The IDEA Office has heard from various colleagues that some Berkeley Lab staff are evacuating due to the fires, or are in high risk zones and are prepared to evacuate. Also, some colleagues are being impacted by family members now staying with them, since relatives were required to evacuate over the last several days.
With all of this happening, in addition to the pandemic and other factors impacting physical and mental health, wanted to remind you to check in with your friends, colleagues and staff. One person recently shared that the fires might just put her “over the edge” in terms of her mental and emotional capacity, and many others have mentioned migraines and difficulty focusing due to the air quality. We know that there are also some safety concerns working on site as well. This is a time to continue exercising patience, empathy, and understanding during this period of additional stress, and to keep an open door for colleagues who might need support.
Please continue to promote our free Employee Assistance Program called “Be Well at Work” for additional support and resources. Colleagues can also participate in the “Wellness in the New Normal” initiative led by our All Access ERG for emotional well-being, as well as the new “Solo @ Home” program. The All Access ERG website also has a list of local, regional and national mental health resources.
Thank you for your support, and I hope you and your loved ones are staying safe.
Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer