An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a service provided by employers to help their staff members improve wellbeing, work productivity and to have an overall greater work satisfaction.
Employee’s often have many questions about EAP programs. We have answered the most common ones below.
Is it confidential?
Yes. All psychologists are bound to maintain confidentiality with their clients, even if the service is being paid for by a third party such as an employer.
Will my employer know I have been?
No. EAP services are set up to maintain the confidential of the client, this includes the name of the person attending. Each employee is usually assigned a number by the EAP provider. The employer does not know which employee has which number. When the invoice is sent to the employer, only the number appears on the invoice, not the person’s name. The number is only used to track how many sessions each employee attends.
The process for attending is usually pretty simple. The process we use at Prosper is outlined below
Does it have to be about work?
No. The matter you attend for does not have to be related to your work. Or can be about anything that is impacting upon your wellbeing.
There are many reasons an employee may need to seek the services of a Psychologist.
Some reasons for accessing EAP include:
- Stress management
- Workplace conflict
- Bullying, discrimination or harassment issues
- Marital, Family or other Personal issues
- Anxiety and Phobias
- Adjustment and change difficulties
- Eating issues
- Drug and alcohol issues
- Chronic Pain
- Grief bereavement and loss
- Sleep related problems
- Interpersonal issues and communication
Is it free?
Yes. If an EAP program is in place at your work place your employer will cover the costs of the service for you.
Is there a downside?
Most EAP programs have a capped number of sessions that an employee can attend for. This number will depend on the contract that has been arranged between the employer and the EAP service. Common session numbers are 3 or 6.
Unfortunately, most mild to moderate mental health sessions will require between 12-20 sessions to get full resolution. If the issue you are seeking help for is more complex you may need to invest some of your own resources into your health and wellbeing. However most likely you would be able to access a mental health care plan via your GP to assist with the costs via a Medicare rebate.
How do I find out if my employer offers EAP?
Just ask them or ask the HR department of the company. If they have one in place that’s great – you know you are working for an employer that really cares about your health and wellbeing. If they don’t have one in place, ask them if they have considered it and direct them to some resources to find out more about how it may benefit their company. You can find some on our website.
If you have any other questions about EAP, just let us know. We are more than happy to help you.