Innovations Enhance Outcomes: Employee Assistance Programs

DMEC Staff

Tell Me Again Your EAP Does What?

Employee Assistance ProgramsBy Michael Lacroix, PhD

Assoc. Medical Director, The
Hartford Absence & Disability

By Jennifer Platz, LMHC

Director, The Hartford
Absence & Disability

Employee assistance programs (EAPs) trace their origins to the alcohol abuse programs of the 1930s. They were expanded in the 1980s, when cutbacks to public mental health services led some defunded programs to team up with private industry. Employees did not immediately jump on the bandwagon, partly out of concerns with confidentiality as well as a lack of awareness of these programs.

But drug and alcohol abuse are not the only factors that negatively impact employee performance. As EAPs expanded, it became clear that broader behavioral health issues often impacted the workplace: depression, anxiety, and stress. The leading cause of disability worldwide is now depression.1 Employees accepted that the walls of confidentiality could hold firm and that the secrets told to EAP providers were not shared with employers. Employers appreciated the value of having employees’ problems dealt with outside the human resources/performance management corridor. In many cases, the presenting “diagnoses” were not at clinical levels and could be resolved successfully in three to eight sessions, resulting in happier, more productive employees.

Full content is available to DMEC members only. Please log in to view the complete resource.

If you are not a DMEC member, we encourage you to join. DMEC members have access to white papers, case studies, @Work magazine articles, free webinars, legislative updates, and much more. These resources will assist you in building an effective and compliant integrated absence management program, saving you time, resources, and money. Learn more.

If you are being asked to log in more than once, please refresh your browser.