A common question I get from my clients is, "What is an EAP (Employee Assistance Program)?" Most people are surprised to learn that EAPs have been around since the 1940s. They were first developed to provide professional help and support for employees with alcohol problems.
Over the years, EAPs have evolved into what is called “broad-brush” counseling and education programs that can help employees and their families with a wide variety of situations that may be interfering with personal wellbeing at home or at work.
These issues include:
- Anger and conflict management
- Workplace and coworker conflict
- Divorce and separation
- Grief and loss
- Job stress
- Marital and relationship problems
- Career and vocational issues
- Alcohol and drug abuse
- Family problems
- Depression and anxiety
- Stress management
- Hostile workplace, including harassment, bullying and intimidation
EAPs like Concern offer a safe, professional, confidential, and supportive place to turn when the strain becomes too much. EAP specialists work with you to prevent stressful life events from becoming serious problems that can impact work and home.
Does your employer offer an EAP?
When employers offer an EAP, they are investing in their employees with the goals of health and productivity, prevention and wellness, and early assistance in dealing with issues that can and do affect quality of life.
Check with your employer to see if they offer an Employee Assistance Program. Local programs, like Mercy’s Concern: EAP, offer up to six free hours of counseling each year for employees and their dependents in the standard contract.