What is an Employee Assistance Program?
Employee Benefits have and continue to evolve to meet the needs of this ever changing and sometimes very stressful life we live. Many people think of benefits in terms of Extended Healthcare, Prescription Drugs, Dental, Vison Care etc. but more and more studies have shown that we are in the midst of a mental health crisis around the world and it is significantly affecting employee productivity.
EAP’s date back as early as 1947 when Bell Canada sponsored a program that focused on the treatment of drug and alcohol abuse. Up until the early 1960’s, the first generation of EAP’s were primarily aimed at substance abuse. Today, the scope of services provided has broadened to address problems more reflective of today’s society including financial problems, marital problems, child care issues, elder care concerns as well as other emotional or psychological problems.
EAP’s give Employers a Winning Edge
Employees are an organization’s most valuable asset. When they are concerned with personal or work-related difficulties, their productivity and efficiency suffer. In today’s competitive marketplace, employers realize that they must exhibit their commitment to improving their employees’ work-life balance.
How EAP’s Work
Employee and family assistance programs provide voluntary, confidential and immediate access to professional assessment, counselling and referral services for employees and their families to help resolve a wide range of personal and work related concerns. Information is available through provider websites, telephone counselling, or face to face visits.
EAP’s can provide direction and assistance on just about any personal issue – large or small and are often a person’s first contact and introduction to help them navigate the healthcare system.
Organizations that offer employees resources to cope with personal and family challenges, stress and work-life issues not only demonstrate their core values, they also protect their core assets: their people.
Employee and family assistance programs help employees confidentially and quickly deal with their stresses, whether they are coping with a major event or just everyday issues.
Some insurance companies provide mini programs that are build into their extended healthcare coverage but the cost of a full plan which provides unlimited access is often available for less than $5.00 per month per employee. A smart investment for sure.
For further information or to discuss a specific situation please contact our office.
Gary McCaslin CAIB, CHS
McCaslin Horne Insurance Brokers