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Health & Wellness

Being a postdoc can be stressful, but maintaining your health and wellness is essential to help you do your best work.  Postdocs are eligible to access counseling services offered by the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP).  In partnership with FSAP, OPSA also offers annual Postdoc Health & Wellness workshops. For postdocs with Health insurance through the UC Postdoctoral Scholar Benefits Plan (PSBP), Health Net offers a variety of programs that will assist you with maintaining both your, and your family’s, health.

Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP)

The Faculty and Staff Assistance Program is a confidential service designed to help Postdoctoral and Visiting Scholars resolve concerns that may be affecting personal well-being and/or job performance. Services are completely confidential. All records are kept strictly within the program office and will not be released to anyone without your written consent. Information regarding your participation in the program is never placed in personnel or departmental files, and receiving FSAP assistance will in no way jeopardize job or career opportunities. Individual counseling is available to help individuals with range of issues, including conflict resolution, trauma recovery, wellness, grief and violence.  Educational workshops and support groups are also available on a variety of topics. 

Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP)

Phone: (858) 534-5523

Street address:

Torrey Pines Center South
10280 N. Torrey Pines Road
Suite 406
La Jolla, CA 92037

Becoming a Resilient Postdoc Series

Navigating career planning, research environments, and the stress of life can seem overwhelming and lead us to doubt ourselves just when we need confidence the most. The goal of this series is to help you develop the resilience you need to navigate challenging situations in research, work, and life. 

The series will consist of five small group discussion that will be based on concepts introduced in associated recorded webinars. The webinars will highlight emotional intelligence competencies needed for academic success and for thriving in research and in your future career. We will discuss the cultivation of skills to help you realize resilience and identify and deal with obstacles that get in your way.  

While each discussion session can be attended independently, the material is related and concepts will be developed throughout the units, so there is benefits to attending the entire series if you are able. Individuals who attended the entire series felt they had become more resilient and were better able to handle stress and conflict in their lives. 

Session 1. An Introduction to Resilience and Wellness

We all experience setback and disappointments in research, work, and life. In the first session in this series, we will explore the seven key elements of resilience introduced in the webinar with a focus on building habits that promote healthier responses and resilient behaviors in the face of set-back in educational and work environments.

Webinar recording: 

Group Discussion: 2/7 from 9-10 am PT.  

Register HERE

Session 2. Exploring Self-Talk: Cognitive Distortions & Imposter Fears

We tell ourselves stories about what is happening to us and around us. In the second session in this series, we will explore how our self-talk is generated and look at ways our self-talk can either help us be more resilient or how it can hurt us and hold us back. We will explore two important elements of our self-talk introduced in the webinar, cognitive distortions and imposter fears and discuss ways to recognize internal messages and input from others that distorts our views of our abilities and accomplishments.

Webinar recording: 

Group Discussion: 4/3 from 9-10 am PT

Register HERE

Session 3. Self-Advocacy and Assertiveness for Researchers

We all need to develop the skills needed to be assertive and to advocate for ourselves, especially in hierarchical environments where we sometimes feel we do not have a voice. In this third session, we will explore how to set boundaries, communicate expectations, ask for feedback, and discuss difficult issues with friends, mentors, colleagues, and supervisors.

Webinar recording: 

Group Discussion: 6/5 from 9-10 am PT

Register HERE

Session 4. Developing Feedback Resilience

We all need feedback to grow and learn but we often become defensive and are unable to learn from the feedback we receive, even if it is delivered well. In our fourth discussion, we will talk about why receiving feedback is so difficult and explore ways to stay calm and engaged when receiving feedback. We will also talk about giving feedback in a calm and assertive way so that our voice can be heard.

Webinar recording: 

Group Discussion: 8/7 from 9-10 am PT

Register HERE

Session 5. Managing Up to Maximize Mentoring Relationships

We all need mentors to support and encourage us throughout our educational and career journey. In our fifth discussion, we will talk about the mentoring relationship in research environments with a focus on improving your relationship with your supervisor/PI, finding mentors, and on improving communication and interpersonal interactions. This discussion will help you clarify what you need from your supervisors and mentors and address how to get what you need out of these important interactions.

Webinar recording: 

Group Discussion: 10/2 from 9-10 am PT

Register HERE

HealthNet Wellness Plan

Health Net offers a variety of programs that will assist you with maintaining both your, and your family’s, health. When you are a member in a Health Net medical plan, you will have access to the various valuable classes and programs offered. More information.

  • For discounts on fitness apparel and club memberships, complementary health care and weight management, please click on Healthy Discounts (PDF).
  • Decision Power is a program through Health Net that offers a variety of methods to track possible health risks and identify potential problems. The goal of this program is to assist through online coaching with a guide to pregnancy, tobacco use, weight management, nutrition and stress reduction. Please click on Decision Power (PDF) for information on enrolling in this program.
  • If you wish to make the healthy decision to quit smoking, Smoking Cessation (PDF) offers a plan to help you kick the habit with the assistance of either online or telephone support.
  • Lose Weight (PDF) is another health-wise program offered through Decision Power that keeps you motivated to lose weight, offers healthy eating choices and counseling from a health coach.