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  1. What is an EAP?
  2. What services does the EAP offer?
  3. Why do some employers offer EAP services?
  4. Why would I want to use an employer sponsored program for personal issue?
  5. Who in the employee's family is covered by the EAP?

What is an EAP?

An EAP (Employee Assistance Program) is a mental wellness benefit that employers may offer that provides confidential counseling support to employees dealing with personal and/or emotional issues. The goal is to quickly improve both the employee's (or family member) personal and professional life.  The EAP provides a range of services to benefit you and your family.  The EAP's goal is to provide employees with assistance in resolving personal and workplace problems and to maintain a high performing , engaged, and motivated workforce.

What services does the EAP offer?

The EAP offers counseling services and/or referrals for nearly any issue that affects an employee’s personal or professional life or an employer’s ability to offer a safe and productive workplace. All services are confidential, and are free to the employee and his/her family (there is not even a co-pay). The number of free counseling sessions per employee is generally capped according to the employers contract with the EAP and sessions may be extended through the use of the employee's medical benefit program.

Some typical issues that EAP's can help employees deal with include:

  • Relationship issues (professional or personal)
  • Marital or premarital troubles; divorce or separation
  • Child/Adolescent concerns
  • Family Issues
  • Substance Abuse – drug or alcohol
  • Gambling Addiction
  • Sex / Pornography Addictions
  • Eating disorders
  • Emotional Distress; Behavioral Disorders
  • Grief
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Life Changes
  • Low self-esteem
  • Excessive absenteeism
  • Deterioration in work performance

The EAP may also offer:

  • Education and training on the work site regarding substance abuse, emotional health issues, conflict resolution, stress, anxiety, violence in the workplace, or other issues affecting the quality of life of the employees.
  • Human Resource policy making (examples: sexual harassment, concealed weapons, workplace violence, etc.)
  • Critical incident response (examples: workplace violence, sudden deaths, etc.)
  • Organizational Development services (examples: leadership effectiveness training)
  • Legal referrals
  • Eldercare resources
  • Childcare resources

Why do some employers offer EAP services?

Employers use EAP's to help employees and their affected family members deal with issues that get in the way of productive personal or professional lives. Many employers have found that it is more cost-effective to help an employee deal with their issues than to replace them when those issues begin to affect the quality of their work. Research has shown that for every dollar that employers invest in EAP programs, there is a return of $6-16 back in employee productivity, lower absenteeism, limited use of sick time, and reduced health care costs.

Why would I want to use an employer sponsored program for a personal issue?

Local and federal laws protect the employee’s privacy when accessing EAP services. Employers will not be notified that a specific employee has contacted the EAP. Employees using the service must authorize, in writing, any information to be shared outside of the EAP with other therapists, medical professionals, or their employer.

Also, there is no cost to the employee for accessing services within the specifications of the EAP contract.

Who in the employee's family is covered by the EAP?

EAP services are typically authorized for the employee and any family members also covered by other employee benefits, such as health coverage.