If I had to choose an adjective to describe 2020, that word would be stressful. Some mental health experts might agree with me.
COVID-19, the presidential election, the fight for racial equality in this country and other issues are causing an excessive amount of stress in the lives of Americans, according to a recently released national survey. Stress in America 2020: A National Mental Health Crisis, which The Harris Poll conducted on behalf of the American Psychological Association, found that 78% of adults point to the pandemic as a significant source of stress in their lives.
As a human resources professional, I’m concerned by the survey results. I care deeply about the well-being of the employees at NC State. The university offers many mental health resources, and I encourage you to take advantage of them if you need to. A list of some of those resources accompanies this letter.
Lisa Zapata, interim vice chancellor of the Division of Academic and Student Affairs, and I co-chair the NC State Wellness Advisory Committee. The committee’s charge is to create and maintain a culture that supports and promotes the overall wellness of students, staff and faculty.
One of the results of our work is Wolfpack Wellness, a website created to serve as a wellness resource for students and employees. We’re currently refreshing the site to make it even more useful, and we’ll let you know when the update is complete.
Mental Health Resources
|Resource||Description||How to Access|
|Mindful Mondays||Join a community of NC State faculty and staff who are learning and practicing mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques.||Go to REPORTER to register.|
|Wolf Chat||We're all living through tough times and have been affected in some way. You're invited to participate in Wolf Chat Wednesday, an opportunity for students, faculty and staff to connect, share, listen and grow.||Go to the University Calendar to learn more.|
|Mental Health First Aid: Helping Someone Who Is Suffering||This short guide explains how best to approach and offer help to someone with mental health issues.||You can download the guide here.|
|Healthy Habits and Behaviors to Keep You Well||Dr. Julie Casani, director and medical director of Student Health Services at NC State, shares tips to stay physically and mentally healthy during COVID-19.||To watch a recording of Casani’s presentation, you must be signed into your NC State Zoom account. You can watch the presentation by clicking this Zoom link.|
|Stress: A Way of Life or a Fact of Life?||This on-demand training resource offers tips on how to control stress instead of letting it control you.||You can access the training here.|
My goal is to make sure NC State is providing a robust amount of mental health resources for our campus community and to ensure that you know where and how to find those resources. That APA survey I mentioned above also indicates that most Americans don’t think they’re getting the emotional support they need. Sixty-one percent of adults say they could have used more emotional support over the past 12 months, according to the survey.
Our bodies can’t handle long-term, chronic stress. We all need to be aware of the physical, emotional, cognitive and behavioral signs that indicate we are under stress. Those include nervous behaviors, constant worrying, insomnia and feeling overwhelmed, according to WebMD. If you notice the signs, please seek help. You have many options available to you, including utilizing the resources above, taking advantage of the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program and asking your HR representative to help you find assistance.
Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources