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Get the support you need with Employee and Family Resources

At the beginning of a new year, we often resolve to “make this year better than the last.” That may be an understatement coming out of an extraordinarily difficult 2020, but the good news is, we don’t have to go it alone. 

“Many of the circumstances that come up in our lives – including a pandemic and all the change that comes with it – challenge us, test our strength and bring to light areas where we may need some support,” said Bud Wassell, coordinator, Yale New Haven Health’s Employee and Family Resources (EFR) program. 

EFR is a completely free and confidential work/life support service available to all YNHHS employees and immediate family members. Accessible 24/7/365, the program can help people cope with stress, anxiety or depression; find caregiver support; manage relationships; sort through legal or financial matters; overcome grief and loss; and achieve personal goals.

“As people who work in health care, we tend to try to be all things to all people, which can lead to burnout and stress,” said Wassell. “But you don’t have to feel that way. EFR is here to help you find assistance where you need it. If you don’t know where to start, start with us.”

One-on-one assistance

Individual support is available day or night by calling 877-275-6226. Employees or their immediate family members may talk to an EFR counselor by phone right away or make an appointment. Most sessions are via telehealth. An external provider, Beacon Health, operates EFR counseling services and, in accordance with HIPAA, does not share any information with YNHHS.

Alternatively, employees can find a counselor online at and schedule a session. (This site works on all web browsers except Internet Explorer). Using either method, you may receive up to six free visits with a provider. There is no co-pay and you do not need to use your health insurance.

Classes and workshops

EFR-led classes on stress management, resiliency and mindfulness are among those available to help employees cope with work and life stressors. Classes are easy to follow and offer tips and exercises employees can implement right away. EFR also offers guided, 10-minute phone meditations five days a week and live webinars on various topics throughout the year. Visit the Employee Well-being and Resources page on the intranet for details on upcoming classes and events. 

Group sessions

EFR can facilitate onsite or Zoom-based sessions for teams or units. Support includes mindfulness strategies, techniques to support one another through challenging times and stress and relaxation exercises. Managers should contact Bud Wassell at [email protected] if interested in organizing a group session for their staff.

Self-guided support

EFR’s website offers articles, videos, recorded meditations, online assessments and other resources. Recorded webinars are available on a variety of subjects, including assistance for healthcare workers, keeping your children healthy and happy and conquering fear and anxiety. Search the site by topic or type of resource.

For more information on EFR’s offerings, contact Wassell at [email protected].