Mental health conditions may not be easy to understand or talk about, but Mental Health Month provides an opportunity to learn more about steps you can take to help yourself or a loved one who might be experiencing anxiety, depression, or signs of any other mental illness. Approximately 1 in 5 Americans will experience a mental health condition, which means many others will be affected as they care for loved ones.
There are resources available to help through medical facilities, your local community and even your employer. A majority of employers offer access to an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which connects employees to confidential, professional assistance to help with personal, family and work issues, often at no charge to them. Licensed Professional Counselors and other specialists can help employees tackle issues such as stress, depression, substance abuse, financial concerns and family/relationship issues.
Key features of EAPs include:
- Short-term counseling – When you or a loved one need someone to talk to about mental health, stress, family, substance abuse, or any number of other concerns having an impact on your life, a Licensed Professional Counselor can help. Most EAPs provide a number of telephonic, video or in-person sessions at no cost, but if you need additional help, the counselor can help refer you to long-term assistance.
- Critical incident support – In the event that a crisis occurs in your organization or area, EAPs can send support staff directly to your site to help assist you and your colleagues as needed.
- Work/life balance – Feeling overwhelmed trying to manage everything at once?
In addition to helping you address and find ways to manage your stress, many EAPs also provide assistance locating resources in your area, saving you time and stress. These experts can help connect you with care for your children or older loved ones as well as legal assistance if needed.
- Financial assistance – Money is often a major contributor to stress, impacting both mental and physical health. EAPs can help navigate financial issues, including debt management, budgeting and credit issues, as well as refer employees to local resources. Further, some programs also offer assistance negotiating uncovered medical bills to help reduce employees’ financial burden.
This is just a sampling of some of the services an EAP can help provide. Other areas include, but are not limited to, questions about retirement or adoption, help putting back the pieces after identity theft, and more. Remember, EAPs provide confidential assistance, often available 24/7 at no cost to employees. Contact your Human Resources department today to find out if your employer offers access to an EAP that can help you.
For Health Advocate Members
If you’re a Health Advocate member with access to our EAP+Work/Life Program, and you or a loved one need assistance, contact a Licensed Professional Counselor or Work/Life Specialist for help with any of the areas listed above. You also have access to a work/life website with additional resources, educational information, and webinars.