From Compassion to Action: Supporting Employees that Support Our Communities

The following is an excerpt from the 2018 Magellan Community Impact Report.

Learning and evolving aren’t just how we approach doing business. Magellan is committed to helping people reach their fullest human potential. But reaching your fullest potential could get derailed at any minute by a disaster.

Serving state employees during their toughest moments

The Camp Fire, which began November 8, 2018, was the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history to date. It destroyed much of the town of Paradise, took 85 lives, and destroyed 13,972 homes, 528 businesses and 4,293 other buildings. The fire was followed by severe flooding. As the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provider to the State of California, Magellan was immediately there to help. Through centralized specialty critical incident stress debriefings (CISDs), Magellan provides structured on-site support to employees who have been impacted by a traumatic event.

Delivering an employee wellness strategy best practice

CISDs give employees access to immediate, expert and compassionate support to help them understand and process their feelings about the traumatic event. Magellan can also recommend additional resources available through EAP, such as legal and financial assistance, and provide referrals to community resources. And, where appropriate, we provide one-on-one follow-up support. Magellan’s dedicated call center is available 24/7 and is staffed with trained clinical professionals to take calls and work with employers to develop appropriate support.

Providing support in critically stressful times

Magellan provided more than 40 CISDs for over 300 California state agency employees in response to 2018 wildfire and flooding natural disasters. Magellan CISD provider Shammy Pius, MFT, describes her experience leading debriefings for the Camp Fire event:

“I conducted numerous sessions with state agency employees, many of whom had to cope with their own personal losses while serving and supporting others. The support Magellan gave state employees was beneficial to them but also had a positive ripple effect in their communities. The group sessions helped employees feel like they weren’t alone. The feelings they were experiencing were normalized when they heard that their colleagues were also experiencing anger, sadness and stress. Importantly, it was essential that each employee not minimize their own experience.    Everyone felt disruption to some degree. Educating them about resiliency and coping techniques during the event and soon after encouraged employees to accept the support that was offered to them. We help set the expectation that recovery will take a while, but there is hope and things do get better over time. It’s incredible how people come together in times of adversity – it’s truly heartwarming. I’m essentially a stranger going into these workplaces, and I get to be a part of people’s journeys during some of their most difficult times. It’s an honor to me to do this work  for Magellan.”

Evolving through our experiences

Magellan’s team responds to more than  5,000 critical incidents annually. Our CISD program offers access to a network of 8,100+ masters-level clinicians with crisis intervention training. We intervene carefully and thoughtfully, listen, reassure and teach resiliency. We wish these services were never needed, but since they unfortunately are, we embrace them as times to learn, evolve and help others live healthy vibrant lives.

Satisfied customers

  •   99% of clients said the CISD plan was easy  to arrange and done in a timely manner
  •   98% of clients said the EAP counselor was professional, courteous and understood their needs In response to tragedies and detrimental weather events, Magellan sets up a 24-hour toll-free hotline for individuals to access, regardless of whether or not they are Magellan members.

The 24-hour crisis lines are staffed by behavioral health professionals who provide free, confidential consultation services and other resources, such as referrals to local non-profit organizations, shelters and additional community based support.