About four or five years ago, I started experiencing a great deal of anxiety over when and how I was going to lose my parents. My parents are my heroes. We are very close. I cannot imagine what life would be like without them – yet I know that time will come.
But my anxiety didn’t seem centered on knowing that I would lose them one day. It was much more of an overwhelming fear that they would have a long, painful death. You might say that my feelings and fears regarding my parents are normal, and I would agree. But I noticed that these thoughts and fears were becoming overwhelming and, at times, debilitating. That didn’t seem normal, and for that reason I knew I had to talk to someone.
I needed a professional. I needed someone to whom I could open up without fear of judgement, and who could help me understand what I was feeling and thinking, and why. I walked through the therapist’s door with a mix of skepticism and fear. I walked out 45 minutes later – not healed, but better. Just like our own clinicians use their knowledge and insight to help our patients get better, my “mental clinician” helped (and still helps) me get better.
Throughout the year, our caregivers tell us how some of their patients experience a great deal of loneliness and isolation – a condition only made worse during the recent holiday season.
The truth is that the problem is not limited to our patients. Many LHC Group employees – serving around the nation and in all kinds of roles – face this same issue. Sometimes, no matter what the time of year, life gets hard for all of us.
These are the times we can all use someone to talk to – to help us process what we’re thinking and feeling.
I’ve talked and written a lot about the importance of self-care. We work in an industry that exists to provide care and therapy to others. The problem is – we are not always so good at getting the care we need for ourselves, especially mental or emotional care.
That’s a big reason why LHC Group offers our Employee Assistance Program (EAP). The EAP is an employee benefit that not only helps you find a counselor or therapist nearby, but also covers the cost of your first three 30-minute sessions. And this same benefit is available to employee spouses and dependent children up to age 26.
Therapy is a highly effective tool in dealing with both everyday stressors and those that come up from time to time in our lives:
- If you are struggling or simply don’t feel like yourself.
- If you are feeling a great deal of stress, anxiety, and/or depression.
- If you are having relationship or marriage issues.
- If you are experiencing grief because of a recent loss.
- If you are dealing with trauma.
- If you are overwhelmed in dealing with the care of a family member.
Here’s how you can take advantage of this great program:
- Go to 4eap.com.
- Log in with the username LHC, and the password 715.
- Or, call 800.324.4327 and speak to a case manager.
- The case manager will obtain some information and then find a professional therapist close to you.
The EAP is an outstanding tool and a great benefit for LHC Group employees. It demonstrates our culture of family, compassion, and care for our teammates in a real way. And it’s a big part of the reason why our company was recognized in 2021 for “Best Company Culture” by Comparably, a leading workplace culture and compensation monitoring site.
I’d like to ask everyone reading this to please share this information with your teams and teammates. After everything we’ve been through over the last two years – helping people during an unprecedented time in the healthcare industry – we need to be sure we are helping ourselves, because, as always, it’s all about helping people.