Shelby County employees will now have access to unlimited virtual counseling services, Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris announced Wednesday.
The expansion of employee benefits will allow all county employees to receive video, phone, or in-person counseling for free, regardless of if employees are insured through the county.
Harris said as the county works to slow the spread of COVID-19, it’s important to protect the mental health of employees.
“Employees may be anxious about contracting the virus, fearful about exposing their loved ones to the disease, or navigating the unique stressors that have arisen during this public health emergency,” Harris said. “Access to professional teletherapy sessions is one way to ensure that employees have access to counseling and mental health care.”
Harris is also encouraging other employers in the county to be proactive in supporting the mental health needs of their employees.
The county’s teletherapy program is a part of the Concern Employee Assistance program, which is managed by Baptist Memorial Healthcare.
“Our counseling services are confidential, last about an hour, and can take place via webcam, phone, or in-person,” said Melissa Donahue, program director of Concern. “When you’re stressed or emotionally drained, your ability to perform at home or work suffers tremendously. Now is an appropriate time for organizations to take a look at what they are doing to provide a mentally healthy workplace to their employees.”