considering an eap

Employee assistance programs can help so many individuals with so many things. From relationship and marital counseling to financial asset management, grief and loss therapy to life coaching, EAPs regularly serve employees by providing benefits for challenges in both personal and professional situations. Especially during a time when so many individuals find themselves facing unprecedented challenges, employee assistance programs are invaluable in providing workers at all skill levels with the tools they need to be able to effectively manage conflicts as they arise.

If you are considering the use of an EAP for your employees, for yourself or for your family members, it’s helpful to know where to start. That’s why we’ve outlined a series of easy-to-ask questions that help govern any conversation around the use of an employee assistance program. After appropriately and completely addressing the questions below, you should have a much better idea as to whether or not an employee assistance program could and will benefit anyone involved.

1. What is an employee assistance program?

To be concise, an employee assistance program connects employees with resources, tools, and necessary counseling to help them cope with any issues they experience in their personal or professional lives. Note that these issues are not limited to challenges experienced in the workplace; rather, employees are encouraged to take advantage of employee assistance program benefits to help them address problems no matter where they arise: in the office, in the home, in relationships, etc.

2. What issues can an employee assistance program help me address?

Employee assistance programs can help you address a wide range of circumstances. Confidential services include substance use treatment, relationship counseling, elder care services and financial planning. EAPs also help you address common mood disorders, including anxiety and depression. Ultimately, employee assistance programs help employees promote a  healthy balance between work and life tasks and priorities.

3. Will my employer know that I’m using an employee assistance program?

Unless you choose to disclose to your employer that you’re taking advantage of your employee assistance program, your employer will not be notified of your participation. The nature of your EAP use is always kept completely confidential, and only you have the capacity to disclose those details.

4. Can family members use my EAP services?

Yes! We always encourage family members to take advantage of an employee’s EAP benefits. Most employee assistance programs will allow immediate family members of the employee – specifically, spouses and children – to access the same benefits, allowing entire families to receive resources and personal attention to support physical and emotional health.

5. What does it cost to use EAP services?

Here’s even more good news: comprehensive EAP benefits are available to both your employees and their immediate family members at no additional cost. It is important to note that each employee assistance program is slightly different in the services it offers, and in the number of sessions per issue it allows each individual to participate in. For example, if your employee assistance provider offers three complimentary counseling sessions per issue per individual, then after your third substance abuse counseling session, all subsequent sessions will be routed through your insurance network.

6. What qualities should I look for in an EAP provider?

You will definitely want to do your homework when it comes to finding the employee assistance program that best accommodates the needs of your employees. Even though there are a wide range of EAP providers out there, the search for the right EAP is all about finding the ideal blend of benefits, personalized care and high quality service.

In your search for the right employee assistance provider, look to prioritize EAP qualities that indicate level of dedication and quality of service. Feel free to ask about how many complimentary counseling sessions per year, per issue the EAP provider offers. If more than the allotted number of counseling sessions are needed, employees will need to make sure that their EAP-referred counselor, therapist or psychiatrist used by the employee assistance program also falls under their insurance network.

7. How do I get started using my EAP benefits?

Most employee assistance providers make it as easy as possible to get started with your EAP benefits. At Mazzitti & Sullivan EAP, we can connect you with licensed, professional help – no matter the respective challenges you’re facing – in only a few online clicks. You can call 1-800-543-5080 to learn even more about our range of EAP benefits, or sign up online to get started putting the benefits to work today.

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