We all know that a personal crisis can happen to anyone, and when we least expect it. SHARE is committed to helping each other get through the worst. In addition to their day-to-day job responsibilities working for our hospital, SHARE Reps help co-workers navigate problems at work. Often, those challenges are interwoven with hardships outside of the workplace.
Some elected SHARE Reps choose to be trained in Problem Solving skills, and can direct co-workers to helpful resources. Of course, all of us can help each other when hardship strikes. Below is a list of resources that you can offer to friends and co-workers at a critical moment:
EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
Our own hospital’s Employee Assistance Program is an extremely valuable resource. Their services are free to employees of UMass Memorial and UMass Medical School, and completely confidential. EAP assists employees and their families with:
- job-related stress
- drug and alcohol abuse
- child care issues
- marital conflicts
- elder care needs
- financial difficulties
- emotional trauma
- domestic violence
- legal concerns
The EAP is located very near the main University campus, at 382 Plantation Street. You can also call them at 800-322-5327.
Just as you would call 9-1-1 in an emergency, United Way of Central Massachusetts has partnered with other United Ways across the state to establish a free, confidential hotline to help with non-life threatening needs. 2-1-1 is an easy to remember telephone number that connects callers to information about health and human services available in their community. It serves as a resource for finding government benefits and services, non-profit organizations, support groups, volunteer opportunities, donation programs, and other local resources. Calling 2-1-1 is:
- Available 24 hours-a-day / 7 days-a-week
- Available immediately during times of crisis, to field calls regarding the event and to direct callers to services most appropriate for their needs
- Is an easy way to find or give help in your community
- Maintains the integrity of the 9-1-1 system saving that vital community resource for life and death emergencies
These benefits are also available online at the Mass 211 website
If you or someone you know feels suicidal, get help immediately. The suicide.org website provides a number of local and national hotlines.
If someone you know needs a safe place to go, shelterlistings.org provides a list that includes local emergency shelters, homeless shelters, day shelters, transitional housing, residential drug/alcohol rehabilitation programs, supportive housing and permanent affordable housing.
The Worcester Free Clinic Coalition is a group of Worcester Free Medical Programs that provide free or low-cost primary healthcare services to those who are uninsured or underinsured in the greater Worcester area.
GIVE A LITTLE BIT OF YOURSELF
You might consider seeking out ways to help. When you give blood, you help to save the lives of patients’ right here in our community, including those undergoing cancer treatment, accident victims, and transplant recipients. You can literally give this important part of yourself at our hospital’s Blood Donor Center.
Last year, Worcester County Food Bank volunteers assisted in distributing food to 89,000 people in Worcester County. You can learn how to help at the WCFB website. And, to learn about other ways to help locally, check out the website for the United Way Volunteer Center.
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
To best help others, we need to be in good shape to do so. Headlines increasingly report that mindfulness practice literally strengthens your brain. Many of the scientific studies that support these findings come from our own pioneering Center for Mindfulness, which offers a number of opportunities for learning and practice.
You can also listen to this fun interview with distinguished psychologist Dr. Phil Lombardo, in which he describes, among other things, exercises to help you be prepared to do the right thing when heroic acts are needed.
SHARE CAN HELP
Of course, the SHARE Reps and Organizing Staff have a lot of experience solving problems, and are tapped into a broad network of helpful and professional caregivers of all kinds. Just find your nearest SHARE Rep in your workplace who can help direct you (a list of the newly-elected reps will be listed to this blog soon), or call the SHARE office: 508-929-4020. If you have to leave a message, please know that we triage calls regularly during regular business hours, and do our best to return messages as soon as we can.