Research calls for greater line manager awareness of mental health issues

Written by Liz Guilford on . Posted in News

Research calls for greater line manager awareness of mental health issues

Research recently published by Unum in partnership with the Mental Health Foundation reveals that just one-third (34%) of workers who experienced mental health problems in the last five years felt well supported by their line managers. It reports that line managers routinely underestimate how well their workplace supports staff mental health and wellbeing.

Nearly half (45%) of the managers surveyed here thought that an employee experiencing a mental health problem would be supported to remain in work, with reasonable adjustments made to their role. Yet just 19% of workers with mental health issues said they’d received such support.

“EAPs play a vital role in giving managers the knowledge and confidence to effectively address mental health issues in the workplace. The vast majority of EAPs contact a ‘manager services’ component which enables line managers to educate themselves about mental health issues in a confidential and non-judgemental setting, providing them with the skills and confidence to make early and effective interventions when the need arises,” commented Neil Mountford, chair of the UK EAPA.

73% of employees who have experienced a mental health problem say they would know how to have a conversation with a colleague who was finding it hard to cope and half of line managers felt confident that they could recognise the signs that a member of their team was having problems coping.

“A key challenge for many HR teams and EAP providers is to create and promote employee awareness of the EAP and making the support available here as accessible as possible to all employees. Whether it’s via an app the free-phone helpline number or the intranet, there are many ways for line managers and individuals to seek support for mental health issues and it’s vital that promoting the service remains at the top of HR’s ‘to do’ list,” adds Neil Mountford.

Alongside the research, Unum and the Mental Health Foundation have developed a mental health training module and online workshop with practical solutions and advice for business leaders and HR professionals. You can find out more about this at http://landing.unum.co.uk/mental-health.

Latest issue of UK EAPA Newsletter published!

Written by Liz Guilford on . Posted in News

Latest issue of UK EAPA Newsletter published!

The latest issue of the UK EAPA Member Newsletter has just been published. Featuring articles on topics including the recent EAPA annual general meeting, Paul Roberts’ emeritus award and EAP taxation. The newsletter also shares details of the June 2017 branch meeting. To read the newsletter, just click here.

Programme announced for 2017 EAEF conference

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Programme announced for 2017 EAEF conference

The Employee Assistance European Forum’s (EAEF)AEF annual conference takes place on 15 and 16 June 2017 in Milan, Italy.

This year’s conference these is ‘EAP: making a continued difference in times of change’ and will feature speakers looking at topics such as the integration of occupational psychology and psychiatry with EAPs and how to calculate the rate of return on EAPs. UK EAPA chair, Neil Mountford, is also speaking at the conference, sharing the findings of the UK EAPA’s research into the use, impact and reach of EAPs in today’s organisations.

The conference is open to non-members of the EAEF and for more information on the event, its speakers and how to book your place, go to www.eaef.org.

June 2017 branch meeting: is technology in mental health a dream solution or a curse?

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June 2017 branch meeting: is technology in mental health a dream solution or a curse?

The next UK EAPA branch meeting takes place on Tuesday 20 June at the Linnean Society in Piccadilly. The session starts at 10:30 and we are pleased to welcome vice chair, Eugene Farrell, as our guest speaker. Eugene will discuss whether technology in mental health is a dream solution or a curse.

“Technology has a huge influence on our life and our work, it is changing how we act, think and relate to each other. Importantly, changing technology is having an effect upon how we monitor and treat mental health. Developments in things like gaming are being used in the treatment room, and new start up and apps are appearing daily. It is currently impossible to anticipate a set of benefits from the use of technology in mental health, and we can barely guess what patients’ reactions will be.  Some of us shudder at the thought of the use of email counselling, but why? During the session we will look at how limits in the use of technology can change and boundaries pushed back as people adapt and accept change,” said Eugene.

To confirm your attendance at the June branch meeting, please email info@eapa.org.uk.

The importance of measuring outcomes

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The importance of measuring outcomes

In the latest issue of ‘Counselling at Work’, UK Employee Assistance Professionals Association Board Secretary, Amanda Smith, talks about the important issue of measuring outcomes.

“Depending on your professional background and theoretical orientation, you may embrace outcome measurement or remain resistant to reporting. Increasingly, organisations, both within and outside of the primary and secondary tier healthcare settings, look to use outcome measurements to improve efficacy, look for quantifiable results and return on investment (ROI) and measure modality outcomes as well as the impact of psychological intervention versus medication,” she says.

Amanda also reminds affiliate counsellors that all EAPs will have reporting requirements for them and these will vary between EAPs and sometimes even between different EAP contracts.

“Affiliates may need to apply different types of reporting for the EAPs in which they work. However, understanding that EAP providers will be required to report statistical data, usage rates, presenting issues and other client demographics to the EAP client and realising this data will assist the organisation to see the benefits and ROI to both employer and employees, is really important for counsellors.”

You can read the full article in the Spring issue of ‘Counselling at Work’, the quarterly journal of the BACP Workplace division. To find out more about the journal and to subscribe, go to http://bacpworkplace.org.uk/journal.

Paul Roberts receives Emeritus Award from UK EAPA

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Paul Roberts receives Emeritus Award from UK EAPA

UK EAPA Board member, Paul Roberts, was presented with award of Emeritus Member at the March 2017 Annual General Meeting. This award is given in recognition of Paul’s ongoing commitment and dedication to the employee assistance and industry profession.

The award of Emeritus Member to Paul Roberts is richly deserved. Paul has been an active contributor to the UK EAPA Board over many years and through his commitment and detailed knowledge of the EAP industry has made a great contribution to the work of the Association.

“Most recently Paul has led our research project, one of the most significant initiatives in UK EAPA’s recent history.  He has liaised closely with The Work Foundation, the Board and key industry players to keep the project on track and ensure its focus and scope stayed aligned with the original objectives. The resulting report represents one of the most comprehensive and detailed independent studies into the UK EAP market that has ever been produced.  This outcome has been due in no small part to Paul’s expertise and hard work and both the Association and the wider industry owe him a debt of thanks,” said David Price, UK EAPA Treasurer.

UK EAPA elects new Chair, Neil Mountford

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UK EAPA elects new Chair, Neil Mountford

The UK Employee Assistance Professionals Association is pleased to confirm the election of Neil Mountford as its new Chair.

Speaking on his election at the Association’s Annual General Meeting held at the Health & Wellbeing at Work 2017 conference on 7 March 2017, Neil, who is Network Development Manager (EMEA) at Optum, said:

“I would like to thank the UK EAPA membership for their vote of confidence in passing my election to the post of Chair. I am proud to have been associated with UK EAPA over the last twelve years, serving both as Treasurer and Vice-Chair, and it is an honour to now be elected Chair.

“I will work hard to continue the great progress made by my predecessors in establishing UK EAPA’s role as an effective mouthpiece for the industry, leading the discussion on how the employee assistance industry can respond to the challenges it faces and upholding the standards and quality measures that ensure the credibility of EAP service delivery in the UK.”

Alongside the election of its new Chair, the Association also made a number of new Board appointments, with the current Board agreed as follows:

  • Eugene Farrell, AXA PPP Healthcare – Vice Chair
  • David Price, Health Assured – Treasurer
  • Amanda Smith, Merseycare NHS Trust – Secretary
  • Andrew Kinder, Help EAP – Immediate Past Chair
  • David Elliot, Rehab Works – Board Member
  • Colin Grange, Lifeworks – Board Member
  • Stuart Haydock, Bupa – Board Member
  • Paul Roberts, Enlighten – Board Member
  • Charles Alberts, Aon Employee Benefits – Co-opted
  • Tracey Paxton, Amian – Co-opted

A full report on the new Board and the recent AGM can be read in the April issue of the UK EAPA member newsletter.

UK EAPA and The Work Foundation research papers now available to download

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UK EAPA and The Work Foundation research papers now available to download

The UK Employee Assistance Professionals Association’s (UK EAPA) recently published research report into the evolution of EAPs, investigating the use, impact and reach of EAPs in today’s organisations is now available to download, free of charge, from the Association’s website.

In the study, HR managers pointed to an ongoing stigma associated with the EAP, as a counselling service primarily for staff with mental health issues, limiting the use of the wider EAP service among employees. Low-level promotion of EAPs and the scope of services available is also thought to be restricting use of services for anything other than crises and situations already at a serious stage.

To access your copy of the report, click here.

Employee Assistance Programmes – supporting good work for employers? is the full report from The Work Foundation. This piece of research was commissioned by UK EAPA to help further our understanding of the role of EAPs in the workplace, discuss how EAPs are perceived and valued by staff and whether there is any evidence that calculations of economic utility are undertaken.

To download a copy of The Work Foundation report, click here.

 

Mental health matters in organisations of every size

Written by Liz Guilford on . Posted in News

Mental health matters in organisations of every size

Mental health is a hot topic in the news agenda at the moment and it’s an important issue that organisations of every size need to take seriously. In a recent article for Business Matters, UK EAPA Chair, Andrew Kinder, takes a look at SMEs and considers their options to minimise the impact of mental health on their business and employees.

“As an employer you’re not in a position where you can control all elements of an employee’s life, influencing what happens in and out of the workplace, for example. But there are a number of things you can change or introduce to have a positive influence on employees’ mental health. These include an individual’s workload, the type of work they’re being asked to do, the culture of the organisation and also ensuring that open and two-way communications take place wherever possible. Sometimes a temporary adjustment of work-load can make a big difference,” said Andrew Kinder.

“Ultimately you need to accept that mental health isn’t an issue that you’re going to ‘solve’ for your organisation or your employees. Many different factors can trigger a mental health issue and with one in four of us facing mental health problems at some point during our lifetime, it’s important that strong plans are put in place to support those who are suffering so that support is available and the negative impact that mental health has on your most valuable asset is minimised,” he adds.

Want to find out more? You can read the full article here.

Access the latest Employee Benefits’ buyer’s guide to EAPs

Written by Liz Guilford on . Posted in News

Access the latest Employee Benefits’ buyer’s guide to EAPs

Are you reviewing your current Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) offering or thinking about commissioning a programme for your organisation? There are lots of resources available to help you identify the best solution for your employees and your business.

The Employee Benefits’ ‘Buyer’s guide to employee assistance programmes‘ provides a great introduction to EAPs, the latest programme innovations and discusses return on investment.

The UK Employee Assistance Professionals Association has also published a buyer’s guide to EAPs that includes information on the type, format and remit of EAPs, helping you to better understand the different types of programmes on offer, the level of account management you should expect and an overview of the type of questions you should ask a prospective provider. .

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We are pleased to accept enquiries by email, post, by using the contact form on the right or on our Contact Us page.

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