The last several months have altered our routines. For some, the stressors have been disruptive but manageable. For others, the stress has caused a deterioration in relationships, sometimes leading to or worsening abusive and destructive behaviors. During the first week of August, the University of Texas Police at Houston (UT Police), in collaboration with the MD Anderson Employee Assistance Program (EAP), presented a webinar series, Relationships: A Seminar for All, featuring professionals that addressed a variety of strategies, techniques and resources to help address challenging relationship dynamics with a focus on this time of uncertainty.
"The goal of this series is to ensure that our workforce is aware of the different resources available to them and their families. We also want people to know the signs of abuse and how to report it," said EAP Specialist Kendra Lee-Martin who helped facilitate the events.
Over the course of the series, participants heard from professionals representing different practice areas, including a private-practice certified licensed therapist, an ombudsperson with MD Anderson, a victim's counselor with Aid to Victims of Domestic Violence, and two detectives and an officer with The University of Texas Police at Houston.
"If you or someone you know needs a trusted professional to talk to confidentially, contact MD Anderson's EAP at 713-745-6901," Lee-Martin advises. "We are here to help you with problems that affect your life both on and off the job."
MD Anderson employees, faculty members, designated trainees, students or retirees are eligible to use the institution's EAP services at no cost. Immediate family members of employees and faculty are also eligible to benefit from these same services at no cost.
Through the Employee Assistance Program at UTHealth, employees can take advantage of programs that help with mental, physical financial, personal and professional, and occupational wellbeing. Resources can be found on the UTHealth EAP webpage.
The webinar series concluded with Introduction to Verbal Defense and Influence (VDI) presented by UT Police Community Outreach Officer Manuel Leston. Officer Leston is an award-winning educator certified in verbal de-escalation techniques that are adaptable to almost any interaction with another person. Participants learned how to defend and deflect using words and diffusing tension during heated interactions.