Encouraging Workers to Seek Professional Counseling Amidst the COVID Pandemic
Since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, people of all ages and backgrounds are finding themselves struggling with increased anxiety, panic, and depression. Substance use is also on the rise. In fact, even those with no history of mental health or substance use problems may find themselves struggling to maintain their mental health and sobriety as the unrelenting pandemic rages on.
The good news: since the pandemic, the stigma formerly associated with help-seeking appears to be lessening. In a recent New York Times survey involving more than 1,300 professional counselors, therapists reported finding a pandemic “silver lining” in that “older people, people of color, younger people, conservatives, liberals — people from all walks of life — are seeking therapy, and they’re less afraid to seek therapy because everybody is struggling.”
Virtual counseling, or teletherapy, involving connecting with a therapist online, is also on the rise. Virtual therapy affords convenience and confidentiality making therapy more accessible.
Workers who are struggling with problems are greatly encouraged to seek help when referred by their employer. While employers sometimes feel uncomfortable about making such referrals, the process need not be awkward. In fact, a simple statement expressing caring and concern, coupled with a referral to the BAC Member Assistance Program (MAP) does the job.
MAP is a free, confidential union benefit for members and their families. MAP is generally available from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET, Monday – Friday, by calling toll-free: 1-833-MAP-TALK or 1-833-627-8255.