Holiday help available to assist with employees’ well-being


The winter holiday season can be celebratory and fun. But it can also put our well-being to the test. Extra dessert, a celebratory cocktail, endless gift giving, anxiety and depression can all add up over the holiday season.

U-M has a variety of no-cost resources to help faculty, staff and their families be well this holiday season. 

“The well-being of our faculty and staff is a top priority,” said Rich Holcomb, associate vice president for human resources. “There are so many levers that can impact one’s well-being, especially around the holidays. The university has many programs to help with things like nutrition, counseling and alcohol management that people might not even realize are available.”

MHealthy recipes

MHealthy’s recipe database has delicious and healthy ideas to serve over the holidays. More than 300 healthy recipes are available that meet MHealthy’s Nutrition Guidelines.

Maize and Blue Cupboard

The Maize and Blue Cupboard food pantry provides U-M faculty, staff and students who have an immediate need with healthy, nutritious and nourishing food and the ability to prepare it for themselves or others.

The Maize and Blue Cupboard’s mission is to ensure that no one goes without at U-M. The Maize and Blue Cupboard food pantry is free to anyone with a valid Mcard. Employees can also support the cupboard by donating food or money, or by volunteering.

Holiday stop and swap

Employees looking to be more mindful of their drinking choices or not drink alcohol at all can sign up to receive weekly emails from MHealthy’s Alcohol Management Program.

Participants will receive an email every week through Jan. 3, 2022, full of tips and resources to help cut down or take a break from alcohol.

Diabetes prevention

For those at risk of developing diabetes, a diabetes prevention program might be right. In many cases diabetes and other health problems can be delayed or prevented through modest lifestyle changes like eating a healthier diet and increasing physical activity.

U-M Health Plan members who meet eligibility criteria can join diabetes prevention programs developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan, with no out-of-pocket cost.

Resources for mental and emotional health

Just like physical health, mental and emotional health is an essential part of one’s overall wellness, deserving of ongoing attention and care. A wealth of services and resources are available to support mental and emotional health. 

Counseling services

U-M faculty, staff and adult dependents who want to speak to someone have access to Mental Health Counseling and Consultation Services through the university. The Michigan Medicine Office of Counseling & Workplace Resilience and Faculty and Staff Counseling and Consultation Office offer confidential counseling, educational classes and discussion groups at no cost.  

Resources for financial well-being

Data shows that personal finances continue to be a leading cause of stress for many Americans. Financial stress occurs when there is uncertainty around finances, a sense of worry about the future, and a lack of security. All this can be exacerbated by holiday parties, gift giving and more. 

There are many resources and professionals available to help anyone experiencing financial stress.

Physical activity

Whether a New Year’s resolution or just a goal to keep moving, MHealthy has a variety of physical activity programs and resources available to faculty and staff. Free live exercise classes are available through Slack in the #well-being-and-benefits channel of the umichWORKS workspace. There’s also a library of past exercise class videos available on the MHealthy YouTube channel.

Preventing COVID-19 and flu

Anyone traveling or gathering with friends and family should continue to follow public health recommendations for staying healthy. The CDC recommends vaccines for both COVID-19 and influenza.

Find more guidance on the CDC and the Campus Maize & Blueprint websites.


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