Employee assistance counseling, other resources can help manage COVID-19 stress, anxiety

And just like that, our regular, routine worlds were turned upside down. Causing, as you can imagine, new and / or increased stress and anxiety among millions of people as news regarding COVID-19 inundates individuals around the globe. In line with the Healthy Boiler Program’s behavioral health pillar, Purdue University understands that raising awareness about and ensuring resources are readily available regarding mental health needs is an every-day necessity, even more so in today’s environment.

“Mental health resources continue to be one of the most sought after needs of the Purdue community, based on feedback received from employees,” said Candace Shaffer, senior director of benefits in Human Resources. “And naturally, now as we all navigate through and adjust to an unknown new normal, the need for mental health resources increases even more. As a reminder, in addition to the community resources available, the University has its own options for our Purdue community members to access and utilize. We are trying to share as many combined resources as possible on the Human Resources COVID-19 website to alleviate any source from becoming overwhelmed as well as to ensure our employees know where the information is located. We will continue to add resources as we are able. Don’t forget, if at any time you feel like your mental health -- or a co-worker’s mental health – is being pushed to the limits and you need help, you can address your concerns with your supervisor and / or utilize the resources the University and community have available to you.”

University resources

The following options are either free of charge or covered under your Purdue health plan.

  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP) -- available on all Purdue campuses.
    • Fort Wayne campus
      Purdue Fort Wayne’s employee assistance program is available through the Bowen Center. Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the Bowen Center can be reached at 800-342-5653. For details on the employee assistance program at PFW, visit the Assistance for You and Your Family web page.

    • Northwest (Hammond and Westville) campuses
      New Avenues, Purdue Northwest’s employee assistance provider, offers face-to-face and online support services. In an emergency, a New Avenues’ care manager is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 800-731-6501. For more information on the employee assistance program at PNW, visit the Employee Assistance Program web page.
    • West Lafayette 
      Employee assistance counseling – available at the Center for Healthy Living (CHL) – offers employees confidential and professional counseling and referral services for a wide range of issues including stress, anxiety, depression, relationships, grief, drug/alcohol assessments and more.
  • LiveHealth Online Psychology and LiveHealth Online Psychiatry – courtesy of Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Purdue’s medical plan administrator – provides online access to psychologists and medication management support for common behavioral conditions such as major depressive disorder, anxiety and bipolar disorder
  • myStrength – a no-cost, emotional health and well-being program brought to you by Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Purdue’s medical plan administrator – referred to as a digital “health club for the mind,” is an online mental health tool that is available to all employees and dependents. myStrength offer In an effort to provide more support for dealing with COVID-19, myStrength has launched new resources – with more coming soon. Once logged in, learn strategies for coping with stress via myStrength’s new COVID-19 resources.
  • Smarter Healthcare – this Benefits/Wellness web page includes a “Places to Go – Referrals” section, which provides locations for services including behavioral health for all Purdue campus locations: West Lafayette, Fort Wayne and Northwest.

  • Mental Health First Aid – Purdue Extension has a team of certified facilitators of Mental Health First Aid (an eight-hour training to teach participants how to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis) who are able to bring this important, lifesaving course to your campus community, organization or department.
  • Purdue Psychology Treatment and Research Clinics – a part of the College of Health and Human Sciences, the specialty clinics offer assessment and therapeutic services for children, adults and families.

Community resources

Additionally, employees have access to many community resources that also focus on mental health, including:

  • National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) – the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization educates, advocates, listens and leads to help build better lives for those affected by mental illness.
  • NAMI Helpline can be reached at 800-950-NAMI (6264), Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET or email info@nami.org.
  • Crisis Text Line can be reached by texting “NAMI” to 741741 – 24/7-crisis support via text message.
  • Crisis Center Hotline can be reached via 765-742-0244 (call or text) or toll-free at 877-419-1632 for any problem at any time.

  • Mental Health Screening Tools also are available via Mental Health America. 

More information

Information regarding mental health resources is available on the HR “Working through COVID-19” website’s “Stress / Mental Health Resources” web page. Any questions can be directed to Human Resources at 765-494-2222, toll free at 877-725-0222 or via email at hr@purdue.edu.