We always strive to leave work at work and not bring the anxieties and stresses of home/personal life into the workplace. The reality, however, is that this compartmentalization simply isn’t realistic and sometimes the difficulties going on at home do bleed into all the other aspects of our lives.
Try as we might handle it on our own, sometimes the best option for us is to reach out for additional support through the services of a mental health provider. Luckily, for a number of individuals in the workforce, employee assistance programs (EAPs) are available to provide confidential, professional and free care to those who need it the most.
What is an employee assistance program (EAP)?
An employee assistance program is designed to offer mental health counseling, additional resources and a confidential source of help to those who are struggling with a work/life balance. When one experiences workplace problems like mistreatment, burnout or an imbalanced workload, your quality of life decreases; and when you are dealing with grief or loss, a medical or mental health diagnosis or complications at home, your performance in the workplace also decreases.
Unfortunately, most people suffering from behavioral health issues do not receive the care they need, for a variety of reasons including fears of being stigmatized, no means to pay for care and limited or no access to mental health care providers. This is why it’s more important than ever to tap into the benefits provided by an EAP as they seek to make mental health treatment accessible to all members of the company and their families.
Benefits of an EAP for employees
When employees experiencing mental health concerns have access to an EAP, they can get the help they need. There is no “one size fits all” plan, but at its core, an EAP has important benefits.
It’s confidential: Assistance provided through an EAP is confidential. The resources offered by an EAP give employees an avenue to talk about sensitive issues and receive treatment confidentially. Your supervisors will not be notified that you are seeking treatment through the employee assistance program and it will be left up to you to decide if you want to disclose it.
24-hour access to services: The best EAPs provide a hotline that employers and employees alike can contact 24 hours a day. This round-the-clock access eliminates any assistance delay and fits into your schedule better than ever.
Prevents small problems from escalating: Work-related stress typically builds up over time, and high-stress levels can lead to conflicts with coworkers and supervisors alike. With an EAP, employees can seek and receive help during the early stages of problems to avoid big issues, as well as become equipped to deal with future conflicts.
Help with personal struggles: An EAP also provides assistance for conflicts and struggles outside of the job that may affect job performance. Problems including substance abuse, anxiety, depression, relationship conflicts, grief over losing a loved one and parenting difficulties can all affect performance in the workplace. An EAP provides a way for employees to address these concerns.
A reduction in burnout – Having an outlet like an EAP provider to turn to helps your employees feel seen and empowered when handling difficulties. This leads to great determination and perseverance, which, consequently, reduces burnout
An increase in productivity – A mentally healthy workforce is one that spends less time concerned/distracted by mental health complications and more energy on getting their work done
Less absenteeism and tardiness – When employees have an outlet through which they can process and receive help for mental health disorders, employers will see a greater reduction in time taken off work as a result of untreated mental illness symptoms
Improved turnover rates – When employees feel cared for and appreciated by their employers, they will feel greater loyalty to their company, leading to less turnover as a result of burnout or lack of appreciation for the work they do.
Investing in an EAP for your company won’t just benefit your employees — it will directly impact the success of your company overall.
Looking for an EAP to benefit your company?
In order to boost the mental health of your employees and the corporate health of your work in general, reach out to Mazzitti & Sullivan EAP today. Our program offers counseling services for your employees and their families that are free, confidential and designed to fit into their schedules when they need it most.