A wellness message for Cesar Chavez Day

UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Paul Alivisatos, Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion Oscar Dubón, and Chief People and Culture Officer Eugene Whitlock sent the following message to faculty and staff on Friday:

Tomorrow is Cesar Chavez Day, a holiday honoring the principles of fairness, social justice, and the struggle for equity in the workplace and all of society. As we continue to adjust to our new reality created by COVID-19, both with respect to work and our personal lives, it is more important than ever to pause and think about the broader values and personal meaning that this day represents. Managers should encourage all employees (unless required to perform emergency services) to take the time to rest, reflect and renew. We offer special recognition to those who continue to maintain our critical campus operations during this crisis and who support the most vulnerable members of our community.

These are uncertain times. As the news and guidance around COVID-19 change and intensify, it is normal to feel overwhelmed and experience stress and anxiety. The current circumstances are particularly difficult for those who do not have necessary resources, or for whom home or the location of shelter is not physically or psychologically safe.

Please know that despite social distance, you are not alone. Campus resources are still available for you, including those listed at the end of this message. We also invite you to compassionately support others, as you are able. Everyone deserves support.

We are so grateful for how Berkeley staff and faculty are finding time to come together with their colleagues in healthy and creative ways during this crisis. We encourage you to read this Berkeley News article about how some of our community members are connecting via virtual happy hours, online art classes, livestreamed yoga sessions, and more. The central campus is looking into other methods of bringing us together while we’re physically apart, and is collecting suggestions for how to make the best of our current situation. We encourage you to view and take part in these efforts.

With best wishes for your well-being on Cesar Chavez Day, and all those to follow.

Wellness Resources

Employees can access free, confidential support from a licensed mental health professional through Be Well at Work – Employee Assistance. Appointments, including phone and video options, can be scheduled:

The PATH to Care Center offers confidential and free support around sexual assault, sexual harassment, interpersonal violence, stalking, and invasion of sexual privacy. Most advocacy is taking place remotely, but accompaniments to medical care, court, and law enforcement are still available. These services are available for all employees and students.

  • Care Line: (510) 643-2005 for 24/7 urgent support
  • Main Line: (510) 642-1988 for appointment and questions

Our coronavirus faculty/staff wellness resource page provides information on a range of wellness topics such as:

  • Ergonomic tips for remote workstations
  • Taking care of our physical well-being through exercise and nutrition
  • Work/life and parenting resources
  • Strategies for addressing elder care challenges; and
  • Ways to understand our emotional responses during this time

People and Culture Resources

The campus has set up a Job Exchange program to allow supervisors and managers to (1) request additional support from staff and student employees, and (2) identify staff and student employees who are currently underutilized and may be able to support other operations on campus.

We’ve also built a curated list of the most popular People and Culture resources to help with working remotely, including tips and tools related to telecommuting, managing teams, leave agreements and much more.