🧐 95% of US employers provide EAP to support their employees. But over 90% of these employees never use it. This could be ignored if it weren’t for 1 in 4 adults dealing with an untreated mental disorder. Why do we still not use our EAP? There are plenty of reasons (awareness, stigma, self-belief, provisions, systems in place)
♥️ So I want to spend time on this Valentine’s Day to explain what an EAP is & why you should make use of it as a service (no, your employer isn’t paying me to do this) 🌱
If everyone used therapy, this world would be a much better place.
📝 Blogs + 🔗 Links out here ☝🏽
✨Focusing on Mental models, brain tools, resilience threads & neuroscience via my daily consumption of papers, books, podcasts & several tweet reads!
📜 History of EAP
[source] This benefit started out in the 1960s to help employees with alcohol/drug problems, using a peer-who-has-just-turned-sober helping another peer-who-is-struggling-out. (Why I feel this is the model of the future)
By 70’s it evolved into a licensed professional model to treat relationship & depression concerns. Over time it transformed into a behavioral, nutritional & legal service.
📌 What is EAP?
The Employee Assistance Program is a benefit provided by an employer to help serve the mental and emotional well-being of the employee.
Some of the major EAP concerns: (Relationship is #1, so much for Valentines Day, hah)
This just means you get therapy for free. FREE.
You get access to a trained counselor, who is available to speak with you ASAP.
If that’s not what you want, and like some additional sessions they’ll refer you out to a therapist/psychologist/psychiatrist depending on your plan + need - which they will ASSESS you for.
Depending on your EAP plan, you will also have access to a lot of free self-care tools. A lot of the new tech start-ups, Starbucks, Sephora have free access to Headspace or Ginger.
Lack of awareness wrt to this service
Long waits - referrals can take days or weeks sometimes
Short term service - only free for 10 or 20 sessions
Mismanaged system - Older EAP’s use ancient databases and non-updated systems
Not built for a good user experience - Unless you have a swift system like Ginger or Modern Health (Start-ups that were created in the era of social media)
📞 How do you sign up:
This is a strictly CONFIDENTIAL (HIPAA compliant) service - no data or results are shared with the employer.
All these services have helplines - should be a part of your Insurance homepage. Some of the newer ones like Modern Health & Ginger have their own apps - the easiest way to sign up and get help! ✨
Having used EAP before - I have been appreciative of the immediate assistance I received, but I was really disappointed with how disappointingly slow, outdated their database was. Our company supports one of the older EAP’s so. 🤷🏻♀️
So overall, I’d definitely use them again if needed cause it’s free therapy - someone is assisting you to become a better human and not because you’re ill. But I’d give them time to find me a therapist, and if I’m looking for an immediate one I’ll use an external system till they can find me one.
😷 EAP & COVID data
Modern health has had a 56% increase in activity, they’ve grown 10x the past year.
Ginger’s survey also found that because of the pandemic, employees are “missing full days of work due to stress, they’re missing meetings, struggling to collaborate with colleagues, and are less productive.” Further, “Since COVID-19, absenteeism can be measured not in days per year, but by hours per day, with nearly two-thirds of employees missing an hour or more of work every day.”
2020 claims: Lyra Health, the largest EAP provider says employees that use their service is twice as likely to stay at their jobs
👥 How does your employer benefit?
💰 For every 1$ they spend on this, their ROI is about 6$
🔥 MH issues cost US companies about $200-$400 M lost workdays/year
💭 Will these EAP systems exist in the future?
Probably? — Offerings now include preventative apps like Calm, Headspace, or such + older EAP services.
Why? Clinicians & Researches still believe in the older system since the newer ones are too new & some might not have clinical evidence. But tech companies are willing to try these just like their SAAS products. So for now it seems like it might be both for some or major companies.
The return after the pandemic is going to be a tricky one for the employers to make the right calls. 🤞🏽
If you’re in Public Safety, Higher Ed, Union AP this will help
If you’re in leadership, this is an amazing report to help you learn how to support your employees during this crisis
Cost and Business models details here
The fight between EAP-yay’ers and nay-sayers here
Michigan Center developing a clinical program for EAP here
Starbucks Reddit reviews here