As the situation regarding COVID-19 continues to rapidly evolve, UTHealth provides a number of integrated health care services to help address the needs of students, trainees, faculty, and staff. The wellness and safety of the UTHealth community is the highest priority.
This initiative includes a series of mental health, counseling, and psychiatric resources, such as confidential counseling and consultation services with a licensed mental health professional, through the Employee Assistance Program, Faculty Assistance Program, and Student Health and Counseling Services, with no cost for visits with options for telecounseling and telepsychiatry available.
Individual schools are doing their part, such as McGovern Medical School at UTHealth, which created a new phone line offering services for staff, faculty, residents, and fellows. The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at McGovern Medical School returns calls as quickly as possible to schedule appointments or consultations as needed.
Meditation audio files, prepared by Robin Dickey, PhD, faculty assistance specialist for the Faculty Assistance Program in the Office of Employee Assistance Programs at UTHealth, guide listeners throughout the day.
Student Counseling Services is available for consultations and follow-up visits, and have added telemedicine services for patients. Health care professionals are also staffing I-M-UT Crisis Hotline 24 hours a day, seven days a week, as a confidential way for UTHealth students to get immediate help with assessment, referrals, intervention, and crisis management, anonymously.
To best accommodate the needs of UTHealth employees during the COVID-19 pandemic, UTHealth Employee Health Services has two phone lines (713-500-3267 or the newly designated COVID-19 line at 713-500-2683), and an online survey to evaluate employees for COVID-19 testing at a UTHealth site.
Funded by UT System, there are third-party resources available to help keep both families and care providers healthy and safe:
- UTHealth has partnered with Care.com through the Care@Work program to support the work-life balance of UTHealth faculty and staff by providing free membership to the platform.
- MyLifeValues.com, a website that provides tips on child care, elder care, education, adoption, military, retirement, emergency preparedness, legal and financial assistance, and even pet services. The site also includes blog posts on topics relating to coping with COVID-19.
- UTHealth students have access to Therapy Assistance Online (TAO), an interactive, self-guided, web-based program funded by UT System that consists of tools and learning modules to help educate and change how one thinks and feels.
- Thrive at UT, an app that is available to all UT students with modules to assist with mindfulness, moods, thoughts, and self-compassion. Students can download the Thrive at UT app at no cost through Apple’s App Store or Google Play.
- Financial counseling is available through Your Money Line, a resource that offers free, confidential, and unbiased financial advice. Participants can create a personal dashboard and access online videos and tutorials. UTHealth community members and their families can also sign up through the company’s application for easy access.
UTHealth advises all to stay informed by following updates on the UTHealth COVID-19 resources page, Harris County Public Health, Texas Department of State Health Services, CDC, and World Health Organization.