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Webinars offer support for those dealing with pandemic stress

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The Argus Group is partnering with the Employee Assistance Programme of Bermuda to sponsor a series of webinars aimed at providing mental and emotional support to individuals dealing with elevated stress levels during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Looking for a way to support the community during the changes brought on by Covid-19, the EAP team last year introduced a series of weekly group wellness webinars, which focused on topics such as relationships, communication, self-care and managing common mental health conditions such as anxiety, Argus said.

The series ran from April to June and was designed to provide the community with useful clinical and lifestyle information to help them manage in uncertain times.

Argus sponsored part of the series last year but following its success – it drew more than 1,100 participants – the company said it will sponsor the entire series this year.

Shakira Warner, vice-president, population health management at Argus, said: “Argus is proud to continue our sponsorship of the EAP webinar series through 2021. The Employee Assistance Programme of Bermuda has been a valuable mental health resource to the community and a longstanding, trusted partner of ours, particularly when it comes to mental health support for workplaces.

“About a year ahead of the pandemic, we were thinking about ways in which we could have a greater partnership with the EAP in supporting our clients. In March 2020, the lightbulb went off – this is how we can support, not only our insureds, but our community as a whole. We wanted to help make the webinars available to the public, not just Argus and EAP members because there was a significant need, demonstrated in the numbers of those who attended.”

Argus said the partnership aligns with its ongoing work to remove the stigma surrounding mental health. Looking at mental health conditions as they would any other condition, last year, the insurance company removed the cap for those seeking medical treatment overseas for mental health and substance abuse disorders.

Argus said Latisha Lister-Burgess, executive director of EAP, noticed a trend of clients reporting a rise in anxiety directly related to working from home.

Mrs Lister-Burgess said: “Everybody needs a mental health plan. For people who were already dealing with anxiety and depression in their daily lives, this situation can be exceptionally triggering. For parents trying to work from home, stress levels were especially high. As a wife, mother and employee, many of these things applied to my own life and I wanted to give people the tools they needed, so they can apply it to theirs.”

As part of the weekly webinar series, Argus said EAP will offer one session every quarter that focuses on childhood issues, beginning tomorrow with the presentation ‘I See You I Hear You: Parent-Child Dynamics’, a practical guide to building open and trusting relationships with our children.

Each session, which can be accessed by Zoom, includes educational advice, guidance and support. Anyone can join, regardless if they are an Argus or EAP member, the insurer said.

Argus added that the webinars will take place on Wednesdays from noon until 1pm.

Miss Warner said: “Covid gave the opportunity for people to have more candid conversations about mental health, not just what it means in the workplace, but at home and in relationships as well. We encourage you to have a look at the webinar schedule and see what topics are most applicable to you and what you can gain. There is such a variety. We are hopeful that people will carry forward some of these positive, self-care habits through 2021.”

Mrs Lister-Burgess added: “The goal of EAP is to make sure that Bermuda’s community is given the tools and resources to be emotionally healthy during these changing times. The more that we can deliberately invest in our own mental health, the better we will navigate and emerge healthier on the other side.”

For the webinar schedule, to register and to learn more about the services offered by EAP, visit eap.bm/webinars or follow EAP Bermuda on Facebook.

Latisha Lister-Burgess, executive director at the Employee Assistance Programme (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Shakira Warner, vice-president, population health management, at The Argus Group (Photograph supplied)

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Published March 16, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated March 15, 2021 at 3:45 pm)

Webinars offer support for those dealing with pandemic stress

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