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Public Employee Press: PEP Talk

Anxious? Stressed?

Let PSU help

Coping Skills
  • Pay attention to your thoughts as they influence your feelings and behavior.
  • Challenge negative thoughts and replace them with ones that are more realistic and provide a balanced perspective.
  • Deep breathing, meditation, grounding techniques, imagery and journaling can provide release.
  • Recognize the challenges that you have already overcome this past year. Remind yourself of your strengths and resilience.
  • Be aware of your limits and set reasonable, realistic self-expectations.
  • Learn to assert yourself and say no in a respectful manner.


When a DC 37 member was a victim of domestic violence, she experienced high levels of anxiety. Through the counseling support and referrals provided to her by the union’s Personal Services Unit and her licensed PSU Social Worker, she developed the emotional strength to leave her abuser and develop a safe environment for herself and her children.

A member was a caretaker for his terminally ill mother. Through counseling sessions with a PSU Social Worker, the member received support in processing anticipatory grief. He learned to incorporate self-care into his routine, create healthy boundaries, and reach out to his support system.

Another member experienced multiple losses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially, she functioned in a numb state, but her feelings of depression overwhelmed her. She sought help from PSU and her PSU Social Worker has provided her psycho-education on the stages of grief, providing her the nonjudgmental support she needed.

“The union’s team of licensed PSU Social Workers assists members to identify their inner strengths, increase self-esteem, and develop effective coping techniques to face life’s more difficult challenges,” said Stephanie Kleinberg, PSU Director.

People are adjusting to a new normal of facemasks and more in-person contact. The pandemic also brings isolation and stress that can trigger depression, domestic abuse, and substance misuse. DC 37 members can get help and learn coping skills from PSU.

The DC 37 Health & Security Plan’s PSU is here to support you. To speak with a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for confidential tele-therapy, please call 212.815.1250/1260 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to be screened for services.

“In the two years since the COVID-19 pandemic, people are experiencing more anxiety, grief, and depression, especially our members who are essential workers,” Kleinberg said. “People are understandably grieving the loss of family members, friends, and coworkers to COVID-19. As more and more people are vaccinated and we return to socializing — whether at work, school or with extended family and friends — people may continue to experience degrees of anxiety.”

To help members cope, PSU has added tele-therapy. Kleinberg said, “Members can schedule sessions during their lunch hour. They do not have to travel to Water Street or arrange for childcare. Sessions are private and confidential.”

In some cases, PSU’s Social Workers coordinate with local presidents and reps to help members address their issues in treatment. “In many instances, the interventions and professional therapy we provide saves members’ jobs and pensions,” Kleinberg said. “PSU can help members regain their emotional balance, return to their jobs, and re-engage with their communities.”