UCLA and UCLA Health have been designated a Total Worker Health Affiliate by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This designation recognizes UCLA’s commitment to advancing workers’ health and well-being. Leading the effort for the designation was the Semel Healthy Campus Initiative Center at UCLA, a vision of and supported by Jane and Terry Semel. The initiative aims to make UCLA the healthiest community to work, learn and thrive, inspiring others both locally and beyond.
Wendelin Slusser, associate vice provost of Semel Healthy Campus Initiative; Michael Beck, administrative vice chancellor; and Becky Mancuso-Winding, executive director of UCLA Health, spearheaded this collaboration, while other individuals and departments came together to gather resources for UCLA employees.
“Health and well-being should not be a luxury for the few, but the core of a successful society. It is not just about an individual’s own health, but the health of the entire community,” Slusser said. “However, unless one resides in a supportive environment, achieving optimal health and well-being can be challenging, especially during these unprecedented times of the COVID pandemic. Becoming a Total Worker Health Affiliate will help support our ongoing commitment to the health and well-being of our employees.”
UCLA will be the 51st affiliate, joining a group of well-regarded nonprofits, research centers, universities, cities and government agencies that have a shared commitment to research, policy and practices around employee health and well-being. Some of the resources that were shared with the CDC include:
- The Mindfulness Awareness Research Center, which offers free drop-in meditation sessions, guided meditations in English and Spanish, and an array of classes and events to help people manage the stress and anxiety caused by the pandemic. Participants can download the UCLA Mindful app for easy access to services and contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- Stand Together During COVID-19, part of UCLA’s Depression Grand Challenge. It has tools, resources and strategies designed to help members of the Bruin community boost their mood and ease COVID-19–related anxiety and depression.
- The Semel Healthy Campus Initiative Center at UCLA, which provides the Bruin community with support through its COVID-19 well-being page and “6 Feet Apart” LiveWell podcast, as well as programs on the MindWell site, EngageWell site and EatWell site that promote well-being, resilience and social connectedness.
- UCLA’s Staff and Faculty Counseling Center, which offers online advice and telehealth counseling sessions for staff and faculty, as well as their families and significant others. The center is open during regular business hours and can be reached at 310-794-0245.
- UCLA’s COVID-19 Mental Health Workgroup, which has developed resources and services to provide emotional support to UCLA Health staff and faculty working on the front lines who have been affected by COVID-19. Members of the group’s emotional support response team are available for support check-ins and counseling by phone or text at 310-903-8854.
- Campus Human Resources’ Emotional Support Services page for faculty and staff, which includes a directory of support services to help with mental health issues during challenging times.
As a Total Worker Health Affiliate, UCLA will work with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to:
- engage in joint research
- develop Total Worker Health programs and interventions
- collaborate on seminars, meetings, trainings and educational events
- create and disseminate publications and other communication products
- cross-promote individual and joint activities
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health is a federal research agency focused on the study of worker safety and health, and empowering employers and workers to create safe and healthy workplaces. The institute has more than 1,300 employees from a diverse set of fields, including epidemiology, medicine, nursing, industrial hygiene, safety, psychology, chemistry, statistics, economics and many branches of engineering.
This collaborative effort was supported by Ina Bryant, senior campus counsel, UCLA Office of the Campus Counsel; Maria Carmelita Cuyson, administrative analyst, UCLA Office of the Campus Counsel; Jorge Cherbosque, co-director, UCLA Staff and Faculty Counseling Center; Patrese Kirsch, director of wellness and community engagement, UCLA Health; Lubbe Levin, associate vice chancellor, Campus Human Resources; Nan Levine-Mann, co-director, UCLA Staff and Faculty Counseling Center; Susan Shahoda, website editor, Campus Human Resources; Elisa Terry, associate director of well-being programs, UCLA Recreation; and Meagan Wang, research and communications coordinator, Semel Healthy Campus Initiative Center.