In light of the recent tragic events, we would like to remind you that free individual counseling services are available to UCSC faculty and staff through the Employee Assistance Program.

To obtain a referral, please contact our EAP services provider, United Behavioral Health, toll-free at 1-866-808-6205. This call may be made 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All EAP services are completely confidential.


Traumatic events that cause stressful reactions are known as "critical incidents." Common examples include community or natural disasters; serious injury or death of a coworker; workplace violence, suicide or homicide; and major organizational changes.

As a result of the traumatic event, you may be experiencing unusually strong emotions that interfere with your ability to work effectively or function at home. Itís very common, and quite normal, for people to experience emotional aftershocks following such a stressful ordeal. Sometimes these reactions are felt immediately; sometimes they appear hours, days, even weeks or months later.

Critical incident stress is often so traumatic that people need professional assistance from a counselor to cope with it. This is not a sign of weakness. It is normal and simply means that the event was just too powerful for you to handle by yourself.

Recognizing critical incident stress

Critical incidents may produce a wide range of symptoms that are unusual for you. Remember that these are normal reactions to an abnormal situation. The reactions are different for each person, but may affect:

How you think

How you feel physically

How you feel emotionally

How you behave

What you can do for yourself

Remember that youíre normal and having normal reactions. Give yourself permission to feel bad.

What you can do for other people

Returning to normal

It may take longer for some people than others, but things will return to normal over time.

Things to remember about critical incidents

Critical incidents are usually sudden and unexpected. Itís good to be prepared and know what to do in case a crisis situation happens.

Your Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

Your EAP benefit offers you confidential assistance to help you deal with a wide range of personal, health or work-related issues. This free service helps you manage stress, overcome anxiety or depression, and cope with grief or loss. EAP counselors are available anytime, every day. Simply call the toll-free EAP number 1-866-808-6205.

For general information about the EAP, you may contact the EAP directly at the above number or the UCSC Benefits Office at (831) 459-4996.