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It is decorative gourd season; we are prepping for physically distanced trick-or-treating and for a long and uncertain road through the dark and cold months ahead. Today, we highlight resources for all of us whose batteries are running on empty as well as more for caregivers navigating the challenges of work and life during this time.

For all:

On Oct. 7, Drs. Michele Bedard-Gilligan and Kristen Lindgren from Trauma Recovery Innovations presented Fostering Resilience During Times of Chronic Stress: Strengthening Coping and Protecting the Most Vulnerable covering typical reactions to crises such as COVID-19, emphasizing the human ability to be resilient and protect ourselves against long-term ill effects. If you missed the session, you can access the video here.

Need ways to move your body when stuck inside? Check out UW Recreation and The Whole U’s yoga breaks on Zoom at 11 a.m., Monday-Friday. Register for October’s celebration of Yoga Month to access the Zoom link.

Whether you have been struggling with a difficult clinical event or just feeling worn down from the grind of it all, reach out to Peer to Peer. Peer Supporters understand the challenges of day-to-day life in healthcare, have been in your shoes and want to walk with you through the hard times. Facing a more complex challenge? Take advantage of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences’ Supportive Conversations through which you will be paired with a volunteer clinician for an informal, non-clinical discussion.  And always, when life feels overwhelming, please contact CareLink.

For parents, families, and caregivers:

As we move into cold and flu season in addition to COVID-19, make sure you are staying home and getting tested if you have symptoms.

  • Testing: As an employee, you can fill out the UW Medicine COVID-19 Testing Survey and then have access to schedule a test. Many daycares, schools and group learning environments are asking kids exhibiting symptoms to stay home until they have a negative test. If your child or a household member has symptoms, call the Contact Center Employee Line to schedule expedited testing. A huge thanks to everyone who helped make family testing possible and to our COVID-19 testing teams who continue to brave the elements to help us all slow the spread.
  • Movement: Have kids at home who miss recess? Join the Whole U and UW Athletics in bringing back recess and P.E. with 15-minute breaks coached by UW athletes and team coaches every Monday and Wednesday at noon. Learn more about Recess Breaks with UW Athletics on the Whole U website.
  • Tutoring: Stumped by your kid’s math homework and need to call for back up? Our local libraries are here to help. King County Library System members have unlimited, free access to Each session is 20-30 minutes long and is designed to help learners with one to two questions. Learn about through King County LibrariesPierce County and Sno-Isle Libraries members have access to HelpNow, a live, online professional tutoring service. Learn more on the Pierce County Library System and Sno-Isle Libraries websites. HelpNow offers tutoring and homework help in Spanish for any subject it supports in English.
  • Connect: Still looking to find other families to share the load of childcare responsibilities? Check out Komae, a cooperative app that helps connect you to other families with similar needs.
  • Support: Want some help with in-home care or learning supports? Learn more about UW Child Care Connections (UWC3) and request assistance on the UWC3 website.

The challenges facing parents and caregivers whose children have special needs and Individual Education Plans (IEPs) during remote schooling has been huge. We have compiled a list of supports with the help of our colleagues from the UW Division of Occupational Therapy. To access a full and updated list, please see our UW Medicine Well-Being and Support webpage.

  • Webinar: COVID-19 – Supporting Families in a Pandemic, Monday, Oct. 19, 12:30-1:30 p.m. facilitated by Lisa Mancl, MS, CCC-A, and Susan Wendel, MS, OTR/L, from UW Leadership Education for Neurocognitive Diversity (UW LEND). Access via Zoom link using passcode: UWLEND21. A recording will be made available on our Well-Being and Support page afterwards.

Though this autumn feels quite different from all others as we navigate many additional stressors in our world, we can still find beauty — not just in the changing leaves and fall landscapes, but also in the strength of our community. Thank you all for the incredible efforts you are making to provide excellent care to patients, preform cutting edge research, and take care of your family and friends. We’ll continue to get through this together

With gratitude,

Anne Browning, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean for Well-Being, UW School of Medicine
Founding Director, UW Resilience Lab
Affiliate Assistant Professor, UW College of Education


Patricia Kritek, MD, Ed.M.
Associate Dean – Faculty Affairs
Professor – Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine
University of Washington School of Medicine