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Trial Support for Employees 

The Office of Human Resources provides resources to support the mental and emotional needs of faculty and staff as our community prepares for the trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd. 

Employee Assistance Program 

The EAP provides counseling at no cost to employees. This resource is available during COVID for employees who work part-time and do not qualify for benefits. You can request help at or call 1-888-243-5744. While there are limits on the number of sessions, Sand Creek bases these on a specific issue that is being addressed. 

If you have an urgent need, please call Sand Creek directly at 888-243-5744 to speak with a Sand Creek Clinician. Support is available 24/7.

Sand Creek offers on-demand webinars that can be particularly helpful at this time, including:

Wellbeing Program

The Wellbeing Program is available to employees and their spouses who are covered by the UPlan. Participants can find more information on all of these options on the Virgin Pulse site

Options that can support faculty and staff during this time include: 

  • Stress coaching is available through two sources:

    • Virgin Pulse (VP) offers individual coaching. You can request a BIPOC coach by asking a coach to refer you to a BIPOC colleague.

    • Group coaching through Boynton includes regular sessions and topics. “Taking Care of Your Mental Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic” is scheduled over the next few months.

  • Through the Wellbeing Program’s Virgin Pulse platform, you can access Whil which offers online courses, including “Mindfulness 101,” “Emotional Intelligence 101,” and “Yoga 101”

  • UMN Mindfulness at Work program, in partnership with the Bakken Center for Spirituality and Healing. 

Mental Health Counseling

Faculty and staff who are covered by the UPlan can access mental health resources through Medica. To learn about providers within your network, call Medica Behavioral Health at 1-800-848-8327. Participants can request a therapist of a particular ethnicity. If you feel you can not wait up to 10 days for an appointment, call 1-800-848-8327; for TTY, dial 711 and enter 800-848-8327.

Medica Behavioral Health offers informative videos on coping skills during COVID-19, mental health issues, and a range of treatment options (under “Popular Tools”) on its site. 

Additional Resources

  • BIPOC Mental Health Collective is available for BIPOC Staff and Faculty as well as graduate and undergraduate students. This collective meets virtually monthly for a wellness activity and small group discussions. Folks are able to choose which breakout room to join and our rooms for this month are Grad Student Mental Health, Wellness, Problem Solving/Strategizing, and Current Events. We anticipate that the trial could be a potential discussion topic in the Current Events small group. The next meeting is Thursday, March 11 at 12:00 p.m. and more info and sign up here:
  • The Office for Public Engagement has compiled resources for students, faculty, staff, and community partners leading up to and during the trial. This page aims to provide information to connect to and build on these collective efforts.

Our Benefits: More Great Reasons to Work at the U

If you are considering working at the University, take some time to explore our complete package of rewards. We believe in “total compensation”—not just competitive wages but a full scope of benefits to support our extraordinary faculty and staff and allow them to be their best selves. To ensure that you and your family will be healthy physically, emotionally, financially, socially, and professionally, we offer:

  • Full medical, dental, and pharmacy plans
  • A comprehensive wellbeing program
  • Retirement plans
  • Tuition benefits
  • Leadership development and training
  • And much more

For more detailed information, see The Benefits of Working at the U and Benefits Summaries for Prospective Employees.


Questions About Your Benefits?

New employees can learn about their benefit options with the 2021 Guide for UPlan Benefits Enrollment (pdf). The 2021 Medical Summary of Benefits (pdf) and 2021 Dental Summary of Benefits (pdf) are available for current employees.

Call 4-UOHR (612-624-8647 or 800-756-2363) and select option 1 or send an email to

Benefits + YOU Newsletter Archive

June 2021: Get Outdoors

May 2021: Mental Health Month

April 2021: Employee Benefits Month