Groups and Series

Building Community During Times of Change

The stressful events of 2020 and 2021 have undoubtedly taken a toll on our well-being. The drag of the “pandemic effect” prolonged isolation, unstable labor market, mass protests for racial justice, and the great resignation, to name a few, have led to high rates of burnout, anxiety and depression. While we have all experienced these disrupters at the same time, we didn’t all experience it in the same way. With that, the level of support needed varies. This forum is meant to be the beginning of a series created to bring people together, give everyone a voice in a dialogue about the intersection of well-being, mental health and equity, diversity, and inclusion. The goal is to provide peer support, social connection and education to build a community of support at work. We hope that this is the first of many conversations that begin to normalize mental health, making it part of our day-to-day discussions. 

Sign up now through UT Learn 

Eldercare Support Group

Join us for weekly, virtual meetings on Thursdays from 10-11 a.m.during the spring semester. Our support group is for caregivers in the UT community caring for other adults such as parents. Group members will have an opportunity to share their experiences, get support, learn about topics such as community resources, and discuss the importance of maintaining work/life balance. All UT employees, retirees, and partners/spouses are welcome to join.

For more information or to join the weekly meeting, please email jeff.stellmach@austin.utexas.edu

Faculty Groups

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is offering three virtual 6-week discussion/support groups for faculty to connect with other faculty across campus who are in a similar faculty role. The groups will share experiences, encouragement, and helpful strategies for navigating the unique aspects of being in a faculty role during these times. Each group will collectively identify topics of discussion. Registration and commitment to attend all six meetings are required. Read more here.

Sign up for a screening appointment by emailing eap@austin.utexas.edu.

Ground, Listen, Grow Group: Unpacking the Book So You Want to Talk About Race

The EAP is offering this 7-week therapeutic group to faculty and staff who want to gain skills to come from an emotionally connected place of embodying cultural responsiveness, equity, and justice in their professional work and personal life. Participants will explore their role in the work of anti-racism and to build and strengthen a foundation for continued growth as an ally. The group will be offered on Tuesdaysstarting in late Augustand requires a pre-group interview with a group facilitator. Space is limited to 12 participants. Read more here.

Sign up for a screening appointment by emailing eap@austin.utexas.edu.

Mindful Meditation

In a fast paced world, it can be difficult to bring ourselves into the moment and slow down.  Mindfulness practices are simple yet powerful techniques to increase our connection to our immediate experience.  These practices have very practical benefits in our lives such as improved concentration, increased energy, and better overall mood.  EAP is offering guided mindfulness practices via the Zoom platform each Tuesday at 5:00pm and Thursday at 12:00pm. Join us as we guide and instruct in mindful exercises that will help you feel more fully aware and present in the moments of everyday life.

Sign up now through UT Learn. 

Neurodivergent Support Group

Moving through the world with neurodivergent traits can feel both exhilarating and powerful, but may also be isolating or frustrating. EAP is hosting a 7-week learning and support group for people who identify as neurodivergent or suspect they may be. Group members will learn strategies and skills together and support each other in their journey to balanced mental health. We will begin each group with a learning-based topic, have a group discussion about the topic, and then springboard off the discussion to share personal stories or experiences that can be supportive for the group. Let’s learn and grow together!

Sign up for a screening appointment by emailing eap@austin.utexas.edu.

Parenting in Challenging Times

A weekly discussion/support meeting is being offered virtually on Wednesdays from 10-11 a.m. starting weekly on 9/7 to support those that are caring for kids during these challenging times. Participants join small group, break out rooms with those caring for kids of similar ages to share their struggles, support each other, and exchange helpful strategies. Breakout groups are parenting kids under 2 years old, preschoolers, elementary aged kids, tweens/teens, and as a solo parent.

There are monthly brief (10 minute) presentations on topics such as self-care, balancing the demands of work and family, UT resources, and parenting strategies. All UT employees and their partners/spouses that are caring for children are welcome to join.

For more information or to join the weekly meeting, email eap@austin.utexas.edu.

Strengthening Relationships Presentation Series

The Employee Assistance Program is proud to announce our Strengthening Relationships Presentation Series. This series is part of EAP’s Building Community Initiative. Join us monthly on zoom as speakers share their professional expertise on helping people strengthen their relationships, with a range of topics and strategies for intimate relationships, friendships, families, and coworkers.

Sign up now through UT Learn.

Tending to Wellness in the Midst of Ongoing Stress

After over two years of a pandemic, life remains challenging with daily stresses mixed with continued uncertainty and change. It’s no wonder many of us are feeling depleted.

The EAP is hosting a 6-week virtual group for faculty and staff to learn a framework to understand their body’s innate wisdom in navigating stress, identify concrete ways to support different facets of their wellness, and experience supportive connection within the group. The group hopes to empower participants with a sense of agency, while also embodying the reality that being well in the midst of ongoing stress is a communal task. We’ll begin each group with a grounding exercise, have a learning-based topic, have a group conversation about the topic and then explore how to weave the practice into our personal, professional and communal lives.

Sign up for a screening appointment by emailing eap@austin.utexas.edu.

Yoga for Anxiety

The series is led by Jamie Justus LCSW, a counselor at EAP and a yoga teacher who has facilitated the Yoga for Anxiety series for many years. When these series are offered at UT, they fill up in minutes and have a wait list of over 200 people. Now, the EAP is putting videos online that have components of Yoga for Anxiety, with physical sequences, breathing techniques, yogic philosophy, and meditation and mindfulness exercises. The videos will be listed in an order, but you can also skip around the video offerings.

Click here to view all Yoga for Anxiety videos.