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Employee assistance program continues to offer personal, workplace support to employees | Nebraska Today

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln Employee Assistance Program offers a variety of free services for college employees who struggle with issues such as work stress and mental health.

This fall, the program offers three classes on parenting, marriage and professional development in addition to regular services. Regular services include mental health, workplace stress support, management consultation, cancer support, trauma debriefing, and the employee emergency fund.

“We support work-related and personal issues,” said Kyla Gorji, director of the Employee Assistance Program. “Workplace issues can be work stress, conflict with someone else, or how to have a conversation with my supervisor. The personal problems range from depression, anxiety and sadness. Managing stress alone can be a similar or mild version of these concerns. We also provide support for other mental health issues such as addiction, eating disorders, coping relationship or marital problems, or coping with a medical condition.”

Employees with these and other issues can make an appointment with one of the two full-time counselors, Gorji and Valerie Jones.

The program is open to all university staff and appointments are available via telehealth or in person from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Employees can take five hours of administrative leave for: EAP visit if they choose.

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To make an appointment, employees can call 402-472-3107 or 888-445-9881, or send an email to [email protected]

Employees can visit one of two full-time counselors, namely Gorji and Valerie Jones. Gorji and Jones will help guide patients through their struggles and will typically give five to eight appointments as they work on a solution. They can refer for those who need long-term care.

Outside of individual guidance, employees can make use of the additional services EAP offers.

In 2019, for example, they opened their relaxation area “Find Your Calm, Restore Your Zenergy”.

The space opened in 2019 to help employees learn methods to reduce stress and anxiety. 15-minute appointments can be scheduled at any time to make use of the space, which is equipped with comfort items and a screen equipped with guided meditations.

“Patients can learn some meditation skills and relaxation strategies just by watching videos and being in a quiet space,” Gorji said. “It’s not intimidating at all. It’s about learning mindfulness and it’s a good strategy for reducing anxiety. Mindfulness is important for mental health and people hear a lot about it but don’t understand exactly what it means. So this is an easy way to learn it.”

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Another additional service that has helped employees is the Emergency Fund for Employees.

The fund is available for employees who are in financial need and need immediate help.

Employees can borrow up to $1,000 and repay the loan interest-free through payroll deductions over the course of a calendar year. Employees must apply for the loan, which is reviewed by a committee and maintained by EAP.

General, EAP is available to support employees with the challenges life can bring them. More information, tips and tools can be found on the program website.

“We encourage any employee who is struggling to seek help,” says Gorji. “It can be as simple as a phone call or an email”

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