SMU’s EAP Offers Tips for Your Child’s First Day of School


The start of a new school year brings excitement and nervousness for both a parent and child. From finding the perfect outfit for the first day of school to getting back into the swing of school work and preparing lunches, getting back into a routine can be stressful and exhausting for parents and children alike.

Children may need help dealing with the stress that can occur when a routine changes. When a child’s routine has changed they might become forgetful and exhausted more quickly. As a parent, you might be worried about your child’s safety and emotional well-being. There are things you can do to help you and your child prepare for getting back into a routine with the start of school.

Planning ahead will make it easier for both of you. Many school districts will provide you with information on what to expect for sending your child back to school.  There might been new changes to the school or a new teacher that is starting.

Some of the feelings that your child might be feeling could include:

  • Separation anxiety from a parent or caregiver
  • Nervousness about school work
  • Worried about who he or she will sit with at lunch or play with at recess
  • Nervous about being picked on by another child

Here are a few ways that you can help your child ease back into a school routine.

  • Be positive.  If your child is nervous to return back to school and is struggling with being away from the rest of the family, talk to your child and reassure him or her that you will all be there upon returning from school. Offer to tape a family photo to a note book or pack one inside a backpack.
  • Communicate and talk. Be sure to talk to your child about what to expect in his or her new class and what he or she might be learning through the school year.  Offer to help with any homework or questions that might come from new subjects being covered.
  • Encourage new friendships. Children can become nervous and anxious when thinking about who is in their class and who will be there to play during lunch and recess. Encourage your child to make new friends during the first few weeks of school. Most schools do not allow children to pick their classes and they will need to make friends with others that are in their class. Talk to your child about new relationships and how lifetime friends can evolve from being in class with someone.
  • Start a routine early. Many children will be given flexibility to stay up past their “school night” bedtime during the summer. It might be helpful to start getting back to a routine a few weeks before school starts. This will help your child adjust to a schedule and ease back into a routine.
  • Set homework and curfew rules. Before school starts, plan a homework and curfew schedule. Set clear rules and expectations and ask for your child to participate in creating some of the rules.
  • Have fun. Preparing for school usually includes shopping for new school supplies. Something that can help excite your child is by making this a fun tradition. You can also organize your child’s room before returning back to school for the year. Make this into a fun activity. This is a good way to encourage your child to practice different organization skills which might help with getting back into good habits at school.

Contact us:
Your program provides access to tools and other resources online. You can also call us directly to speak to a professional counselor who is available everyday at any time to provide confidential assistance at no cost to you. Visit us online at

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Magellan’s EAP Offers Tips for Sending Your Child to College


Sending a child to college is a big transition for the entire family. This is true whether it’s your first child attending college, or your last child—and you’re facing an “empty nest.” Even if you have a child who isn’t going away to college, attending any form of schooling after high school can be overwhelming and challenging for the child and the family.

Being supportive, available and understanding are some of the best things that parents can do to help their child through this transition.  Here are a few tips that can help both parents and the child transition into a college routine.

  • Discuss practicalities in advance. Before the young person leaves for school or begins studies at a local school, take some time to talk about how to handle basic everyday concerns. This can include things like staying healthy, cooking, following a budget, doing laundry, personal banking, and auto maintenance.
  • Learn about the rules and the available services at the school. Study the college or university’s website and catalog materials. This way you’ll know about policies such as tuition due dates, class drop deadlines, and grade point average requirements. Also learn about the services available at the school and where they’re physically located, from health and wellness to counseling.
  • Keep in close contact. Be there for your child by maintaining regular contact through visits, phone calls, emails, texts and/or video chats. Let your child know he or she can call you for help at any time.
  • Trust your child. You’ve done your job; now let them do theirs. Try to give your child room to make some decisions and mistakes on his or her own. If first semester grades are less than stellar, remember that it takes time for your child to adjust to the new environment.
  • Set up for success. Talk to your child about the multiple demands that he or she will face. Discuss ways to set priorities, follow up on responsibilities and the importance of a positive attitude.
  • Have a discussion about money Talk to your child about the importance of spending money wisely. Set clear expectations and discussion different options such as getting a part-time job.
  • Plan new activities for yourself before your child starts college. To compensate for your child’s absence, plan to make some positive changes. Get involved in new ways at work, take some classes, expand your exercise plan, or find a volunteer opportunity in the community. Think positively about the extra time and energy you’re likely to have to devote to things that interest you.
  • Get support if you need it. If you’re struggling with this new change in the family, seek counseling and support from your program.

Contact us:

SMU’s Employee Assistance Program provides access to tools and other resources online. You can also call us directly to speak to a professional counselor who is available everyday at any time to provide confidential assistance at no cost to you.

Visit us online at

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Join Wellpower’s Amazing Challenge 2013 – 14! Registration Begins August 12, 2013

AmazingchallengePosterheadersmallWellpower is embarking on the Amazing Challenge for this year’s wellness program! Focus on exercise and fitness, nutrition, stress reduction, healthy weight attainment or maintenance, and you can earn rewards such as a vacation day, free meal tickets, free parking, or a gift certificate to Wellpower is available to benefit-eligible staff and faculty at SMU. Download the document below for step-by-step instructions with screen shots to guide you through registration and logging your challenge activities once the challenge begins on September 1, 2013.

Wellpower Registration Instructions

What’s New?
Wellpower has partnered with Baylor Health Care System to bring our participants:

  • Streamlined programming – sign up once for the Amazing Challenge which runs September 1, 2013 – June 30, 2014
  • Wellpower Facebook page where participants can support one another and stay informed about the Amazing Challenge
  • Baylor Health Coach once again available for confidential wellness coaching.
  • Personal Challenges to meet your individual needs; up to two per reward period.
  • Bonus Points for completing SMU-related activities such as performances, exhibits, athletic events, lectures, and classes.
  • Two reward periods so that participants can earn rewards more quickly.
  • Earn the Gold or Silver level and choose from a menu of rewards.
  • Fun ways to win additional prizes throughout each reward period – watch the Facebook page for details.

Program Requirements
You may earn the Silver level by:

  1. Providing biometric screening data by either completing an on-campus health screening or faxing your lab results from a visit to their physician to our screening partner;
  2. Earning 2 additional Wellpower badges during the reward period.

You may earn the Gold level by: Wellpower Gold Medal

  1. Providing biometric screening data as described above;
  2. Earning 3 additional Wellpower badges during the reward period.

Participants who complete the biometric screening data in the fall reward period will also meet the screening requirement for the spring reward period. On-campus screenings will be available in October/November and again in late spring.

Earning Badges
You may earn a badge during the reward period for the following:

Orientation SessionsHealthyU and Baylor Logo
Wellpower will offer orientation sessions during the lunch hour to help members learn how to get the most out of the new program. Wellpower will post a recorded orientation video the first week of September for those who can’t attend a scheduled session.

For program details, check out the Wellpower Program Overview or sign up for a Wellpower Orientation.

Stay Informed:

 IconRSSTinySubscribe to HR’s RSS feed to get the latest news from Human Resources delivered
to your inbox.

 IconFacebookTinyStay up-to-date on the Amazing Challenge by following SMU Wellpower on

Questions? Email


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Health Coaching Available on Campus Beginning September 18, 2013

Paige Shouse, Baylor Health Coach for SMUPaige Shouse, Baylor Health Coach, will provide on-campus health coaching services most Wednesdays starting September 18, 2013.

Paige has worked in corporate wellness for 5 years, and served as our on-campus health coach last year.  She helps Wellpower participants achieve their wellness goals by providing coaching and support in-person, by phone, or by email. She also approves all personal challenges in Wellpower and can help you create a personal challenge during the next reward period. You’ll also find Paige facilitating lunchtime seminars or webinars on a variety of wellness topics during the year. Paige will be primarily located in suite 200 of Expressway Tower, but will often make appointments to meet on main campus or consult over the phone as well.

Paige’s background includes a bachelor’s degree in Food & Nutrition as well as certification as a Health/Fitness Specialist through the American College of Sports Medicine, and a certification as a Wellness Program Coordinator through the National Wellness Institute. She has become well acquainted with our campus and many of our participants this past year and is looking forward to helping establish a true culture of wellness at SMU by helping people take advantage of all the resources SMU has to offer in the area of wellness and healthcare.

According to Paige, “Health is something that we all can take for granted.  I believe that one reason so many people suffer from preventable health conditions (cancer, obesity, hypertension, high cholesterol, etc.) is that we don’t feel the need to take care of our own health until a problem arises.  Whether we notice it or not, all of us are quietly aging, and we know that as we age, disease becomes more and more prevalent.  Preventive health and wellness works to combat that issue by teaching us how to take care of ourselves well enough NOW to prevent health problems from developing.  To me, that is what true wellness is….appreciating your health and your body enough to take care of it before it ‘needs’ you to act.”

To set up an appointment with Paige or to discuss a personal challenge, email and ask to be put in contact with her.  Paige will reach out to you via email to arrange for consultation.

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Welcome to Our New Employees

The following employees attended SMU & YOU, an element of the Total Orientation Process at SMU.  During this workshop, they learned about the culture, mission, and values of the University community.



From left to right:
Front Row:  Rebecca Lang, Annie Bures, Jerry Staples, Breanna Webb, Erica Zamora, Natalie Pyrz, Timmie Hathorn, Rosa Reifsnyder
Back Row:    Vinay Ramachandra, Aayush Chandra , Nick Rallo, Scott Rice, Chelsi McLain, Tobie Smith, Christie Raines, Liz Rader , Alicia Love, Lisa Joyner






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Looking for Summer Wellness Opportunities? “5 Months to 5 Miles” Kicks Off Training for SMU Cox Corporate Relay Challenge

The Texas summer might not be the ideal season to run a marathon, but it’s the perfect time to start training. The Cooper Aerobics Center has created a “5 Months to 5 Miles” training program for the MetroPCS Dallas Marathon that can help aspiring and experienced runners get in shape and ready for race day. It’s a progressive, month-by-month regimen flexible enough to accommodate our busy schedules. The plan runs from July to December, but you can start at any time and reap the benefits.

marathonInterested in running a marathon…but not 26.2 miles? Team up with four SMU colleagues and register for the SMU Cox Corporate Relay Challenge presented by Behringer Harvard. Winning relay teams in a variety of categories share $30,000 in prize money, which Behringer Harvard gives directly to Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children on behalf of the teams. Hint: you don’t have to run fast to win!

This year’s race is on December 8, and corporate relay teams are recognized at a reception here at the Cox School in January. For more information or to register, go to

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Meet Our Newest Employees Who Recently Attended SMU & YOU

The following employees attended SMU & YOU, an element of the Total Orientation Process at SMU.  During this workshop, they learned about the culture, mission, and values of the University community.


From left to right:
Ashanty Weaver, Heather Hoskinson, Diane Melcher, Rebecca Sabin, Mary Hollerich, Hal Mumme,  Lacey Porter, Wendy, Kenner, Recia Schuil

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Join Us at the Heart Walk September 7, 2013

sneakersImagine the impact if we reduce death and disability from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20% by 2020! Wellpower is joining the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk to promote physical activity to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. We invite you to kick off the fall semester in a healthy way by joining Wellpower at this walk. Show your support for heart health at SMU!

Event information: The walk is a 3-mile, non-competitive walk. We will meet at Victory Plaza, walk through downtown Dallas, and end at Victory Park. Wear good walking shoes, dress comfortably, and bring a bottle of water. Wear your most recent Wellpower tshirt. We have a few tshirts left, so if you don’t have one, first sign up for the team using the link below and then email us at with your size preference. T-shirts will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

There is no charge to participate in the Heart Walk. Donations to the Heart Association are welcome, but are not required to be a member of the SMU team. The Wellpower program for the fall is being developed now! We will give some type of credit in the new program for participating in the Heart Walk. Stay tuned for details.

Heart Walk Schedule:
Victory Plaza/American Airlines Center (2500 Victory Avenue)

8:00 am – Meet at Picture Stage for a quick team photo
8:30 am – Opening Ceremonies
9:00 am – Walk begins!

Sign up now!

Additional event information may be found on the Dallas Heart Walk website.

Questions about this event? Email us at AHA_LOGO_TEMP1

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UT Southwestern Mobile Mammography Unit on Campus June 10

When: June 10, 2013 Time: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm

Where: East Campus All University Parking Lot (Just east of Expressway Tower)

Pre-register by calling 214-645-2560 or Toll Free 1-866-277-0710


Pink RibbonAs a benefit to employees covered by the SMU Health and Wellness medical plan administered by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX), SMU will cover all routine annual mammogram charges for women age 40 and above. Have your insurance information available when you call. BCBSTX will process the claim and SMU will pay it at 100%. If you participate in insurance plans outside of SMU, please inquire about other billing arrangements when you pre-register.

You may use this benefit with your own physician or medical provider in the community, so if you prefer to make an appointment elsewhere, please do!


  • The mobile unit is designed for routine preventive screening only. If you have any known breast problems, please consult your physician.
  • Screening is recommended for women age 40 and older. Check out the BCBSTX preventive care guidelines for more information.
  • Most insurance plans, including Medicare, cover the cost of screening once a year.

If it has been a year or more since your last mammogram, please call to schedule your appointment.


  • Personal information (age, date of birth, Social Security number, etc.)
  • Insurance information; if you are covered by your spouse’s plan, they will also need your spouse’s name, date of birth, and social security number
  • Doctor’s name, address, phone number – if you want a report sent to your doctor
  • Emergency contact name and phone number
  • When and where you had your last mammogram
  • Please let them know if you have had breast augmentation

Please bring your ID and your insurance card to your appointment.

214-645-2560 or toll free 866-277-0710.

Mobile Mammography Additional Information

Email with any questions.

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Gesundheit! Getting Allergy Relief When Spring Is in the Air

In late spring, pollen from trees is often the culprit in outdoor allergies. When pollen levels are high, try to stay inside with the windows closed. Pollen counts are highest early in the morning on warm, dry, windy days. Chilly, wet days tend to be easier on allergy sufferers.

Showering before bedtime can help to wash pollen off your hair and skin.

Choosing an Over-the-Counter Medicine
The best medicines will depend on your symptoms and other factors: Antihistamines, which are available over the counter (OTC) and by prescription, can relieve runny noses and itchy eyes, but they don’t help congestion. To avoid drowsiness, choose a non-sedating variety.

womansneezing1smallPrescription nasal steroid sprays can relieve congestion and most other allergy symptoms. Start using before allergy season sets in to prevent symptoms.

Decongestants are available as OTC pills, nose sprays and nose drops. They can help relieve congestion. However, they may raise blood pressure, cause anxiety and sleeplessness in some individuals. In addition, using the nose sprays or drops for more than three days can backfire causing more congestion when you stop using them.

Could Allergy Shots Help?
Allergy shots can help people who don’t get relief from allergy medicines. Ask your doctor if you might benefit from shots.

Are Asthma and Allergies Related?
Many people who have asthma also have allergies. Some people with asthma, when they are exposed to certain triggers, have allergic reactions that can make their asthma worse. Common triggers include animal dander, dust and pollen. Asthma cannot be cured, but it can be controlled, if you try reducing contact with your known allergy triggers. Sometimes allergy medicine is prescribed for people with asthma who have allergies.

Ask your doctor for guidance on managing allergies and asthma and for advice on the medications that are right for you and your symptoms. Visit the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas website for more asthma resources.

Thanks to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas for the useful information.
Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Management; Discovery Health

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