Mental Health Resources for Employees

Whether you’re a parent working from home while taking care of kids, an employee on the frontlines, or someone dealing with grief and loss, everyone’s mental health continues to be affected by the pandemic. While it can be difficult to ask for help, there are a variety of resources available to assist you as an MSU employee.

Support Groups and Learning Opportunities

The following virtual courses and meetups are available (some require registration) from MSU Health4U and the MSU WorkLife Office:

  • MSU Grief and Loss Support: Specialized counselors facilitate weekly online support sessions on Tuesdays for those experiencing grief and loss.
  • Coping 2.0: During the pandemic, our coping strategies were tested. This virtual course on June 1 is an overview of our coping strategies and why they seem to be failing at certain times. The class will review what our brain is doing during times of stress and teach brain-based coping strategies that can be accessed any time they are needed. At the end of this class, the participant will leave with a variety of coping skills and how to use them effectively.
  • Virtual Health and Well-Being Sampler Series: Health4U is offering an all virtual ‘Health and Well Being Sampler Series’ to units and departments at MSU. The Sampler Series is designed to provide MSU employees with a taste of the classes, programs, and services that are offered by the professional staff of the Health4U program. Participating MSU Units will have the chance to map out a custom, six-week course suite with classes in the focus areas of Emotional Wellness, Food & Nutrition, and Movement & Fitness.
  • Mental Health & COVID: What are we up against? How does COVID-19 impact our mental health? How do we care for ourselves and others? What resources are available and how do we access them? Let’s talk about these and other important questions as we address the intersection of physical health and mental health in the COVID19 pandemic. This event with the WorkLife Office is on May 13 – please register using the link in the course name.
  • Self-Care and COVID: We know that “self-care” is a buzzword we’re hearing all over the place lately, but what does it really mean? We’re here to tell you that it’s more than chocolate and bubble baths – although those are great too! Talk with us about ways in which we notice that we are in need of some care and how it’s possible even in the midst of a pandemic. We all need to take care of ourselves, so let’s look at how to make those lovely thoughts a reality. This event with the WorkLife Office is on May 20 – please register using the link in the course name.

Employee Assistance Program Counseling Services

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a confidential counseling service provided at no cost to MSU faculty, staff, retirees, graduate student employees, and their families. Learn how to make an appointment on the EAP website. These appointments are offered virtually through Zoom.

Teladoc and Best Doctors Services

As a reminder, benefit-eligible employees also have access to Teladoc and Best Doctors Behavioral Health Navigator for mental health services. Teladoc offers 24/7 access to a healthcare professional via web, phone or mobile app for employees enrolled in an MSU health plan. Employees and their dependents over 18 can also receive medical care for behavioral health (depression, anxiety, grief counseling, addiction, etc.). If deemed medically necessary, a prescription will be sent to the pharmacy of your choice. The Behavioral Health Navigator can help you get a second opinion on any medical opinions and access to coaching and online educational tools.

Your mental health is a priority, and we want to ensure you are aware — and can take advantage — of the many mental health resources available to MSU employees.

New Supervisor Resources

Whether you’re new to a supervisory role or an established supervisor who would like to sharpen your skills, there are many resources available to help. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Become Familiar with Your Responsibilities within Performance Excellence

As you become familiar with your responsibilities for employee goal setting and annual performance reviews, start by going through the online supervisor content regarding the Performance Excellence process. Then, take the 35-minute MSU Performance Excellence Supervisor Course in elevateU and visit the Related Learning section, which includes short videos and challenges on topics such as goal setting and difficult conversations.

Utilize the MSU HR Website

Check out the Administrators and Supervisors area of the HR website, with a particular focus on the toolkits and processes sections. Here, you’ll find information that supervisors need to know about benefits, leaves, hiring, and more. Also, be aware of Support Staff Rules Governing Personal Conduct of Employees.

Familiarize Yourself with Union Contracts

Be sure to read through the union contracts of the people you supervise.

Take Advantage of elevateU Online Learning

Explore the free courses, videos, and books in elevateU designed for new managers.

Visit the HR Source Blog

Read the series of timely leadership blog articles that have been published over the past few months.

Explore the Perspectives of MSU’s Executive Team

Check out President Stanley’s website, as well as podcasts and Spartan Fireside Chats with various MSU executives to better understand the university.

If you find you have additional questions or needs as you continue your professional development as a supervisor, reach out to MSU HR’s Organization and Professional Development department at prodev@hr.msu.edu or 517-355-0183.

Individual and Team Resources in elevateU

Looking for ways to grow and develop your team while helping everyone stay connected during this time? elevateU has online options available for both individual and team development, including Team Talks, Monthly Featured Topics and Desktop/Productivity Tools. Learn more about how these resources can help you and your team:

Team Talks

Team Talks offer a series of guides and highlighted short videos designed to help drive self-reflection and discussion. Each Team Talk guide has three sections to encourage self-reflection, discussion points for a team, and some suggestions for how to implement ideas to action individually and as a team.

Access Team Talks directly here.

How to Use:

  • Once at the Team Talks section, choose a topic from the categories on the left. Go to the Custom tab to find the related guide. Review the the guide and the highlighted video linked to on the left side of the guide.
  • Individual Activity: view the brief video and consider the Self-Reflection questions included in the Team Talk guide.
  • Team Activity: watch the video before a meeting and/or as a team during a virtual meeting and use the Team Talk questions as a guide for discussion. The Ideas for Action section provides some considerations for putting ideas into actionable behaviors, for both individuals and entire teams. Assign topics to team members to lead the discussion to further enhance collaboration. Revisit the topic in the next team meeting by asking how employees were able to apply what they learned.

Monthly Featured Topics

Monthly Featured Topics are a curated list of resources – such as short videos, courses, book summaries, and more – around a specific skill or topic. New topics are rolled out the first week of each month and the previous month’s topics are also available. April’s topic is Time Management – be sure to check out these timely resources.

Access Monthly Featured Topics directly here.

How to Use:

  • We recommend a 30-minute online course “The Art of Staying Focused,” which covers relevant segments such as “Blocking Out Distractions” and “Adjusting Your Focus When Circumstances Change.” 
  • Also consider one of the highlighted book summaries, The Inefficiency Assassin: Time Management Tactics for Working Smarter, Not Longer,” which provides a brief overview. The whole book is available in elevateU for free as well.
  • Team Activity: have team members view the resources and prepare to engage in a discussion as a team around the subject—interesting thoughts and ideas, ways to apply the concepts, etc. Further enhance collaboration by assigning a monthly topic to one or more team members to research, discuss and share with the rest of the team during a regularly scheduled team meeting.

Desktop and Productivity Tools

The Desktop and Productivity Tools section highlights a few options from the vast library of other desktop, IT, and productivity-related assets and are geared to a variety of skill levels. Content is organized by a specific tool (e.g., Teams Office 365, Excel, Word, OneNote).

Access Desktop and Productivity Tools directly here.

How to Use:

  • Individual Activity: Have you always wanted to learn how to utilize OneNote better or how to create masterful charts in Excel? Now is the time to tackle those topics individually, especially for any items included in your annual performance goals. 
  • Team Activity: Consider assigning one or more team members to learn more about a specific tool and do a “teach-back” for the rest of the team. Are there particular tools that could benefit your team now or help prepare the team for an upcoming project? This strategy creates an excellent framework for collaboration and connection outside the regular virtual team setting, boosts communication and presentation skills, and also creates a network of “experts” on your team for specific tools.

Have questions or want to discuss additional options?  Contact Organization and Professional Development at prodev@hr.msu.edu.

Online Resources, Toolkits and Courses for Supervisors and Managers

Are you a supervisor or manager looking for opportunities to help you grow in your leadership role? Whether you’re a brand-new supervisor or an experienced manager looking for resources to develop your skills, there are tools available to help you. Information is available in various formats to fit your schedule and learning style including in-person professional development courses, online resources and toolkits on the HR website.

In-Person Professional Development Courses

  • Communication Strategies for Supervisors on March 12
    One of the non-negotiables for successful leadership is being an effective communicator. Many leaders believe they do communicate effectively, but what most leaders do not understand about communicating with their team is that it is not just about what is said. It is about how it is said, when it is said, to whom, did the receiver understand the message in the way it was intended, and on and on. To lead successfully today, leaders must be able to persuade, inspire, listen, articulate the big picture, and create teams of people who buy into and trust the sender. Learn more about the Communication Strategies for Supervisors course.
  • Manager as Coach on March 12
    Successful managers today understand the importance of coaching in the workplace to improve productivity, loyalty, and results. Instead of telling team members what to do, or just expecting them to perform, it is important to guide, discuss and encourage – in other words, coach. Learn more about the Manager as Coach course.
  • Leading Change on March 31
    Effective leadership is imperative in times of transition, regardless of the nature or source of the changes you’re experiencing. This session will enable you to understand the phases of change, deal with resistance, build support for change, and communicate more effectively to reduce resistance and build change adeptness in staff members. Learn more about the Leading Change course.
  • Managing Meetings on April 22
    With company resources tighter than ever, frivolous meetings are simply not an option. Yet they continue to occur more often than ever. And too many unproductive, wasteful meetings create a major drag on staff morale and motivation, thus affecting productivity and turnover. And, if you are the organizer or leader of meetings, you simply cannot afford to look unprofessional. This course will help you better plan, lead, and follow through on your meetings and enhance team productivity, coordination, and cohesion. Learn more about the Managing Meetings course.
  • Building Capacity for Resilience as a Leader on April 23
    Leaders need to be increasingly resilient to the steady stream of challenges, struggles and setbacks that are part of our work. Our success depends on our individual and collective ability to bounce back when things don’t go as planned, gain important new knowledge from failures, and respond quickly and effectively when we need to chart a new course. Leaders can dramatically improve their effectiveness by gaining a foundational understanding of healthy psychological functioning and developing practical skills to increase their level of personal and professional resiliency. Learn more about the Building Capacity for Resilience as a Leader course.
  • Everything DiSC: Management on April 28
    The focus of Everything DiSC: Management is a deeper understanding of oneself, as this is the first step to becoming a more effective manager. The DiSC Management profile will help managers understand the preferences they have as a manager, thereby helping them understand when they are a strength, and when those preferences could turn into a bias against other, equally valuable, work styles. The profile also teaches how to observe behaviors in colleagues, employees and clients to recognize their DiSC styles and how managers can adapt their behavior to other DiSC styles in order to manage more effectively. Learn more about the Everything DiSC: Management course.
  • Emotional Intelligence in Leadership on April 29
    A strong leader ignites motivation and unleashes productivity creating an environment in which individuals want to “follow”. A person with high emotional intelligence has mastered self-management and interpersonal dynamics. Combine the two and the result is an emotionally intelligent leader! Attend this seminar and learn the link between leadership and emotional intelligence. Learn more about the Emotional Intelligence in Leadership course.

Online Resources with elevateU

The elevateU portal is full of online resources including eBooks, videos, courses and more – all available to you for free 24/7. Want to learn more about optimizing team performance, cultivating creativity or processing change? You’ll find resources on these topics and much more in the elevateU portal. Use these tools to help you build your own skillset as a leader or share these resources with your team to help them reach their professional goals. Learn more about elevateU and access here.

Toolkits on the HR Website

The HR website contains a wealth of information useful to those in a supervisory role, including toolkits for various processes. Whether you have questions about how to hire support staff, want an overview of benefits options or need to know deadlines for payroll processing, these toolkits are available to assist you.  Find toolkits for supervisors on the HR website.