Staying Well with Princeton Benefits, May 2021

May 7, 2021

Every May, the nation unites to recognize Mental Health Awareness Month, an opportunity to highlight the growth and progress our society has made while also raising awareness of the stigma and barriers that exist. Through education and support, we can help our loved ones and ourselves by eliminating misconceptions associated with mental health.

Princeton University cares about the mental health of its employees, yet we also recognize that many employees may be hesitant to speak up and seek help.

If you are dealing with a mental health concern, please know, you are not alone. If you are feeling depressed, anxious, stressed, isolated, overwhelmed, or just need someone to talk to, Princeton has the resources and programs to help you.  

“It’s important that we all take time to care for our mind, just as we do our body, and Princeton offers many resources to help us find and receive the support we may need.” explains Linda Nilsen, Assistant Vice President for Human Resources. “We continue to live in challenging times and may not feel like ourselves. I encourage everyone to explore and take advantage of the mental health resources available to them.” 

Taking care of your mental, physical, and financial well-being is critically important. We hope you will take advantage of the offerings and information below to assist you in reaching your personal goals. 



Introducing Tess, an interactive AI technology mental health tool that coaches you through text message conversations. Tess was designed by clinical psychologists and provides specialized guidance that is relevant to you. Tess will introduce you to cognitive behavioral therapy during your interactive conversations, relaxation exercises, and more. To start using Tess, text “hi” to (415) 360-0039. (Text messaging rates may apply.)

Beyond Blue: Understanding Mental Illness

Be a mental health advocate by learning about the influencers for promoting positive mental health, recognizing the symptoms of common mental health disorders, and countering misbeliefs about mental health. In addition, you’ll learn where to turn for your own assistance or to help someone else.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021, Noon to 1:00 p.m.
Register through Zoom

Discover the ways Carebridge, our Employee Assistance Program, can support you and your family. The benefit offers eight face-to-face, confidential, free counseling sessions, per issue, per person. To speak with a licensed professional and begin counseling, call Carebridge at (800) 437-0911.


Teladoc Behavioral Health allows you to video conference with a licensed health provider, including psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, and social workers, who can provide both therapy and medication management to help treat depression, anxiety, and stress. This confidential service allows you to establish an ongoing relationship with the provider of your choice and schedule regular visits. Visits are covered at the same cost as in-network, in-person mental health visits to you and your dependents enrolled in a Princeton medical plan.

If you feel like your condition isn’t improving or your treatment isn’t working, Teladoc Medical Experts Behavioral Health Navigator program can you get the support you need to feel better. The program leverages a cross-functional team of leading psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers to help manage your mental health. Experts will provide a second opinion on your diagnosis and an action plan to get you on the path to wellness faster. They will complete an in-depth review and assessment of the existing diagnosis and treatment plan while guiding you through the mental healthcare system and can help you find a mental health provider who specializes in a specific condition. This is available at no cost to benefits eligible employees and their dependents.

To get started with Teladoc programs call (855) 835-2362.


My Health Coach

Did you know that each year 45% of adults in the United States are diagnosed with high blood pressure, the leading cause of a stroke? In honor of National Stroke Awareness Month, take a moment to review these healthy habits that can help you control high blood pressure.

Stroke Awareness
In this seminar, participants will learn the risk factors, signs and symptoms of a stroke, and lifestyle strategies for stroke prevention.

Thursday, May 20, 11:00 a.m.
Register through Zoom

Thursday, May 27, 11:00 a.m.
Register through Zoom

Get more details on the My Health Coach program.

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Read about the ways to reduce your risk and the importance of self-examination to detect skin cancer at the earliest stage. Making an appointment for a screening with a dermatologist is also highly recommended.


For a limited time, benefits-eligible faculty and staff enrolled in a Princeton medical plan can take advantage of a special giveaway while taking care of their health at the same time.

Castlight, a Princeton benefits partner, will randomly select ten employees who are registered with Castlight by May 21, 2021 to receive a $500 award! It’s easy to sign up for Castlight and receive personalized, confidential health benefits information. To register, visit the Castlight website or download the app.

Castlight will select the recipients at random on June 4. A complete list of rules and details can be found on the Castlight Giveaway Rules webpage.



Keep your financial goals on track with TIAA’s live webinars, including “Looking at Turning Your Retirement Savings into a Paycheck for Life?” and “The 411 on 529 College Savings Plans.” For the complete listing of this month’s TIAA webinars, visit the registration page.

TIAA offers individual retirement counseling sessions, either online or by phone, which provide in-depth planning assistance. To schedule an appointment, register online.


To speak to a counselor about the University’s retirement plan and/or other financial issues, call the Retirement Advice Line at (800) 967-9948. For more information, visit the CAPTRUST website. This benefit is free, completely confidential, and provided by a company that has no products or services to sell you.


Isles is dedicated to helping people manage everyday money issues such as budgeting, saving, and reducing debt.

They also provide HUD-certified housing counselors who can assist those looking to purchase a first home, as well as those having difficulty meeting their mortgage or rent obligations. Counseling is available in English and Spanish.

Learn more about the programs and services provided by Isles.


For questions about physical or mental well-being resources, contact Lynn Herbine. For financial well-being inquiries, contact Jane Edgar. The Benefits Team is available to assist at (609) 258-3302 or For complete details on all well-being resources and programs, visit the Well-Being webpage.