What can I do to help myself?
Sharing your feelings but limit discussions in which you give your opinion for not everyone may feel the same.
Be a compassionate listener
Identify positive stress relievers – i.e. exercise, prayer, volunteering, etc.
Disconnect or limit media exposure about the disturbance for a time
In situations like this, the number one priority is safety for you and your family. If possible, avoid all areas where the disturbances are taking place. Here are some basic safety tips:
• Stay calm and keep your emotions in check
• Avoid confrontation
• Walk slowly and move away from the crowd as soon as you can
• Move to a safe, enclosed area whenever you are able
• If you live in an area where there is a disturbance, keep away from windows and doors and lock them
• If at all possible, plan an escape from the area
Remember your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available to you. Experienced counselors can offer support and structure to help individuals and groups talk about the issues. Feel free to call us at 667.214.1555 to schedule an appointment.
CASH is a non-profit association that helps low income tax filers with their tax returns. CASH stands for “Creating Assets, Savings and Hope.” It was founded in 2001 to help file tax returns and to offer financial advice. Volunteers are located at community centers and churches around Baltimore. Please go to www.bmorefreetaxes.org for more information.
Did you know the EAP provides mediation services?
If two employees are having trouble working together, the EAP might be able to help. Both employees can be referred (or refer themselves) to the EAP for Mediation Services. Different counselors would meet one-on-one with each employee. Then, the employees and the counselors will all meet to talk about problems and solutions. Often, these meetings are only needed one time, but can span a period of time to monitor progress and use the meetings as a forum to talk about other issues that might arise. Many times, misunderstandings have been resolved, new relationships have been formed and productivity has risen. Work doesn’t have to be something you dread. It can be a place you look forward to going to and feel accomplished as you and your team work together toward a common goal.
More and more research is coming out that the use of electronics near bedtime can interfere with sleep. Light is considered one of the strongest factors affecting the body’s circadian clock, which regulates the sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin is suppose to be highest at night to help induce sleep. However, light can suppress melatonin and thus, disrupt the body’s circadian cycle.
So, if you are having trouble sleeping, monitor your use of anything with a light emitting screen: TV, lap top, cell phone, electronic reading device, etc. The brighter the light and the closer you hold it to your eyes (as we are apt to do with cell phones) the more potentially disruptive the light can be to your whole system.
A poor night’s sleep can affect everything the next day: your mood, your focus, your energy. Do yourself a favor and leave at least 1-2 hours before bedtime free from electronics. Give yourself a few days to see if your melatonin begins to kick back into gear and you have better sleep.
For other self-care tips, please visit the EAP and let a counselor assist you in some new ideas that are customized for YOU. Make 2015 the year you finally achieve this New Year’s Resolution!
The EAP will be hosting an Anger Management class beginning next week.
It will be taught in a class-like format so you can learn how your background and family experiences taught you about anger. The class will give you ideas of different ways to control and express your anger.
The class will be small, no more than 10 people, and will be non-judgmental. We are all here to learn. The class will be held at noon on Tuesdays.
If you, or someone you know, could benefit from anger management, call the EAP now to reserve your spot in the class – 667.214-1561 (Counselor, Sue Walker)
Or email sue at email@example.com
Many employees have had someone close to them die. Sometimes it is difficult to move through the grief process alone. The EAP would like to offer extra support to those who find they need that. The EAP will be holding a new Grief Support Group on Mondays during lunchtime. The group meetings will begin October 27 and end on December 29th, 2014. They will be held noon-1:00 in suite 580 of the Professional Building, 419 West Redwood Street. Please call our new EAP number to sign up-667.214.1555, or to ask any questions.
The EAP, as much of the campus, has updated its’ phone system and has new phone numbers. The main number is 667.214.1555. All counselors also have new phone numbers. The old numbers will continue to work till next year, but you can start using the new numbers now. Give us a call!
Baltimore now has its own casino very close to campus. Most people will go there for entertainment, but some will feel a NEED to go. What is the difference? Do you, or someone you love, have a problem?
Maryland Problem Gambling
If you think you or someone you care about has a gambling problem call our confidential, 24/7 Helpline at: 1-800-522-4700. Specialists in problem gambling are there to assist you in finding local resources. Helpline services are available in over 100 languages with the use of ATT language line. TTY services are also available to all callers. Or, go to the website at www.mdproblemgambling.com.
What Is Problem Gambling?
Problem gambling is any gambling, betting or wagering that causes family, financial, legal, emotional or other problems for the gambler, their family or others. Gambling problems can be mild or quite severe and can worsen over time.
Also known as compulsive gambling or pathological gambling and first recognized by the American Psychiatric Association as an impulse control disorder in 1980 as a result of the pioneering work of Robert Custer M.D. Pathological gambling is classified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, fourth edition (DSM IV), published by the American Psychiatric Association.
Problem Gambling Warning Signs
- Gambling more frequently or for longer than intended
- Lying about where money goes
- Declining work or school performance
- Borrowing money in order to gamble
- Increasing preoccupation with gambling
- Distancing or isolating from family or friends
- Unable to pay bills or cover expenses
- Chasing losses, or returning the next day to win back what was lost
- Have you committed or considered committing a crime to finance your gambling
- Have you made repeated unsuccessful efforts to control or stop your gambling
Help is Available
Call the Helpline 1-800-522-4700 and speak with someone who can get you to the help you may need.
- All calls are free
- All calls are confidential
- Call anytime, 24 hours a day
Effects of Problem Gambling
- Problem gamblers may resort to crimes to pay gambling debts, or to keep gambling. Often non-violent, or “white collar” crimes such as bad checks, forgery, credit card fraud, theft, embezzlement or tax related crimes.
- Major depression is one of the most common co-occurring disorders among problem gamblers presenting for care at up to 70%.
- Problem gamblers who present for care have one of the highest suicide attempt rate among the addictions. Two of every ten gamblers or over 20% have made a serious suicide attempt.
- Children of problem gamblers may be victims of abuse and neglect as a result of their parents’ gambling.
- Studies also indicate adolescents whose parents gamble too much have higher rates of gambling and other high risk behaviors.
Source: National Council on Problem Gambling
Friends, family members, even celebrities can all suffer from depression. It is a common mental health condition that affects nearly 10% of people in the United States. It is a treatable medical condition, not a personal weakness. If left untreated it can lead to other health problems and if severe enough, even suicide.
Depression can be caused by many different things. Some people are grieving over the loss of a loved one or a major life change. Others have physical or other emotional problems contributing to depression. Side effects of medication can also be to blame. Depression seems to run in families. The symptoms include sadness, hopelessness, irritability, feelings of guilt, crying spells, trouble sleeping and/or eating, inability to feel joy, loss of interest in things that used to bring happiness which can include hobbies, family or even sex.
People who do not understand depression think it is a “weakness” that the person just needs to “get over.” It is not a weakness. Treatment through counseling can be extremely helpful. Sometimes anti-depressants are also added to the treatment plan. Generally, the combination of both, talk therapy and medication are the winning combination for many people to help lift them from their depressive states. If someone is suicidal, take that person to the emergency room immediately. People can also access the EAP to be screened for depression and get connected to the right treatment providers for them. There are many things that can be done to help people who are suffering from depression so they can lead happy, productive lives.