Working during COVID-19

For managers and teams

Managers are being called upon to respond to situations they’ve never faced before. UW CareLink wants to help support you through these situations, no matter how big or small.

UW CareLink provides a range of services for you and your team in the event of a traumatic workplace event, which could include:

  • A coworker’s serious illness, death or suicide
  • A threatening or violent work incident
  • A man-made or natural disaster
  • Accumulated trauma and anxiety related to COVID-19

This list isn’t exhaustive, contact your HR consultant to learn how UW CareLink can support your team through facilitated discussions and on-site consultations.

How does traumatic incident response work during COVID-19?

In the past, counselors would visit with teams on-site. However, due to the COVID-19 crisis the options have changed. Here is a list of the options available during the outbreak:

Telephonic group debriefing: Employees impacted by the event are provided with a conference telephone# to join other participants. No more than 20 employees should participate in the debriefing conducted by a CISM Counselor.

Video group debriefing: The employer provides their own secured platform to the employees and the CISM Counselor. It is imperative that the platform be tested by the CISM Counselor prior to the scheduled debriefing. The employer’s IT staff should be available during the testing and during the session to correct any technological issues. No more than 20 employees should participate in the debriefing conducted by a CISM Counselor.

Individual telephonic support: (sessions are scheduled from 10 AM – 4 PM)
If the impacted employees are in the office:

  • Employees should be provided with a private room for their telephonic sessions with the CISM Counselor.
    • The session is usually 15 minutes in duration.
    • The employee will contact the CISM Counselor at the telephone number provided for the session.
    • Upon completion of the call, the employee will leave the door open for the next employee to make the call.
  • If the impacted employees are working remotely:
    • The employer will schedule appointments in 20 minute intervals for employees interested in utilizing the services.
    • For confidential purposes, the employees are not required to use their names. They can use initials, symbols, acronyms, etc., as long as they know their scheduled time for the session.
    • The schedule is sent to the CISM counselor prior to the contracted time for CISM services.

Please note that CISM services offer support, normalize common reactions and provide coping skills. If the group’s questions shift to specific questions about COVID-19, the employees will be redirected to talk about their reactions and concerns about the pandemic. CISM counselors are not medically trained thus are not qualified to discuss the specifics of the pandemic.

UW CareLink helps you maintain a positive, productive work environment by providing coaching on how to handle difficult situations. This includes team building, managing telecommuters, strategies to encourage productivity through times of change, and more.

To utilize this resource, call UW Carelink at 866-598-3978.

What should I expect when I call UW CareLink and ask for a management consultation?
When you call into UW CareLink, the guidance consultant who answers the phone will help you schedule an appointment with one of our in-house manager consultants.

How much does this service cost my department?
This service is included in the UW CareLink benefit and does not cost anything to utilize.

Do you have other questions? Let us know by emailing

Being an Effective Manager During COVID-19
The way we manage our departments and staff, as well as our personal lives, during this time of the coronavirus pandemic is new to everyone. In Being An Effective Manager During The COVID-19 Pandemic, we discuss suggestions and tips to help you in your job as a manager.

Navigating your work from home transition
In Navigating Your Work From Home Transition Due to the Coronavirus, a ComPsych expert trainer offers tips and answers questions about working from home, including adjusting to being out of the office, creating an ideal work-from-home space, and other tips for the remote employee. This webinar is available in English, Arabic, French, German, Hindi, Spanish, and Thai.We offer more webinars available in up to 12 languages, find them on our upcoming webinars webpage.

How was your experience?

UW CareLink takes customer service very seriously. If your experience was more than you expected, or wasn’t at all what you expected, we want to know. You can either call UW CareLink’s Program Manager Jessica Cole (206-616-4932) or fill out our anonymous form.