A Message from Dr. Van H. Dunn, Chief Medical Officer, Fall 2017

Everyone experiences stress at some point in life, and whether that stress is related to work, family, finances or other factors, it’s not good for your mental or physical health. For some, stress can lead to overeating or making bad food choices, and those can, in turn, lead to such physical illnesses as hypertension and diabetes. Fortunately, there are numerous remedies designed to relieve stress, ranging from fairly minor lifestyle changes to more intensive medical treatments, and your Benefit Fund is here to help you get the care you need.

While everyone feels “stressed out” from time to time, it’s important to recognize when you are under stress. How do you do that? There are a number of warning signs to watch for, including a change in your sleeping or eating habits, loss of interest in things that you usually enjoy, or feeling irritable, anxious or downright angry at least once a day. If you notice these signs, it’s time to take action. Your stress affects everyone around you, especially family, friends and co-workers. It can also impair your usually rational decision-making process and lead to physical ailments like high blood pressure or persistent headaches.

The most important thing you can do to start the healing process when you’re experiencing stress is to talk to someone about it. The person you speak with may be a medical professional or even a close friend or family member. The key is to talk about your stress, as well as what you believe is its root cause, which will break the feeling of isolation and offer you another view on the situation. Your Benefit Fund covers mental health services, so you can speak to a psychologist, psychiatrist or social worker. What’s more, you can even talk to one of our Wellness Member Assistance Program social workers.

In addition, our Wellness Member Assistance Program offers a number of workshops and activities that can help you reduce stress. Don’t miss our “Healthy Mind, Healthy Body” workshop on October 21 (see page 5 for more details). And look for exercise, yoga or meditation programs at your worksite or through community centers and parks programs near you. Remember, if you are feeling stress, no matter how manageable you might think it is, don’t go it alone! Call our Wellness Member Assistance Program at (646) 473-6900 for a confidential consultation and nip the situation in the bud—it’s preventive care for what can be a serious condition.

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