Attention Employees - Anxious about Coronavirus?: EAP can help

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Attention Employees:

In an effort to minimize potential anxiety caused by the heightened alerts brought on by the emerging health crisis of the flu and the Coronavirus, New Directions Behavioral Health (NDBH), our provider for Employee Assistance Program (EAP) benefits, has provided the below information, which outlines free counseling support services and resources available to you and your immediate family members, as well as helpful steps you can take to minimize related stress. 

We encourage all employees to take advantage of this support and other services offered by New Directions. 

HELP is just a Click or Phone Call Away:  Online: Note: The company passcode to use when logging on New Directions’ website is: Rockhurst; Local: 816-237-2352 or Toll-free: 1-800-624-5544.

Barbara Upton-Garvin, MBA
Human Resources Director
Office of Human Resources

Feeling overwhelmed about an outbreak?

The EAP can help.

When talk of a virus outbreak hits close to home, it’s normal to feel stressed about a potential pandemic and emerging health crisis. No matter how you're feeling, your free benefit, the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can help.

The EAP offers services at no-cost to help in times like these.

  • Counseling with a therapist is available to you and your family to help process stress and worry and work toward coping skills. Counseling is available in-person, via phone, in-the-moment or online.
  • Legal and financial consultations and extensive online resources can help you get important life documents organized and feel more control about the future.
  • Health Resource Library includes handouts, short videos and recommended apps to help you feel more resilient and calm in anxious or hard times.
  • Work/Life referrals are references to outside people and resources that can help you with tasks that feel overwhelming such as child care, household help, etc.

Visit for the latest on COVID-19. 

Login using your company passcode to and visit the EAP Health Resource Library for the latest on the virus, including the flu. Here you'll find:

  • Resources related to the current spread of the illness
  • Steps to take to prepare a viral outbreak in your community
  • Ways to prevent spreading the infection
  • Typical ways people respond to traumatic exposure
  • The difference between a virus or bacterium

Try these tips if you're feeling overwhelmed or fearful about an outbreak.

1. Don’t inflate the risk

Our brains are used to taking something that is made to sound scary and unknown, and inflating the risk of it actually happening to us. It’s a part of our brain’s intrinsic, built-in fight-or-flight response. Big and scary gets attention. Ordinary but also potentially bad for our well-being gets less attention.

2. Take normal, healthy precautions

Both flu and coronaviruses are spread through everyday contact, through touch, a cough, or a sneeze. If you’re sick, stay home and don’t go to work or out in the world. If you’re not sick, stay away from close contact with a person who is and engage in healthy habits when it comes to cleanliness. Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly. Carry a small travel-sized bottle of hand sanitizer with you and use it regularly.

3. Avoid over-consumption of media

Limit your consumption of media and stories related to the outbreak. Scientists and public health officials are working overtime to better understand the virus and are looking at ways to limit its impact. Trust in their work and efforts. If you need updates, check out a government resource for the best, most accurate information, such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

4. Use your past coping skills

Use what’s worked in the past to help manage anxious feelings. Maybe it’s engaging in self-talk, to undo the irrational thoughts coming into your head with rational, fact-based responses. Whatever works to help relieve your stress and reduce your anxiety.

Remember, outbreaks like this do occur from time to time throughout the world. While they can be very scary — you don’t have to go through this alone. Reach out to your EAP for support by calling 800-624-5544 or visit

New Directions maintains a Business Continuity Plan that includes procedures for epidemic/pandemic illness for all New Directions service center areas. New Directions is monitoring the state of the Coronavirus outbreak through the CDC and WHO and will begin to implement internal procedures if the outbreak reaches a point deemed an epidemic and/or absenteeism affects more than 25% of the employee workforce.  New Directions has the capability to re-distribute contact center calls within minutes using established protocols which designate backups for clinical care management activities. Current education and regular communication is available to members and partners through account management, social and web distribution channels.