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EAP Helps Manage Stress All Year Through

The Asian Arts Group facilitated tai chi movements and had University employees going with the flow at last year's Earth and Wellness Day, an annual event cosponsored by EAP and the Office of Environmental Sustainability. (Photo by Merissa Mabee, EAP Committee member, M/C Representative) 

ALBANY, N.Y. (December 14, 2015) – Does striving for a work/life balance stress you out? Do you find that it’s magnified 100 percent during the holiday season? Never fear, support is here.

That help is the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) offering University at Albany faculty, staff, Research Foundation employees, Graduate Student Employee Union (GSEU) members, retirees, spouses and immediate family members free assistance from a qualified professional who can listen, offer support and recommend others who can help you navigate your issue. The program is a New York State negotiated benefit supported by labor and management to help employees balance the demands of work, home and life.

Your doctor may have told you to lower your stress levels. In today’s world, that is easier said than done. We are continually plugged in and inundated with messages and “to-do” lists.

This is where UAlbany’s EAP can help. Headed by coordinator Brenda Seckerson, MA, and a Certified Employee Assistance Professional (CEAP), the program focuses on family and relationship issues, work stress, interpersonal difficulties, substance abuse or dependency, aging parents, legal matters and financial concerns. In the nine years Seckerson has been on staff, she has had more than 3,100 first-time and follow-up contacts with individuals who have taken advantage of the voluntary, confidential information, assessment and referral services offered by EAP.

EAP also has a monthly newsletter that offers helpful and informative tips on personal and professional issues.

When to Contact EAP

On the job, people are likely to call to schedule an appointment with Seckerson when they are:

• In conflict with a co-worker
• Dissatisfied with work
• Uncertain about talking with a supervisor

Others have personal reasons for making an appointment, including:

• Feeling overwhelmed, stressed or out-of-control
• Being angry, irritable or worried a lot of the time
• Feeling sad, helpless or hopeless
• Sleeping too much or too little/finding it difficult to get out of bed
• Having difficulty concentrating
• Facing a major life decision
• Being unable to manage daily responsibilities
• Having concerns about their use of alcohol or drugs or a loved one’s use
• Dealing with the loss of a loved one or co-worker
• Harming themselves or someone else
• Experiencing a chronic health problem

Employees also meet with Seckerson because of relationship issues, including:

• Concerns for a friend, family member, co-worker or child’s behavior
• Difficult relationships
• Caring for an elderly parent

Chances are you’ve heard of EAP’s lunchtime programs on everything from management training for supervisors to learning about Alzheimer’s disease. Between 200 and 250 employees visit EAP’s Earth and Wellness Day, which will be held next year on April 21, 2016. But did you know EAP can refer you to resources in the community to help with a wide variety of issues, including:

• Anxiety
• Child abuse
• Depression
• Domestic Violence
• Eating disorders
• Elder Care
• Family concerns, troubled teens, blended families
• Marital/couples issues
• Financial pressures
• Gambling
• Grief and loss
• Legal issues
• Physical illness
• Physical, emotional or sexual abuse
• Psychological concerns
• Personal stress and work stress
• Substance abuse

EAP encourages early intervention when you are feeling a stressor is having an impact on your life. “Early intervention is the key,” said Seckerson. “Don’t wait for things to snowball and get out of control. Take advantage of EAP’s services early on.”

To make an appointment, call Seckerson at (518) 442-5483 or bseckerson@albany.edu.

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A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.