Recognizing and Reducing Anxiety in Times of Health or Other Crises

You or a member of your team may be feeling worried and fearful about the recent cases of Ebola occurring in our Dallas community.

What can you do as a manager?

Situations like this can increase levels of stress and anxiety for some people, so it’s important to become educated about the sources of stress and to understand and be watching for some of the triggers or red flags you or others may have.

Uncertainty within the community can cause both physical, emotional and mental reactions. People may feel angry, enraged, confused, sad, or even guilty. When those feelings don’t go way over a few weeks, or when they seem to get worse, it may be appropriate to seek help.  Among the signs to look for over time are:

  • Feeling tense and nervous
  • Constant exhaustion
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Excessive crying
  • Isolation or withdrawal from others
  • Excessive alcohol and/or drug use
  • Difficulty concentrating/loss of productivity

When to seek professional help

You should get immediate help from a trained professional if you or a member of your team is experiencing any of these problems:

  • Inability to maintain a normal routine at work or home
  • Feeling helpless, overly agitated, or anxious about the future
  • Having thoughts of hurting oneself or others
  • Excessive use alcohol and drugs

Contact SMU’s Employee Assistance Program – Magellan Health

If you are concerned about a member of your team or a colleague, you may wish to let them know that free confidential support is available and provide them with the following information:phone

  • Our Employee Assistance Plan (EAP), offered through Magellan Health, provides access to tools and other resources online.
  • Employees can also call Magellan directly 24 hours a day to speak to a professional counselor who can provide free and confidential assistance immediately.
  • All faculty and staff, as well as their dependents, are eligible for up to three (3) face-to-face counseling visits per year through the EAP at no cost.
  • If further counseling is needed, an outside resource will be recommended by Magellan based on the issues involved and the individual’s ability to pay.
  • The cost of additional visits are covered under the individual’s medical plan.

Visit our webpage for more information or call (877) 704-5696. IfMagellan logo you have questions about using the EAP, or want more guidance in how to have referral conversations with an employee, email us at

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) offer specific information about the Ebola virus on their website:

This document is for your information only. It is not meant to give medical advice and should not be used to replace a visit with a provider. If you have specific concerns, please consult your medical provider.