How to Address Employee Concerns About Ebola

How to Address Employee Concerns About Ebola

On 10 Dec 2014, in Wellness, health, Workplace

Ebola is a serious disease, and it has created fear for many. But it is important to stay informed and to maintain perspective. Ebola does not spread easily, and the United States has advanced health care systems to deal with potential outbreaks.

Nevertheless, a recent poll reflects increasing anxiety about this disease threat. One-quarter of Americans now view Ebola as a major public health threat to the United States, a new Harris Poll/HealthDay survey reveals. At the same time, more than four out of five respondents told the pollsters they don't plan to make any changes in their daily routine because of the outbreak, and three-quarters said they're still more worried about catching the flu than Ebola.

Managing anxious feelings
So, what can you do to manage any feelings of anxiety that you or your employees have?

  • Stay well informed. Turn to reputable organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization for the latest, most accurate information about the outbreak.
  • Keep perspective. How real is the threat to you and your family?
  • Limit exposure to media coverage. Keep up-to-date on the news, but do not monitor the situation around the clock and especially right before bedtime.

If you want to talk about the outbreak, find someone who is supportive and can help you a healthy perspective. Avoid those who make you more fearful or concerned.

Seeking help
Be alert to signs of anxiety:

  • Excessive worry
  • Feeling keyed up, restless or on edge
  • Easily fatigued
  • Difficulty concentrating or mind goes blank
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension
  • Sleep disturbances (difficulty falling or staying asleep, or having restless, unsatisfying sleep)

If these symptoms persist and your own ways of coping are not successful, consider seeking additional support from BJC EAP. Contact us anytime at 314.747.7490 or toll-free 888.505.6444

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