Access to Mental Health Services for Idaho Youth Ranch Employees
All IYR employees with insurance coverage by Regence have counseling benefits available. In addition, Regence just announced that they have partnered with providers to expand most member’s access to telehealth services.
Employment Assistance Program (EAP):
All IYR employees and their household members have access to our EAP. Our EAP provider is Reliant Behavioral Health.
- You and your household member have access to 3 free confidential counseling sessions for each new issue.
- Counseling session can take place in the counselor’s office or online.
- Supervisors have fast access to phone consultation, trainings about the EAP and management topics, critical incident response, and online supervisor resources for using the EAP and making employee referrals during workplace challenges.
- 24-hour Crisis Help is available by calling 866-750-1327 for you and your family member experiencing a crisis.
- Go to myrbh.com. You access code is IYR
For IYR employees in Social Enterprise who are no longer able to use their insurance or EAP benefits, you have access to one of our counselors to provide you with the following services:
Consultation: Our counselors will work with you in helping you cope with current stressors and then help you build healthier adaptive methods for coping with current altering life circumstances.
Counseling: Our counselor will work with you on temporarily helping you relieve current stressors and then transition you to longer counseling services, if needed.
These In-House services are confidential. IYR will not have any access to your conversation with your IYR counselor. There will be no diagnosis being given in any of these sessions. However, if your counselor assesses the individual to require immediate medical care to prevent further mental health decompensation or prevent injury to others he or she may be required by law to access immediate legal or medical intervention.
Investing in Your Mental Well-Being During this Stressful Time
Prioritize Sleep: Adequate good-quality sleep helps your immune system fight off infections like COVID-19. Parts of the body’s immune response happen only during sleep. Sleep is also one of the best ways to keep stress in check, as sleep deprivation makes us more sensitive to the effects of stress, ramping up our reactions (or overreactions) to stressors. Finally, the brain needs sleep to function: Not getting it can make you less patient and focused, and more moody, irritable, and emotional.
Exercise: Physical activity keeps your body healthy (lowering your risk of chronic health issues as well as your chances of acute illness like COVID-19), and improves your mood and general well-being. Exercise releases endorphins (hormones that make you feel good), helps sharpen focus, and aids sleep. Healthy movement is also linked to a lower risk of mood disorders, higher energy levels, and improved mood.
Try Yoga: Yoga offers many health benefits, like busting stress, stretching out inactive muscles, building strength, and getting a burst of physical activity. Yoga links movement with breath and both these factors can affect our body’s stress-coping reactions.
Eat Well: Avoid mindless snacking. If you’re hungry eat high-protein snacks (hard-boiled eggs, nuts, Greek yogurt, nut butters, and veggies). Protein helps you feel full longer and avoid the crash you might feel after the energy high of a carb-heavy snack. Certain foods help lower stress. Try warm, soothing foods (like soup or tea) and fatty fish (the omega-3s may improve mood). Avocados are packed with vitamins C and B-6, which are known to help reduce stress. Dark chocolate is antioxidant-rich and is great for countering stress (but eat it in moderation, because it’s dense in calories). Other helpful foods include whole-grain carbohydrates, bananas, oranges, water, and leafy greens. You may want to indulge yourself with treats or a favorite cocktail, but these can increase your stress. These foods include caffeine, alcohol, and refined sugars. You don’t have to eliminate them but enjoy them in moderation.
Practice Kindness & Gratitude: Helping someone or reaching out to those more vulnerable pays mental health dividends, Acts of kindness boost our own mood and make us feel better. People who regularly practice gratitude journaling (writing down what you’re grateful for) report better well-being, physical health, and increased optimism about the future. Practicing kindness is sometimes hard (particularly when we’re in tight quarters and tensions are high), but remember everyone is going through a tough time right now.
Practice Relaxation Techniques: Another way to increase relaxation and improve overall well-being is through relaxation techniques. Mindfulness is the practice of focusing on the present moment. It helps you shift your wandering stressful thoughts back to the here and now, where you can address your emotions, how you feel physically, and accept them without judgment. Deep breathing exercises are very effective in quickly reducing stress and lowering blood pressure. Meditation is focusing your mind for a set period of time. You don’t need any special equipment or space - you can do it anytime, anywhere. It can help ease symptoms of depression and anxiety and regulate negative thinking. As with deep breathing, there are many apps (such as “Calm”) available to help you.
Use Social Media Mindfully: Social distancing doesn’t mean emotional distancing. Social media and other virtual tools allow you to connect with friends and family when you’re apart. They can also have unintended consequences if their use becomes excessive or consuming. The more personal your social media interactions, the better (think direct-messaging rather than mindless scrolling). Be selective about whom you follow and what apps you’re using. Take time to disconnect. If you’re feeling isolated, make a point to call a friend or family member, rather than shooting out another text or Facebook comment.
Get the Facts, But Don’t Overdo It: It’s important to stay informed and alert to critical updates in your area, especially those that affect your health. But you don’t need to be listening to the same alerts and headlines repeatedly. Try limiting news consumption to two or three sources a day, and checking in at set times (not continuously) throughout the day for updates. Rely on information from reliable sources like the WHO or CDC websites and local health authorities platforms, in order to help you distinguish facts from rumors. Facts can help to minimize fears. If you can, avoid checking the headlines just before bed.
Get Creative: Make something. Try cooking or baking, or some other creative or artistic endeavor, like drawing, painting, or knitting. It’s a chance to tune out distractions and focus on one thing at a time. It’s also an outlet to express your emotions. When we create, it gives us a sense of hope that we’re renewing and that’s very powerful when we’re feeling so out of control.
Show Your Animals Some TLC: Playing with your pets or just spending some extra time taking care of them shows them you care and may help ease your own anxieties.
Have Hope: Our country has weathered many storms in its history. Somehow, we always demonstrate an impressive level of resilience amid chaos. We’re certainly facing some major challenges, but we need to trust our own abilities to navigate these trials as we move through these very interesting times.