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DHSTogether 'Things You Should Know' for Employees


Purpose of this Training

  • Stress is a normal part of life. Most of the time stress is actually healthy, and we do not need any assistance managing it. However, at some point, you will probably experience something that you are struggling with and it is good to know what to do.
  • This training emphasizes that working at DHS can be stressful - and that is very real. The DHSTogether Employee and Organizational Resilience initiative is designed to improve the morale and wellbeing of our workforce. This training is part of that initiative.

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Available Off-site Services

  • You have a lot of options for finding support and assistance. It is important to understand that the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a confidential service. Your EAP is available 24/7 so that you do not have to call from work, and you can also always get a referral to an off-site counselor. In fact, many components have no on-site EAP services available. Other options include:
    • Community resources: Nonprofit and/or faith-based community agencies, as well as places of worship, often offer counseling, classes, and support groups that you can access. You can generally find these by searching on the web, visiting your local library, and/or talking to your healthcare provider.
    • The Federal Employee Health Benefits insurance program covers counseling services. Bear in mind that community-based nonprofit providers may be lower-cost than a private practitioner.

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What to Do If You Don't Trust Your Manager

  • If your manager expresses concern and you do not want to talk to him or her, you do not have to divulge personal information.
  • If your manager expresses concern in the context of a performance management discussion, you still do not need to tell them about your personal life. However, you are responsible for your performance. If work stress and/or personal issues are having a negative effect on your job performance, then the conversation with your manager will need to focus on how you are going to improve your job performance. He or she may refer you to the EAP. You do not have to go – but again, you do need to get the help you need to be able to return to a successful performance level.

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Finding Assistance for Family and Friends

  • The skills and information you will learn in the DHSTogether training also apply to coping with troubled family members, and with friends as well.
  • Talk to your component EAP Program Manager to find out whether your family member qualifies for EAP services. All DHS EAPs do extend services to family, but the definition of "family" varies between agencies. Find your EAP Program Manager's contact information. (network access required)
  • While friends cannot be take advantage of your EAP's services, you can refer them to community resources, such as nonprofit and/or faith-based agencies, and places of worship. These types of organizations often offer counseling, classes, and support groups to the community.

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What to Do If You See Someone Struggling

  • Take the training! The second and third modules focus on this topic.You will learn about the "Buddy Check" and ACT models and how you can approach someone who you feel may be overwhelmed by stress.
  • Use your EAP. While you cannot ask the EAP to reach out to anyone proactively, they can help you work through how to express your concerns and steer someone to resources. Find component EAP phone numbers.
  • Respect the individual's privacy. Do not turn your concern into fodder for office gossip.
  • If you are not comfortable reaching out directly, express your concerns to someone else. This could be a trusted person in management or a friend or co-worker who is in a better position to take action.

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Additional Accessibility Assistance with the Training

  • Send an email to DHSTogether@dhs.gov with a request for assistance and the best way to reach you. Someone will follow up quickly to obtain further details and arrange the assistance you need.

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Last Published Date: August 1, 2012
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