Feeling like you got a lot on your plate? We don’t blame you. Balancing a normal life seems to get harder and harder. Dealing with work, family, relationships, mental health, physical wellness finances, politics, a pandemic… the list could go on and on.

These days, people report feeling more stressed than ever. A report published by the American Psychological Association stated we are facing a national mental health crisis due to dramatically increased stress levels over the past year. Unaddressed, these issues could yield potential long-term health and social repercussions for years.

You may be wondering what you can do about the issues you face. There is no denying that stress can feel overwhelming. Your feelings of frustration, worry and sadness are valid. Fortunately, you can take steps to address these feelings and decrease stress levels. By seeking counseling through an EAP, you can find a sense of peace that has long eluded you.

What is an EAP?

An EAP, or Employee Assistance Program, is often a benefit offered by an employer to promote emotional well-being. It’s a company’s way of investing in their staff, a win-win situation offering employees an avenue to decrease stress and achieve more satisfied, engaged lives.

Although many individuals who participate in an EAP utilize the services to help mitigate work-related stress, the services offered are designed to help address the whole person, not simply an employee’s work issues. You can use counseling and other EAP resources to address things in your personal life as well. 

A company’s EAP is also distinct from insurance programming. Usually, EAPs are made available to all employees, even those who do not receive medical coverage through their company. Check with your company’s EAP provider to learn what specific services are provided to you, free of charge.

Why should I sign up for EAP services?

Signing up for an EAP is one of the best ways to balance your work and personal life. An EAP, though provided through your employer, is not only there to address work-related stressors. The goal of an EAP is to address a person’s overall well-being, and therefore anything that is negatively impacting a person. EAPs can help with substance use, mental health, financial counseling, childcare, processing of a traumatic event, legal issues, health conditions, elder care concerns, life coaching, gambling addictions, time management and other challenges.

EAPs are designed to improve your quality of life. If you have a lot on your mind and you find your concerns interfering with work, using the services available to you can eliminate some of those looming clouds. You’ll be more productive at work when you’re more at ease, which will allow you to achieve a greater peace of mind during your work day

What are the benefits of an EAP program?

The services offered through an employee assistance program will differ based on the EAP your company uses. Some common benefits include individual counseling or coaching sessions, access to online resources to promote well-being and community-based resources. EAPs are confidential too, and your information can’t be shared back to your boss.

One of the best benefits of EAPs is that they are not only completely free for employees to use, they are also free for your immediate household members as well. Stressors in your life may be affecting your family, too. The help that EAPs provide is holistic, meaning that those who influence your wellness can get the help they need as well.

How do I get started using an EAP program?

Many companies offer EAPs – about 54% of workers have access to them according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Although these benefits are more widespread than you may have thought, there are still nearly half of American workers who do not have access to important services and resources.

When you are interviewing for a job, you can ask about what the company offers in terms of employee assistance. If your current employer offers an EAP, signing up through your human resources department is the best way to start accessing services. If your company does not have an EAP, it’s time to start advocating to the decision-makers in your place of work.

EAP services really are as beneficial as they sound. Getting help to reduce your stress and improve your overall life satisfaction starts when you reach out to Mazzitti & Sullivan EAP. Call (800) 543-5080 or reach out today to learn more about employee assistance programming that can change your life.

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