What resources does the Faculty and Employee Assistance Program (FEAP) offer UVA School of Medicine faculty?
Brenda Wilson, LCSW, CEAP, GCM, Director, Faculty and Employee Assistance Program, answers that question and more.
This post is part of a series of interviews with faculty and staff who offer resources to SOM faculty. Stay tuned for more interviews with your colleagues!
Q: Can you tell us about the services that FEAP offers to faculty?
We are a group of licensed mental health providers. Our purpose is to meet with faculty and staff when there’s some point of distress. We see people about anything and everything. Our work is short-term in focus. We see people generally one to three times. When someone comes in, we will assess, do some problem solving, some brief counseling, sometimes referrals to the community, to therapists in the community, to psychiatry, legal, financial resources, whatever it is they need.
The whole idea is to help employees be their best. In the course of working thirty or forty years, all of us will have a point in time where we’re not 100%, because life gets in the way. Whether it’s parenting children or adolescents, whether it’s depression, anxiety, substance abuse in the family, or workplace conflict. We also handle workplace mediation and provide critical incident response when there’s been adverse events which cause personal distress.
Our services are free to the employee and their family members, and our work is confidential. We follow mental health law. We do not participate in EPIC – we’re not part of the medical record.
Q: What’s the best way for a faculty member to contact you if they need your services?
We have live telephone support for scheduling: (434) 243-2643. We have an administrative specialist whose job is to receive and triage calls so that people get scheduled with one of the clinicians in our program quickly. All of the FEAP consultants have many years’ experience and while each of us has some specialty areas, we can also entertain any particular issue that someone brings in.
One of the new things that we have now provide is trauma counseling. There’s been more of an awareness that historic or recent trauma can affect people in adverse ways. It can show up in the workplace, too. We have a longer treatment method for that, one to twelve sessions.
Q: How long have you been at UVA?
I’ve been here 32 years, off and on. I’ve left and come back a few times.
Q: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I saw some of my old aptitude tests from high school, not too long ago, when cleaning out my mother’s house, and I found in there, social work or occupational therapist. I always wanted to work in a hospital setting, and that’s what I ended up doing. I got my master’s in social work and went into the hospital realm and then moved into the employee assistance for the hospital and University. It’s a wonderful job.
Q: Do you have any children or fur babies at home that you’d like to tell us about?
I have a son who is 23. He is pretty far away from being a social worker; he is a mechanical engineering graduate student at Stanford.
Q: Do you have a favorite local restaurant or hangout spot?
Barboursville Vineyard is the best wine we have in the area. Palladio’s Restaurant is excellent. I also really like Hamilton’s. I like going to music in the area and Carter’s Mountain on Thursday evenings.