UW System Introduces Online Behavioral Health Tool

The University of Wisconsin System announced a new online behavioral health tool, SilverCloud, that offers self-guided programs for anxiety, depression, stress, insomnia, and resilience. The tool is now available to faculty, staff, and students at any time, on any device, and at no cost.

“While the behavioral health of our students, faculty, and staff has always been a high priority for the UW System, the current COVID-19 pandemic has put those needs into even sharper focus,” said UW System President Tommy Thompson. “We are working hard to find ways to provide these vital services to our UW community and this online tool is a great option.”

System experts have been broadly reviewing the behavioral health challenges facing students, the availability of existing services, and the need for additional services. The SilverCloud tool emerged as one of several strategies.

“The Board of Regents has made student behavioral health a top priority,” said Regent President Andrew S. Petersen. “We are pleased that SilverCloud will be available to our students, staff, and faculty during the upcoming academic year, and we look forward to additional recommendations from our campus and System experts.”

In April 2019, a UW System report showed a 55 percent increase in demand for behavioral health support since 2010. That report, in conjunction with other behavioral health indicators, led the System to create three work groups that focused on identifying solutions and approaches to mitigate the growing behavioral health needs of the UW community. One work group reviewed crisis management services for students at risk of suicide or self-harm. A second looked at targeted interventions for vulnerable student populations, including veterans, students of color, and LGBTQ+ students. A third studied ways to foster healthy learning environments. The UW System Board of Regents will receive an update on this work at its meeting in October.

Based on cognitive behavioral therapy principles, the SilverCloud self-guided program allows individuals to manage day-to-day stressors personally and anonymously using interactive content and skill-building tools.

Studies have shown that online cognitive behavioral therapy can provide an effective form of care for those who are highly motivated and experiencing mild to moderate symptoms. The program can supplement traditional therapy or campus mental health services, while some individuals may use it without seeing a counselor at all.

To sign up or find out more about the tool, visit: https://uwsystem.silvercloudhealth.com/signup

Source: UW System

Gratitude and Meditation in Times of Stress and Anxiety

STAYWELL PRESENTS WELL WISCONSIN RADIO

Monthly expert interviews on various health topics with professionals around the state!

Gratitude and Meditation in Times of Stress and Anxiety: A conversation with Robert McGrath

In this interview, we talk with Robert McGrath, a psychologist with UW-Madison’s University Health Services. Robert has expertise in Health Psychology, Living with Vitality and Resilience, and Mind/Body Wellness.

  • AUGUST 11th, 2020
  • NOON-12:30PM

Please note that you must attend live in order to be awarded credit toward your 2020 Well Wisconsin well-being activity.

A recording will be available after the event but will not count toward your well-being activity completion.

REGISTER HERE

Source: The StayWell Company, LLC

Are you ready for some BINGO?

Here is your wellness challenge for July!  Complete at least 20 of the 24 activities on the bingo card from July 1st to July 31st to qualify for a chance to win a prize!

  1. Click here and print out your bingo card
  2. Mark off each square and write the date you complete that item during the month of July
  3. Scan or take a photo of your bingo card and email it to wellness@uwgb.edu by August 10th

Stay healthy this summer! 

Join us for a real Snooze Fest

Take a moment to dream a little.

Of a life that lets you be the best possible you. You wake up energized each morning. You are using your many talents. You are accomplishing new things. You feel good about yourself, your health and your future.

Our program is designed to help make that dream a reality, and we are throwing a snooze fest to get you on your way! After all, while hard work is important in meeting your future goals—so is the time you spend snuggled under a blanket. Quality sleep is a must for recharging your mind and body. Virtually all of us could benefit from more of it.

Introducing the Sleep Challenge

  • Get seven hours of sleep on 21 nights during the month of July.
  • Learn how to make sleep a priority so you can get more of it.
  • Fulfill the well-being activity portion of your Well Wisconsin incentive*.

Is the Sleep Challenge for you?

Do any of these statements sound like you?

  • I sleep a lot, but I always feel tired anyway.
  • I’m a total insomniac. I’ve tried to sleep better but I can’t.
  • I may not sleep as much as I’d like, but I’m doing OK most days.
  • I sleep pretty well already. I’m not sure I need more.
  • I’m so busy keeping up with my family that I barely have time to sleep.

If you said Yes, then this competition is for you!

» Access the Sleep Challenge

*The Well Wisconsin incentive program is a voluntary program available to employees, retirees and spouses enrolled in the State of Wisconsin Group Health Insurance Program, excluding Medicare Advantage participants who have incentives available through their health plan. The Well Wisconsin incentive will automatically be issued to eligible participants upon completing the applicable activities. All wellness incentives paid to participants are considered taxable income to the group health plan subscriber and are reported to their employer, who will issue a W2. In some cases, the Wisconsin Retirement System acts as the employer. Retirees, continuants and their spouses will have some taxes withheld from the incentive amount earned.

465245      Copyright © 2020 The StayWell Company, LLC. StayWell is a registered trademark of The StayWell Company, LLC.

Managing Anxiety When Returning to Work

COVID-19 has challenged many people’s security and sense of control. Returning to work represents a return to normal, but it may not be without its own causes for anxiety. Finding a balance between your personal wellbeing and work environment and responsibilities is important. So, before and after your return to work, you should address any reservations related to COVID-19 that may affect your work duties.

Continue to follow the recommended measures to prevent spreading the virus. Take care of yourself and others by taking the necessary actions at work (washing your hands often, staying home if you’re sick, and maintaining social distancing), as well as in your daily interactions. If the kind of work you do needs additional precautions, discuss necessary changes, and follow the instructions from your manager.

Don’t be afraid to propose additional suggestions. If you find yourself coming up with more ideas outside of the recommended safety measures, bring those up to your manager. This is a time where everyone must adapt to a new way of doing things—at work and home. By becoming more involved, this can provide a refocus of your thoughts and put you in a more optimistic place during this transition. So, go ahead and suggest your ideas. These could be beneficial to your workplace and create an easier transition for the rest of your team.

Keep communication open with your manager. Do you have children or an elderly family member at home? Or, do you have health conditions that put you at greater risk for COVID-19 infection, disrupted childcare arrangements, or other concerns? Be honest with your manager if you need certain arrangements (working from home for longer or working in a solitary space away from other staff members). Even if your manager cannot accommodate your needs exactly, most will do what they can. When you create an open line of communication, you can keep your supervisor informed on your day-to-day, as well as alleviate any apprehensions you may have about your work situation.

Be patient with yourself and your coworkers. In the aftermath of a stressful or disruptive event, it is natural to move at a slower pace while you recover and adjust to new circumstances. If you have concerns that are keeping you from focusing on your work (anxiety about working in a shared space with other staff or fear over the spread of the virus), share these thoughts with your manager. They may be able to offer guidance or options for you. Keep in mind that returning to work from COVID-19 puts everyone in circumstances that are new and different. Give yourself some time to return to your former focus and full productivity. Be patient and trust that your team will find its old rhythm.

Take care of your mental health. Anxiety and fear are normal when you come back to work after a stressful event. If you realize that you are not able to manage these feelings, ask for help. There are various resources you can locate, including your employee assistance program (EAP) or additional professional support.

The above article is from our Employee Assistance Program, FEI.

Here are some other helpful resources from FEI:

Returning to the Work Site

In an upside-down world, sometimes good news can cause mixed feelings.

For instance, if you or a family member was furloughed, temporarily laid off, or asked to work from home in response to the COVID-19 epidemic, being asked to return to work can be great news—wrapped in fear. With a bow of anxiety on top.

That’s OK. That’s a normal reaction.

Make a Personal Plan

Some states are very slowly starting to reopen work sites, shops, schools, and public spaces. Venturing back into these spaces may cause feelings of fear, worry, and even anger.

It may help you to know that many other people share your anxiety. It’s a healthy response. Use it to motivate yourself to make a solid plan for returning to work. Here are some things you should know before creating your plan:

  • How COVID-19 is transmitted.
  • Basic infection prevention measures.
  • The signs and symptoms of infection.

Execute Your Plan

Now that you have some solid science-backed information, start your plan. The best plan is one that you create and feel you can execute. Below are some suggestions. You can rearrange, skip, or add items as you need or want to. This is your plan.

Make sure you continue to:

  • Exercise to reduce stress and boost your immune system.
  • Get enough sleep to help your body manage stress and boost your immune system.
  • Eat healthy to provide your body with the nutrients it needs to prevent infection.
  • Meditate to calm your mind for clear thinking and better focus.

Start working on:

  • Figuring out how you will ease back in to work—Create a calendar, step-by-step plan, or tactical report—it doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you have a plan.
  • Making household arrangements—Talk to family members about their concerns and expectations. Don’t wait until the day before to line up daycare, meals, etc., if you usually take care of those things.
  • Getting your supply list together—Start a list now of the things you want to bring with you.
  • Learning to avoid touching your face—Seriously. You would be surprised how often and unconsciously you touch your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Things you can do when back on the work site:

  • Discourage coworkers and visitors from using your phone, computer, tools, or other work items.  If you must share, be sure to wipe down all surfaces between users.  And try not to use others’ items as well.
  • Keep a 60%-alcohol (or higher) hand sanitizer at your desk or in your tool bag or pocket.
  • Try to maintain space between yourself and coworkers.
  • Stay home if you are sick.  Ask others to do the same.
  • Know and follow your employer’s guidelines about staying safe at work.

Source: The StayWell Company, LLC

Pursue Wellness (and $150) from Home

While you’re protecting others by staying home during the coronavirus pandemic, you can take steps to protect your own well-being, too.

Well Wisconsin can help.

Oh, and you can earn your $150 Well Wisconsin* gift card along the way.

COMPLETE YOUR HEALTH SCREENING FROM HOME
We know you can’t visit your doctor to complete the health screening component of Well Wisconsin. And the onsite screening events have been canceled this spring.

But you can still complete the health screening using the Health Care Provider Form (HCPF). Just follow these steps:

  • Download the fillable HCPF.
  • Locate blood pressure and weight numbers from your most recent physician visit.
  • Enter those values on the HCPF.
  • Upload your HCPF using one of the methods listed on page 1 of the form.

COMPLETE YOUR HEALTH ASSESSMENT FROM HOME
Head over to wellwisconsin.staywell.com and create a profile if you haven’t already. Then just follow the steps to complete your health assessment.

COMPLETE YOUR WELL-BEING ACTIVITY FROM HOME
Try one of these well-being activities to complete that part of your incentive without leaving home:

  • Complete the Million Steps Challenge.
  • Connect with a health coach to manage stress and anxiety, get workout ideas and more.
  • Track your wellness goals on the Well Wisconsin dashboard.

Go to the My Incentives tab at wellwisconsin.staywell.com to see a full list of well-being activities.

JOIN US FOR A WELL WISCONSIN RADIO SELF-CARE BOOST Well Wisconsin Self-Care Boost
In the COVID-19 world, everything feels out of our control. How can we gain some perspective on some certainty in our life?

Join Kristi Mulcahey and Morgan Meinen, Well Wisconsin program managers, as they discuss how to reduce your stress in this time.

Click here or on the link below to listen to their conversation.

LISTEN HERE

QUESTIONS? Contact the StayWell HelpLine at 800-821-6591 or wellwisconsin@staywell.com.

*The Well Wisconsin incentive program is a voluntary program available to employees, retirees and spouses enrolled in the State of Wisconsin Group Health Insurance Program, excluding Medicare Advantage participants who have incentives available through their health plan. The Well Wisconsin incentive will automatically be issued to eligible participants upon completing the applicable activities. All wellness incentives paid to participants are considered taxable income to the group health plan subscriber and are reported to their employer, who will issue a W2. In some cases, the Wisconsin Retirement System acts as the employer. Retirees, continuants and their spouses will have some taxes withheld from the incentive amount earned.

465237     Copyright © 2020 The StayWell Company, LLC. StayWell is a registered trademark of The StayWell Company, LLC.