UW Medicine launches new mental health support and navigation resource for employees

Department News | March 31, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on the mental health and wellbeing of individuals around the world, and at UW Medicine, we are no exception. Many of us are not only dealing with the critical work of UW Medicine, but we are also coping with the daily stresses of home-schooling and caring for our families. While vaccines are a bright light at the end of what seems to be an endless tunnel, we still have a long trek ahead of us. Now, there is an additional tool to help UW Medicine employees who may be struggling with the emotional toll of COVID-19.

The UW Medicine Employee Mental Health Support (EMHS) Program launched last month to help UW Medicine employees and their household members navigate the variety of mental health resource options at UW Medicine and in the community. Over 65 people accessed the program within its first week. Funded by philanthropic support and in partnership with the UW Medicine Well-Being & Support program, EMHS is run by our Patient and Family Experience team led by Mollie Forrester, MSW, LICSW, in consultation with the Psychiatry Outpatient Clinic at UW Medical Center – Roosevelt. Amanda Focht, MD, is the lead faculty member. The service is for all UW Medicine employees regardless of their role.

The EMHS online intake form walks users through a series of questions that help them determine what behavioral health services or resources would be most beneficial to pursue. The intake form and communication with the Navigator are completely confidential unless there is risk of harm to self or others, and there is no charge to speak with an EMHS Health Navigator. You can find the EMHS Intake Form and other UW Medicine mental health resources on the UW Medicine Employee Mental Health Resources page.

We recognize the enormous stress we have all been under and are excited to provide this additional resource to help UW Medicine employees get the support or care they need. We will get through this together!