Associated has many programs and partners to help team members and families with important goals and life struggles. From financial planning to insurance and healthy choices. This is the first in a series of articles highlighting benefits provided to team members throughout the Associated system.

Employee Assistance Program: Mental Health Resources

Associated Food Stores is aware of extra stress individuals and families are under during the COVID pandemic. Research shows that emotional health is in jeopardy throughout the world.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, you may experience stress, anxiety, fear, sadness and loneliness. And mental health disorders, including anxiety and depression, can worsen.

Surveys show a major increase in the number of U.S. adults who report symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression and insomnia during the pandemic, compared with surveys before the pandemic.

-Mayo Clinic Staff 11/23/2021

Throughout the Associated system, there are professionals in place to help individuals find answers during challenging times. “If someone is just looking for resources, any of us can help,” said Cindy Risbeck, Sr. Human Resources Generalist, speaking specifically of Kathleen Lund, the HR Comp & Benefits Coordinator and Danielle Healis, the Wellness Facilitator. However, “any of us can help” applies to many team members and leaders throughout the company.

“Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness,” said Risbeck. “Coming into Team Services (HR) or using our Employment Assistance Program is a great first step.”

Associated has partnered with Intermountain Healthcare to ensure team members have the right resources at their disposal for emotional wellbeing. As team members visit they will see on the front page a link for an Emotional Health Relief Hotline. Associated team members have access to the hotline seven days a week. If you click the link, it will take the team to a page with tips and ideas for emotional health.

“The service is there for us to use,” said Risbeck. “And it is completely confidential, no one will ever know if someone uses the number or information.”

To learn more about the Employee Assistance Program, click the “Team Resources” link at the top of Insite and click on the Intermountain Healthcare LiveWell Employee Assistance Program button, or follow the link:

Kathleen Lund also reminds us of the ease of using the hotline or any of the EAP resources. “You can just use your phone and speak to someone really easily,” says Lund. “You don’t need to go in and meet with someone if you don’t want to.”

Stop into Team Services for other information, including a list of services the EAP provides, or look in breakrooms or Team Services for hotline magnets. “Grab a magnet and take it home,” said Lund. You may not need it now, but someone in your family may need it at three in the morning and you will be glad you have it.”

Whether you call the number, click a link, or visit Team Services, the team is encouraged to take steps for their emotional health. “Sometimes we are just looking for resources,” said Risbeck. “If your stresses are affecting your job, reach out and we can help you understand your options for a leave of absence or some other accommodation.”

“We are called Team Resources for a reason,” said Healis. “We can help find options or point people in the right direction with our Employee Assistance Program partners.”


Watch for the next article in our series of benefits as we explore Fitness Funds, and how they are now available for every team member whether insured through Associated or not!