April 15, 2020
Sharon Saia, MSW, LISW-S, CEAP

The reality is that these are challenging times: physically distant from our friends and family; teleworking for the first time (and trying to manage those kids and the noise they make); fearful about you or your family contracting the virus. We all have a variety of individual worries we are wrestling with, and let’s face it—these factors can be emotionally straining.  In addition, if you already experience anxiety or depression, it could be that these conditions are worsening under the weight of the stresses related to Covid-19.

Your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is here for you during this challenging time. We can provide support for you in a several ways. We are currently offering the following resources for you:

Telehealth Counseling – We are offering secure web-based counseling. That means we can provide EAP sessions in a confidential way using our telehealth web-based platform. You can access this from the comfort of your home or preferred location using your computer, tablet, or smart phone. To start, please call our toll free number 800-678-6265 (available 24/7), email us at eap@osumc.edu or online requests here.

TESS – Tess is a mental health support Chatbot. Tess simulates how a human would behave as a conversationalist partner while providing clinically proven coping skills and strategies based on expressed emotion, similar to a self-help book. Research findings show that the use of Tess reduces depression by 28% and anxiety by 18%. If at any time during a chat session with Tess you wish to speak to, or schedule an appointment with, a counselor, Tess will provide the EAP phone number and/or emergency response services, depending on your need.

  • Tess is completely confidential
  • Tess is a great resource for teens, college students and adults who like interacting with technology
  • Tess can provide coping skills

To start chatting with Tess by text “Hi” to +1 (415) 360-0023 Start Code: buckeyes or access Tess at https://osuhealthplan.com/eap.

Another way is to think through and utilize the tips provided in this list: SANE= Staying Strong, Active, Neighborly, Energetic. The 50 ways list is a great list of ideas and activities for all that with whom you share your quarantine space.

  • The idea is that you look through the list each morning and score each item that appeals to you from 0 to 10. If you have a partner, he or she does the same. Then plan your day, focusing on your top scoring items. Here are lessons from an Italian family in lockdown for three weeks.
  • If you have young children, ask them what they liked or disliked about yesterday, and suggest ideas for today.
  • If you have older children, share the list with them and help them plan their day.


Have some time for in-home viewing- then we have some options for you!

COVID 19 and coping strategies can be found on the main EAP page: https://osuhealthplan.com/eap

Here are some of the webinars we are offering on our website:

Coronavirus: Coping Strategies to Support Calm

COVID-19 Bringing Work Home

Upcoming webinars offered via LinkToHealth that you can join live with your own questions:

Mourning Milestones: Learn about collective grief, coping with the loss of milestones, and how to re-imagine milestone celebrations during this difficult time. April 20 at 11:00 a.m.

Coping with Grief and Loss: Understand the types and stages of grief and learn to process emotions and ways to grieve during this challenging time. April 29 at 11:00 a.m.