Employee Assistance Programs
What is an Employee Assistance Program?
An Employee Assistance Program is an employer sponsored benefit program that helps employees deal with any personal programs that might affect their performance or emotional well-being. They do not have to be work related problems, but rather any problem that might negatively affect the employee’s ability to do their job. The services are often available to the employee’s entire family, not just themselves.
Such programs started in the 1930’s specifically to deal with alchohol abuse, but have expanded to offer support for a wide range of issues.
There can be many benefits for employers who start Employee Assistance Programs, especially reduced absenteeism and increased productivity. The employees generally have direct 24 hour access to professional psychological counsellors, with quick access to other medical professionals when necessary.
What do Employee Assistance Programs offer?
Employee Assistance Programs usually offer free and confidential counselling for the following kinds of issues:
- Substance Abuse
- Family and marraige problems
- Emotional problems
- Financial problems
- Legal problems
- Occupational Stress
- Employee Distress
- Major life events (Births, Deaths, Accidents etc)
- Major health concerns
- Separation and loss
- Trauma debriefing
- Burnout control
- HIV/AIDS counselling
Some providers might also offer assistance with retirement or lay-off issues, or even health related issues such as fitness and exercise, weight control, nutrition, quitting smoking etc.
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