Everyone will face some problems in their lives. Often, we can cope with these problems and solve them ourselves with effective coping strategies and self-reflection. But some problems may be too difficult or complex to manage on our own. These difficulties can lead to significant stress and worry, reducing mental wellness. They can also affect work performance.
We cannot overstate the importance of maintaining your mental health. Poor mental wellness can have significant issues on your physical health, your work, your relationships, and in many other aspects of your life. When you’re struggling with a work, health, or personal problem that you can’t seem to manage on your own, it often helps to have a listening ear, advice, or assistance.
Benefits providers understand this, which is why they often include Employee Assistant Programs (EAPs) in their benefits offerings. These programs offer support for employees struggling with personal or professional difficulties.
What Is an EAP?
The Employee Assistance Program is used to promote mental wellness in the workplace. An EAP provides short-term counselling sessions and referral services to eligible employees and their immediate family members at no cost.
Access is completely confidential and it’s available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Employees access the support services voluntarily. Employees can reach mental health professionals through various channels, including through video counselling, over the phone, through the EAP app, and over live online chat.
The services are offered by mental health professionals with a minimum of a master’s degree in counselling, psychology, or social work and at least five years of counselling experience.
In the event that the issue requires long-term or extensive treatment, the EAP mental health professionals also offer prompt referrals to appropriate external community services.
What’s Its Purpose?
The Employee Assistance Program is available to employees who need help resolving problems that are affecting their work. However, the problems discussed do not need to be work-related.
The program was designed to improve mental wellness in the workplace by helping employees overcome personal and professional challenges.
This, in turn, enables them to be happier, more motivated, and more productive in the workplace.
What Services Does It Provide?
The EAP can help you work through a wide range of problems, including personal issues, relationship problems, job stress, harassment in the workplace, substance abuse, caregiving issues, work-life balance, domestic violence, financial or legal concerns, and separation and loss.
Some EAP providers also offer health promotion services, such as weight control, exercise, nutrition, or smoking cession. Some providers offer retirement or layoff assistance. Others still may offer advice for crisis situations, disability issues, and long-term illnesses.
Who Can Use the EAP?
Employees and immediate family members can access the Employee Assistance Program offered under their employers’ extended health benefits plans.
However, it’s well noted that casual, part-time, and retired employees are often excluded from their workplaces’ health insurance plans. As a result, they’re also excluded from access to the EAP.
Access to advice, support, and a listening ear when you’re struggling with personal or professional problems is important—it’s as important as having health benefits.
If you’re a casual, part-time, or retired hospital employee, you can still get the health benefits and support you need through Health Care Providers’ (HCP) benefits plans. There’s a plan for you, regardless of your age or how many hours you work. Every HCP plan, and every coverage level, provides Employee Assistance Program services at no additional cost.