In addition to individual counseling, the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) provides a wide variety of consultation services to all members of the University’s Campus and Health leadership (Chancellor’s and Dean’s offices; department Chairs and Division Chiefs; Principal Investigators, Directors, Managers and Supervisors, Human Resource Generalists and Business Partners, etc.).
FSAP consulting services are based on the principles of organizational psychology and behavior and are designed to restore or enhance the functioning of employees in their jobs and the teams they belong to. All FSAP consultation services, like our individual counseling services, are offered free of charge and on a confidential basis and are designed to address the kinds of problems those in management might encounter, including:
|Psychiatric symptoms or behavioral problems
||Impairment due to substance abuse
|Interpersonal conflict among team members
||Employee or patient safety concerns
|Impact of organizational change
|Breakdowns in respect, trust, and civility
Services Available to Management and Organizations
Many times as a manager or supervisor, you may find yourself dealing with behavior or performance problems that you’re not sure how to understand or deal with. Such situations may involve possible impairment due to mental health or substance abuse, problematic interpersonal relations, significant changes to your organization, poor team cohesion, and the like. FSAP provides all supervisors and managers with free, confidential consultations about such situations, including effective strategies for dealing with them.
In those situations where one of your employees may suffer from a form of impairment — whether due to substance abuse or a mental health condition — special care must be taken to ensure that its impact on their performance, behavior, and interpersonal relations is well-managed. This is particularly true when the employee works in a safety-sensitive position (e.g., health care providers, vehicle operators, childcare workers), or when their impairment may significantly affect the operations of your team. In such cases, FSAP will work with you and the employee to make sure that they are properly assessed and referred for the appropriate kind of treatment — which typically involves a short leave of absence. When the employee is ready to return to work, FSAP will work with you to set up a Return to Work Agreement that provides a framework of accountability and support designed to maximize their chances for success. A key element of such arrangements is FSAP’s Case Management service, where one of our counselors will work with you, the employee, and their treatment providers, both to ensure compliance with the terms of the Agreement as well as to help the employee deal with any challenges or obstacles that may arise, so that they are able successfully to fulfill their obligations and retain their position.
Conflicted working relationships can have a very detrimental effect on how your team performs its work and on the overall workplace climate, and can lead to poor morale, incivility, and even complaints of a hostile work environment. Sometimes, the conflict centers around disagreements about how to work together to achieve shared business goals (e.g., roles and responsibilities, priorities, deadlines, methodology, and so forth); in such cases, FSAP recommends employing the mediation services of the UCSF Office of the Ombuds. At other times, the conflict may seem to have a significant psychological or emotional component, involve a serious personality clash, a breakdown of trust, or an inability to resolve past issues; in such cases, a more clinically informed approach may be needed, for which FSAP offers its Facilitated Conversation service. This service, like all FSAP assistance, is confidential and voluntary, where a counselor will work with both parties to clear the air around past disputes as well as to establish new agreements for working together in the future.
Critical Incident Debriefing
In a community as large as UCSF, there are bound to be a number of incidents every year that can have a profound, disturbing, or upsetting impact on our employees. Such critical incidents can include everything from natural disasters to workplace bullying, sexual and other forms of harassment, stalking, intense but nonviolent interpersonal clashes, a possibly suicidal staff member, even the death of a co-worker or a patient. Such incidents are highly stressful and typically affect many people at once, sometimes an entire workgroup or department. In all such situations, FSAP offers expert Critical Incident Debriefing services, where counselors will meet with the affected members of your team to help them deal with the event, learn any important lessons there may be to take away from it, and process its effect on them individually and as a group.
Threat Assessment & Management
Although relatively infrequent, one of the most serious kinds of critical incidents that can occur in the UCSF community is workplace violence. Violence in the workplace is defined as any violation of the UCSF Zero Tolerance Standard for Workplace Violence policy (MyAccess login required), including acts or threats of violence as well as intimidating behavior. FSAP is a standing member of the UCSF Threat Management Team (TMT) and is responsible to provide expert guidance on the psychological and behavioral aspects of such incidents. Any manager or UCSF community leader who believes they may be facing such a problem is welcome to consult with FSAP about their concerns. A counselor will help you gather all of the information relevant to assessing the nature and severity of the problem, and if warranted, will take the case to the full TMT, and then work with you afterward to ameliorate the impact of the incident on your team.
UCSF has revised UCSF Administrative Policy 150-27: UCSF Policy on Violence and Bullying, effective November 1, 2019. The revision adds language to define and prohibit bullying and abusive conduct as is currently outlined in UC President Janet Napolitano’s Guidance on Abusive Conduct and Bullying in the Workplace as well as in California Assembly Bill 2053. It also clarifies where to report violence as well as bullying and abusive conduct. The revised policy can be located here: https://policies.ucsf.edu/policy/150-27.
Generally speaking, retreats for staff, faculty and leadership groups are designed to deal with normal business operations and organizational development. However, sometimes a workgroup may be dealing with significant challenges, stressors, or critical incidents that significantly impact how they function and how its members relate to one another. In such cases, where some form of team (re-)building is called for, FSAP can help you design and facilitate a retreat (half or all day), which can involve facilitated group discussions, trainings in needed group skills such as better communication or change management, recreational team-building activities, etc.
One of FSAP’s primary areas of responsibility is to promote wellness and emotional intelligence within the UCSF community. FSAP regularly provides a wide variety of psychoeducational services to the UCSF community, including Grand Rounds lectures, presentations, trainings, seminars, workshops and custom-tailored courses for different organizational groups and departments. If you believe your group would benefit from our psychoeducational services, you can consult with an FSAP counselor who will help identify what kind of approach would work best for you and then design a one-time or ongoing program to meet those needs.
Mindfulness-based Self-compassion Program
Please note: Due to COVID-19, we have suspended this program until further notice. For future courses and dates, please check back at a later time.
As an extension of FSAP’s psychological education services to the UCSF community, trained FSAP counselors, with experience in mindfulness training, offer an 8-week Mindfulness-based Self-compassion Course. This course is a free service to the Campus and Medical Center Faculty and Staff with limited availability offered year around. Individuals interested in this course must attend the information session to be enrolled. This program promotes mindfulness through a heart-centered and compassionate approach to everyday living. The purpose of the course is to increase self-awareness, emotional regulation, and decrease stress. The group will be open to all UCSF faculty, staff, residents, postdocs, and clinical fellows.