Empowering a Community of Excellence

Mental Health

The University of Kansas has numerous resources to support employees who struggle with mental health issues. Help is available for both long-term diagnosed conditions and more temporary challenges, such as situational stress, life events or external factors such as the COVID-19 crisis.

Supervisor Information

Supporting Employees in Crises
Whom can I contact on campus for help in supporting employees in crisis and/or other employee situations where I am uncertain how to respond?
If supervisors and/or employees encounter situations regarding the welfare of an employee, feel uncertain about future action, or if an employee has shared in confidence thoughts of self-harm or harm to others, contact the ADA Resource Center for Equity and Accessibility (accessiblity@ku.edu, 785-864-7416) or Employee Relations (hrdept@ku.edu, 785-864-4946).
How do I recognize if one of my employees is in need of help and/or resources?
Crises such as COVID-19 impact the well-being of all employees. Some individuals with mental health diagnoses may experience an increase in symptoms, and other individuals experience a new mental health diagnosis, such as anxiety or depression as a result of a temporary personal, family or community crisis.

A supervisor may be the first individual to recognize that an employee needs help. The list below provides some examples of behaviors that may indicate an employee is having a difficult time. This list is not intended to be exhaustive nor should it be used to diagnose a behavioral health issue. Only mental health professionals are qualified to provide a diagnosis.

  • Crying spells
  • Withdrawal from others
  • Neglect of responsibilities and loss of motivation
  • Loss of interest in personal appearance
  • Use of drugs and/or alcohol
  • Fatigue and lack of energy
  • Unexplained weight loss or gain
  • Unexplained aches and pains
  • Displaying extreme mood swing
  • Behaving recklessly
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Distracted or preoccupied thought processes
  • Lengthy, ranting or threatening communication with staff, faculty, peers, and/or visitors
  • Loss of interest in previously desired activities, hobbies, etc.
  • Increased absence
  • Fear of financial instability
  • Fear of loss of employment
  • Statements of self-harm or harm to others
  • Changes in employee behavior
How do I have this conversation with the employee?
If you see an employee in need, notify your supervisor and discuss the situation. Then, if you feel comfortable:
  • Reach out to the employee.
  • Remain calm in your conversation with the employee.
  • Ask how you can help.
  • Let them know you support them.
  • Listen non-judgmentally to their concerns.
  • Provide resource information: Employee Assistance Program (1-888-275-1205 option #1)  and/or ADA RCEA Mental Health Resource Guide
  • Follow up with the employee the following day to offer further support and ensure they have resources they need.

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