Employee Wellness Newsletter

Support the Spread of Wellness

May 2021

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The EWS Newsletter

This newsletter will provide information on emotional, mental, physical and nutritional health. We will focus on a proactive approach to health and well-being. The EWS Newsletter will also offer support & guidance resources and suggestions that we hope will reduce anxiety and stress.
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Mental Health Awareness Month

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Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness.

1 in 5 Americans will be affected by a mental health condition in their lifetime and every American is affected or impacted through their friends and family. Take action today to help others as we fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for equal care.

Throughout May, The National Alliance on Mental Illness and participants across the country are raising awareness for the importance of mental health. Each year we fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for equal care. And, each year, the movement grows stronger.

Source: AdultMentalHealth.org

Know When to Ask for Help

Common signs of mental illness in adults and adolescents can include the following:

  • Excessive worrying or fear
  • Confused thinking or problems concentrating
  • Extreme mood changes
  • Avoiding friends and social activities
  • Changes in sleeping habits or feeling tired and low energy
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Overuse of substances like alcohol or drugs
  • Multiple physical ailments without obvious causes (such as headaches, stomach aches)
  • Inability to carry out daily activities or handle daily problems and stress
  • An intense concern with appearance
  • Thinking about suicide or self-harm

Source: NAMI

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Behavioral Health Resources

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline


About the Lifeline

Mental and Emotional Support in North Texas


North Texas Behavioral Health Authority

Crisis Management Resources in North Texas

North Texas Counties offer behavioral health services and resources on a sliding scale or no cost. These agencies are on call for crisis management 24/7.

Crisis | Mental Health | Counseling | Psychiatric Services | Medication Management

Crisis Management Resources in North Texas

North Texas Counties offer behavioral health services and resources on a sliding scale or no cost. These agencies are on call for crisis management 24/7.

Crisis | Mental Health | Counseling | Psychiatric Services | Medication Management

Dallas County


Dallas County North Texas Behavioral Health Authority Crisis Line

Collin County


Life Path Systems

Denton County


Denton County MHMR Center

Tarrant County


MHMR of Tarrant County

Fight Mental Health Stigma

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Talk Openly About Mental Health

“I fight stigma by talking about what it is like to have bipolar disorder and PTSD on Facebook. Even if this helps just one person, it is worth it for me.” – Angela Christie Roach Taylor

Educate Yourself And Others

“I take every opportunity to educate people and share my personal story and struggles with mental illness. It doesn't matter where I am, if I over-hear a conversation or a rude remark being made about mental illness, or anything regarding a similar subject, I always try to use that as a learning opportunity and gently intervene and kindly express how this makes me feel, and how we need to stop this because it only adds to the stigma.” – Sara Bean

Be Conscious Of Language

“I fight stigma by reminding people that their language matters. It is so easy to refrain from using mental health conditions as adjectives and in my experience, most people are willing to replace their usage of it with something else if I explain why their language is problematic.” – Helmi Henkin

Choose Empowerment Over Shame

“I fight stigma by choosing to live an empowered life. To me, that means owning my life and my story and refusing to allow others to dictate how I view myself or how I feel about myself.” – Val Fletcher

Don’t Harbor Self-Stigma

“I fight stigma by not having stigma for myself—not hiding from this world in shame, but being a productive member of society. I volunteer at church, have friends, and I’m a peer mentor and a mom. I take my treatment seriously. I'm purpose driven and want to show others they can live a meaningful life even while battling [mental illness].” – Jamie Brown

Source: NAMI

The Meaning and Purpose of Life

"If the meaning of life is to find happiness and the purpose of life is doing what makes one happy, then my purpose is what makes the meaning of my life."

Author unknown

What Is the Meaning of Life?

Historical Perspectives on Living With Meaning

Let’s take a step back and see what wise men through history believed a life of purpose to be.

The Greeks

The ancient Greeks believed in the concept of eudaimonia, which translates as “happiness” or “welfare.” All the great Greek philosophers—Socrates, Plato, Aristotle—believed that the good life means to live in a state of eudaimonia.

Aristotle, for instance, believed that eudaimonia required not only a good character, but taking actions and achieving excellence. Epicurus—another prominent Greek—understood the good life as one of pleasure and freedom from pain and suffering.


The Stoic school of thought, founded by Zeno of Citium around 300 B.C., considered the good life to be “living in agreement with nature.” Stoicism advocates doing good while staying calm, focusing on what’s important and under our control, not wasting thoughts on what we can’t change.


Theists believed in the existence of a deity, a God, who created the universe. Our life’s purpose, then, is aligned with God’s purpose in creating the universe, and it is God that gives our lives meaning, purpose, and values. This relates to modern day religious studies and how and why we search for meaning beyond what is readily seen or understood.

Simply put, your life’s meaning is what you decide it to be.

Source: Lifehack

What Makes Life Meaningful?

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Age, routines, and a sense of purpose may help foster the beliefs that life means something.

A sense that life has meaning doesn’t just offer philosophical benefit; it’s also tied to improved physical and mental health.

Researchers who study meaning in life have broken the concept into three facets:

Coherence - the feeling that life makes sense

Purpose - having and working toward goals

Mattering - the sense that one’s life has value and makes a difference

University of Sussex psychologist Vlad Costin argues the last factor, mattering, may be the most crucial.

Costin's research on meaning showed that a sense of mattering most reliably predicts whether we see life as meaningful. He believes that this thought process could have resulted from participants in his research “believing in God, contributing to others, or leaving some form of legacy.”

Source: Psychology Today

How to Lead a Meaningful Life

Be Compassionate and Care About Yourself

  • Connect with community and family
  • Physical exercise
  • Lifelong learning
  • Giving to others
  • Mindfulness of the world around you.

What these recommendations imply is that what brings sunshine into our lives is finding the ways to care about ourselves and to do what makes us feel good.

Source: Lifehack

Check Out the Newest Addition to Our EWS Resources

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Our Wellness Wall includes information on emotional & mental health, nutritional, physical and financial wellness. The "Support the Spread of Wellness" page includes several groups and organizations that have contributed a video sharing knowledge and resources aimed to help us improve our quality of life at work and at home. Click on the "Wellness Wall" button above to learn more.

Complete the survey for each video you watch. The first 3 people who watch the most video sessions by May 26th will win a gift card or gift basket.

May is "Move It" Month!

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We continue to promote the importance of movement this month: walking, jogging, lifting weights, yoga, dancing, aerobic exercise to help relieve stress, anxiety, tension, and fatigue.

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Top 3 Benefits of Exercise

1. Controls Weight
Exercising can help with weight gain or loss depending on your individual needs; the more intense the activity, the more calories you will burn.

2. Prevents Certain Health Conditions
Regular physical activity can help prevent or manage many health conditions including high blood pressure, depression, diabetes, and obesity.

3. Improves Mood and Energy Level

Physical activity stimulates your brain to help you relax, while your heart and lungs work harder during a workout to give you more energy and endurance!

Make sure you contact your doctor or physician before beginning any exercise regimen.

Source: FITDAY

No Cost Online Workouts

May is "Move It" Month

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Participate in the "Move It" Challenge

May 5th through May 26th

Track your exercise minutes, miles, or steps from May 5th through May 24th. The top three participants will win a Wellness Basket. Click on the "Move It" button to begin.

Eating Healthy

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Chicken Tostadas

20 Minute Chicken Tostadas with shredded chicken, black beans, avocado, crumbled cheese and homemade baked tortilla shells


  • 8 corn tortillas or store-bought tostada shells
  • 3 medium tomatoes diced
  • 4 medium avocados diced
  • 3 tbsp red onion finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • Lime juice
  • 15 oz can low sodium black beans drained & rinsed
  • 3 cups shredded chicken
  • 1/2 cup feta or Cotija cheese crumbled
  • Cooking spray (I use Misto)


  • To make homemade tostada shells: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line large baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.

  • Arrange tortillas in a single layer, spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt on both sides.

  • Bake for 6 minutes per each side, means flipping once.

  • Prep toppings: While tostadas are baking, make easy guacamole salsa by combining tomato, avocado, red onion, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, salt and lime juice. Get other ingredients ready.

  • Assembly: To assemble tostadas, top each shell with guacamole salsa, beans, chicken and cheese.

  • Storing tostada shells: You can bake homemade tostada shells for up to 48 hours in advance. Just store in resealable Ziploc bag to keep shells crunchy.

Source: ifoodreal

Nutritional Counseling

Covered by Blue Cross Blue Shield as well as other insurance groups

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Employee Assistance Program

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TRS Active Care

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Virtual Behavioral Health Counseling

Three months free for Irving ISD employees.

Support the Spread of Wellness

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About Us

Our Employee Wellness and Support Services provides opportunities and resources for employees to develop and maintain healthy emotional, mental, and physical well-being through support and guidance, as well as promoting personal and professional productivity through educational engagement.

For more information about Employee Wellness and Support Services visit our website:

Employee Wellness and Support Services or contact Jose Villasenor, EWS Coordinator:

jovillasenor@irvingisd.net | 972-600-5217 Office | 469-781-1843 Mobile

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Questions, Suggestions, Comments


Jose Villasenor


972-600-5217 O | 469-781-1843 M

Employee Wellness Webpage

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