May 2, 2019

May is Mental Health Month; employees, dependents have many resources within reach

Mental health badge

Since 1949, May has been recognized annually in the United States as Mental Health Month to raise awareness and celebrate mental health.

“As we continue to bring overall health and wellness resources and tools to the University, it’s important to remember that mental health is essential to overall health and well-being,” says Candace Shaffer, director of benefits in Human Resources. “Following open enrollment last fall, survey results relayed that our employees wanted and needed additional mental health support, and we responded. Our Healthy Boiler Program -- focused on promoting overall health and wellness within the Purdue community -- champions the opportunities we have available in terms of mental and behavioral wellness, and we plan to continue to add offerings as able to support the mental health and well-being of our most important university assets, our employees.”

With that in mind, in recognition of Mental Health Month, Human Resources - Benefits reminds its employees of the mental health resources available to employees.

Resources available for employees, dependents

* myStrength

Introduced in the April issue of the Healthy Boiler Newsletter, myStrength is the newest mental health tool available to all employees and dependents, regardless of whether or not they are on a Purdue medical plan. The no-cost, emotional health and well-being program courtesy of Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Purdue’s medical plan administrator, is referred to as a digital “health club for the mind.” The program’s tools and resources are available to help manage things that can affect mental health such as: 

  • Anxiety. 
  • Chronic pain.
  • Depression
  • Problems with sleep.
  • Stress. 
  • Substance abuse. 

The program allows each person the ability to craft his or her own unique mental health portal focusing on individual needs and wants regarding their mental health. Accessible online and via the myStrength app, individuals have secure, private support at home and on the go.

* Employee assistance counseling 

Available through the Center for Healthy Living on Purdue’s West Lafayette campus, employee assistance counseling is available to all benefits-eligible faculty and staff as well as dependents covered on a Purdue medical plan. Appointments with the employee assistance counselors (Nancy Cook and Amanda Douglas) are available in person and via telephone, making it possible for employees -- including those who work at Purdue’s regional campuses as well as remotely -- to use the services.

Employee assistance counseling provides free, confidential and individualized problem assessments followed by a plan of action developed between the counselor and individual. If ongoing services or treatment is deemed necessary following the six times employees are able to meet with a center counselor, they may be referred to a provider covered by one of the  Purdue medical plans or to a local resources agency. Behavioral Health referral information for all campus locations (West Lafayette, Fort Wayne and Northwest -- Hammond and Westville) is also available via the Who To Call /Where To Go webpage. 

Employees seeking assistance managing their medications can meet with one of the center’s pharmacists in person or via telephone to help figure out the best outcomes based on an individual’s specific needs and wants related to medications.

* LiveHealth Online Psychology, Psychiatry  

LiveHealth Online Psychology provides individuals the ability to talk face-to-face via a computer or mobile device with a licensed psychologist from the convenience of their home, office, car or wherever is most convenient. In addition to the LiveHealth Online psychology option, LiveHealth also offers LiveHealth Online Psychiatry, where, like the medication therapy management services via the Center for Healthy Living, individuals can receive medication management support for common behavioral health conditions such as major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder and anxiety.

* Mental Health America

Purdue employees at the West Lafayette, Fort Wayne and Northwest campuses have local access to Mental Health America services. The organization is dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and to promoting the overall mental health of all Americans. Its work is driven by their commitment to promote mental health as a critical part of overall wellness, including prevention services for all, early identification and intervention for those at risk, integrated care, services and supports for those who need it, with recovery as the goal.

Mental Health America affiliates provide mental health support services, educational programs and more.

  • Mental Health America; Wabash Valley Region – Lafayette, Indiana
    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 America of Northwest Indiana - Hammond, Indiana   
  • Mental Health America of Northeast Indiana – Fort Wayne, Indiana

* Purdue Extension – serving each of the 92 counties in Indiana – has a team of certified facilitators of Mental Health First Aid who are able to bring this important, lifesaving course to your campus community, organization or department.

Mental Health First Aid is an eight-hour training to teach participants how to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis.

To learn more or to schedule a Mental Health First Aid course, visit and search “Mental Health First Aid.”

Also, keep in mind that a primary care provider -- physician or nurse practitioner – can make mental health referrals as part of a patient’s annual physical. Not only can they receive the needed mental health help, benefits-eligible employees and covered spouses can earn Healthy Boiler incentives for having their physical and biometrics screening completed. See the “Get a free physical, earn Healthy Boiler incentive” for details.


Any questions regarding benefits coverage and / or mental health resources available to faculty, staff and dependents, can be directed to Human Resources at, HRHelp (secure email) or by phone at 765-494-2222 and toll-free at 877-725-0222.

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