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EAP – What’s it all About?

Let’s review some basic knowledge about the ‘who, what, where, when, why and how’ of EAP.  As well as, why EAP is important to counsellors.

What is EAP / EFAP?

Employee Assistance Program: It is a specialized workplace benefit in place to help employees deal with personal or work related issues.

Employee & Family Assistance Program:  this specialized benefit extends to immediate family members of the employee.

  • Workplaces generally of more than 300 employees have an EAP in place.
  •  EAP is also a business, the concepts of time and money are important.

Why is EAP in place?

It is in place because a healthy employee is a productive employee.  And, productive employees contribute to the viability of the workplace. So if an employee is troubled in any way s/he could have access to an EAP counsellor.  Most employees today are knowledge workers so that when stress mounts it can impact them emotionally, mentally, socially, financially and in their relationships.

Who is EAP for?

It is for company employees.  Today most companies have an EFAP so that means it is also for dependent members of the employee.  The thinking is if the employee and/or the employee’s family members are healthy then the employee will be healthier and more productive.

Where is the EAP service?

Employees and/or their family members who seek help through their EAP are able to access a counsellor within 20 minutes of their home or work.  (Many EAPs offer telephone sessions too).

When is the EAP service available?

Employee-clients can get an appointment within 3 business days, sooner if need be.

How does EAP work?

EAP is voluntary and 100% confidential.  Employee-clients (or immediate family members) are able to call a confidential number and receive a referral to a qualified counsellor. The Employee Assistance Counsellor is either an employee or on contract ( an affiliate) with the EAP provider company.

Why is EAP important to counsellors?

The field of EAP / EFAP deals with the working population i.e. functioning clients. It addresses mental health in the workplace as well as all aspects of employee wellbeing. It deals with the current trends and issues in society today.  The EAP skillset is transferable to use with non-EAP clients.  For counsellors looking for salaried work, EAP provides many options in terms of part-time or full-time work.  For private practice work, EAP is a viable referral source. EAP provider companies are becoming more focused on hiring counsellors with EAP  knowledge and its particular skillset.

For further reading check out my earlier blogs on EAP such as: Employee Assistance Programs:  An Option for Employment.

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Claire Sutton Concordia University Montreal, Quebec - Alumni

Concordia University Montreal, Quebec - Alumni

RCC BC Association of Clinical Counsellors memebr Claire Sutton

A designation of the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors

Claire Sutton EAPA International Member

EAPA International Member

Claire Sutton University of British Columbia - Alumni

University of British Columbia - Alumni

Canadian Employee Assistance Program Association

Canadian Employee Assistance Program Association