Employee Assistance Progam

a young woman sits opposite a counsellor and explains her feelings. They are sitting on armchairs in the counsellor's office . The young woman is smiling as she listens to the advice.

Confidential mental health/work life education, counseling, referral, and follow-up support.

Counseling and resources for: depression/anxiety, grief/loss, family/relationship concern, substance abuse disorders, domestic violence, anger management, caregivers, job stress etc.

Onsite EAP counseling/consultation free to MAF employees and family members.

Management consultation on how to assist/refer employees dealing with stress that may be effecting work performance.

Crises counseling for onsite/offsite traumatic events

Staffed by a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Certified EAP Professional (CEAP)

Located In MAF Medical Clinic with Private Entrance – Building 320, Room 105

Contact:

Porter Pryor porter.j.pryor@nasa.gov

Ph: 228-363-4910

NASA after- hours EAP support line (available evenings and weekends): 888-728-1404

Monthly Messages

Monday, November 21

A Message from your NASA MAF Employee Assistance Program Office and EAP Coordinator Porter Pryor:

Reducing Holiday Stress

While the Holiday Season is often looked forward to with excitement and anticipation, unrealistic expectations, commitments or even indulgences can bring stress that can zap our joy. Results of this stress can cause frustration, irritability, disappointment or even guilt. Sometimes the upcoming Holiday season may be a source of dread due to loneliness, unresolved conflict, or recent losses. Many experts agree on some basic techniques to help you cope. Those often include selfcare ideas like monitoring healthy eating, drinking and sleeping habits; making time for exercise and meditation, volunteering or reaching out to others who may be lonely or in need. Additionally, establishing priorities and boundaries for yourself and your family that help you stay within a budget to reduce financial stress or allow you to say no to commitments that stretch your time and resources aid in reducing holiday stress.

For more specific tips and in-depth suggestions visit the link to the American Psychological Association (APA) Holiday Stress Resource Center https://www.apa.org/topics/stress/holiday. For a variety of mindfulness, meditation, and relaxation exercises visit the Dartmouth College website https://students.dartmouth.edu/wellness-center/wellness-mindfulness/mindfulness-meditation/guided-recordings

If You are concerned about your own mental health, a coworker or loved one, reach out to the MAF Employee Assistance Program Office .Porter Pryor is available at 228-363-4910 or by email at porter.j.pryor@nasa.gov.  Additional resources at  Health 4 Life - Home (sharepoint.com)

Monday, October 17

A Message from your NASA MAF Employee Assistance Program Office and EAP Coordinator Porter Pryor:

MAF Employee Assistance Program Office  Message

October is Depression Education and Awareness Month

The National Institute on Mental Health states in 2020, 21 million Adults in the US (8.4%) had at least one major depressive episode as well as 2.9 million adolescents (12%) ages 12-17.

The American Psychological Association APA explains depression- “Everyone experiences sadness at times. But depression is something more. Depression is extreme sadness or despair that lasts more than days. It interferes with the activities of daily life and can cause physical symptoms such as pain, weight loss or gain, sleeping pattern disruptions, or lack of energy.

People with depression may also experience an inability to concentrate, feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt, and recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.

Depression is the most common mental disorder. Fortunately, depression is treatable. A combination of therapy and antidepressant medication can help ensure recovery.

Adapted from the Encyclopedia of Psychology (https://www.apa.org/topics/depression).

For more information on signs, symptoms and treatment options for depression visit the NIMH website link listed here. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression

If You are concerned about your own mental health, a coworker or loved one, reach out to the MAF Employee Assistance Program Office .Porter Pryor is available at 228-363-4910 or by email at porter.j.pryor@nasa.gov.  Additional resources at  Health 4 Life - Home (sharepoint.com)

Thursday, September 29

A Message from your NASA MAF Employee Assistance Program Office and EAP Coordinator Porter Pryor:

MAF Employee Assistance Program Drug Education Message from the CDC

“Stop Overdose”- Drugs take over 250 lives every day

To address the increasing number of overdose deaths related to both prescription opioids and illicit drugs, we created a website to educate people who use drugs about the dangers of illicitly manufactured fentanyl, the risks and consequences of mixing drugs, the lifesaving power of naloxone, and the importance of reducing stigma around recovery and treatment options. Together, we can stop drug overdoses and save lives. https://www.cdc.gov/stopoverdose/index.html

The MAF Employee Assistance Program Office counselor Porter Pryor is available at 228-363-4910 or by email at porter.j.pryor@nasa.gov.

Additional resources at  https://nasa.sharepoint.com/sites/health4life/

Wednesday, August 31

A Message from your NASA MAF Employee Assistance Program Office and EAP Coordinator Porter Pryor:

Employee Assistance Program Message: National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

SPOTLIGHT ON MENTAL HEALTH- September is recognized as National Suicide Prevention Awareness month. NASA’s Occupational Health Office (OCHMO) is pleased to announce an upcoming series called “Let’s Talk Tuesdays” providing a focus on Mental Health through a positive lens. Sessions conducted in September will focus proactively on the power of coming together with collective passion and strength to talk about and address a difficult topic. On Tuesday, September 13, 2022, Talk Saves Lives will be presented by Tara Sullivan Larsen, Executive Director for the Central and Southern Florida chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). This live, interactive session will be held via WebEx from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. CST. A 2nd encore session will be conducted on Tuesday, September 20, 2022, from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. CST. Individuals may ask questions through the anonymous Ask-Ahead feature on the Health4Life website, which will be available until the evening before each session. These sessions will NOT be recorded. A third presentation is entitled Beyond Stigma and Misconception: A Conversation About Mental Health and Suicide Prevention and will be held on Tuesday, September 27, 2022, from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. CST by Walt Hersing LCSW, CEAP, EAP Clinician at Kennedy Space Center. Details about all three sessions can be found on the Health4Life website, Health 4 Life - Home (sharepoint.com)

The MAF Employee Assistance Program Office counselor Porter Pryor is available at 228-363-4910 or by email at porter.j.pryor@nasa.gov

Wednesday, February 16

A Message from your NASA MAF Employee Assistance Program Office and EAP Coordinator Porter Pryor:

 “Prescription Opioids: The Basics” from the CDC (Get Informed | Real Stories About Prescription Opioids | Rx Awareness | CDC) 

The MAF Employee Assistance Program is beginning a monthly Drug and Alcohol message series aimed at educating employees and managers on the dangers of abuse and how the MAF EAP program can help confidentially assess employees, co-workers or family members and support and direct them toward a successful recovery. This month’s message is utilizing information from the CDC on understanding the growing dangers of opioid abuse. While temporary use of opioids under a doctor’s care for certain medical reasons may be recommended, understanding the risk and dangers of developing dependency over prolonged use of these medications is critical. Exploring alternatives to opioids for chronic pain management can also lower the risk for developing dependencies. Please review the above CDC link above for a more thorough education on Opioid use and Abuse. If you are concerned about your own use, a coworker, or a loved one reach out to the MAF Porter Pryor at 228-363-4910 or by email at porter.j.pryor@nasa.gov. Additional resources at and Health 4 Life - Home (sharepoint.com) 

Wednesday, January 19

A Message from your NASA MAF Employee Assistance Program Office and EAP Coordinator Porter Pryor:

Assistance for Parents Who May Need a Little Help Keeping Kids Entertained and Educated at Home

With positive COVID cases rising, it’s possible that parents may find themselves quarantined at home with kids for brief periods. While schools may be providing online assignment for students to complete, finding additional ways to keep kids interested and occupied throughout the day can be challenging. Listed below is a variety of online links from The United States Department of Education website (https://www.ed.gov/) that can assist parents with new ideas to help their kids have fun while learning.

At Home Activities

Department of Defense: Learn about careers in STEM fields

Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics: Kids' Zone

Department of Energy: Games and ActivitiesVirtual Field Trips to National Energy Labs

Environmental Protection Agency: Games, Quizzes, and Videos about the Environment

The Library of Congress: Presentations and Activities to Help Students Learn about History

NASA: Interactive Lessons about Space, Earth, Solar System and Universe;  Lessons from Astronauts about Living in Space;  STEM Activities for Students of All Ages

The Kennedy Center:  Lunch Doodles with Mo WillemsTour the Kennedy Center with The Pigeon

The Smithsonian: Free Smithsonian STEM Games and SimulationsMeet the Animals of the National Zoo3D Exhibits and Virtual ToursSmithsonian Magazine Ten Museums You Can Virtually VisitThe Museum of Natural History Virtual TourDigital Smithsonian American Art MuseumDistance Learning Resources

NOAA: Use Real-Time Ocean Data to Explore the Environment

USGS: Learn from Home About Physical science, Geography and Maps

Helping Children Manage Anxiety

In addition, the National Parent/Teacher Association has tips for helping children manage anxiety brought about by the pandemic (6 Ways to Help Your Child Manage Their Anxiety During COVID-19 | Our Children (ptaourchildren.org).

Additional mental health/wellness resources from NASA can be found at Health 4 Life - Home (sharepoint.com)

Wednesday, December 1

A Message from your NASA MAF Employee Assistance Program Office and EAP Coordinator Porter Pryor:

Reflect to Refuel and Reignite Your Wellbeing, Dec. 9

The Office of the Chief Health and Medical Officer invites all NASA civil servants and contractors to attend a virtual presentation on Thursday, Dec. 9, from 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. via Teams, featuring Marlene Winsten and Piper Makepeace. This interactive discussion will provide an opportunity for attendees to reflect on this past year and get energized about improving their health and wellness. Winsten, the owner of MW Consulting Services, is an educator with more than 30 years of experience teaching, consulting, and training in the classroom and in the boardroom, helping businesses and employees improve productivity at work and create work-life balance. Makepeace, founder of Heart of the Matter, has 18 years of training experience in continuing education programs for companies, health clubs, the health care industry, symposiums, colleges, and public school systems. Submit your questions for the speakers by going to Health4Life Upcoming & On-Demand Presentations and, under Ask-Ahead, select the date of the presentation and type in your question(s) (Health 4 Life - Home (sharepoint.com). Questions may be submitted until Wednesday, Dec. 8. Notes: Google Chrome is recommended for this event. A recording of this webinar will be available for on-demand viewing approximately one week after the session here. For audio only, call 256-715-9946 and enter event number 811-235-282

If you are feeling overwhelmed by job or personal stress, contact your MAF Employee Assistance Counselor for a confidential consultation. (Porter Pryor: 228-363-4910)

Additional mental health/wellness resources from NASA can be found at Health 4 Life - Home (sharepoint.com).