Archive for July, 2017

EAPs are the answer to the current mental health crisis

Written by Vicky Mulchinock on . Posted in News

EAPs are the answer to the current mental health crisis

The employee assistance industry in the UK wholly recognises that there is pressure on day-to-day core services being delivered by NHS mental health trusts, as outlined in The Guardian recently. And with nine out of ten mental health trusts admitting that they are not managing demand or planning for currently unmet need, it isn’t long until the crisis within our mental health services becomes critical.

A solution to this impending mental health crisis is to support individuals who have access to an employee assistance programme (EAP) via their employer to access this service and make use of its expertise if they’re struggling with a mental health issue. UK EAPA estimates that more than half the working population currently have access to an EAP but that significantly fewer are taking advantage of the accessible, professional, independent and confidential mental health support that is available, 24-hours a day, 365 days a year.

EAPs have played a significant role in supporting the health of the nation since they were introduced to the UK in the late 1980s. Since this time they have demonstrated their effectiveness to employers when it comes to supporting and promoting employee health and wellbeing and reducing levels of psychological distress in the workplace.  Now more than ever the industry recognises the need to increase awareness of EAPs and the vital role they can play in alleviating some of the pressure on NHS mental health services.

Research undertaken by the UK EAPA in partnership with CORE IMS (2012) reviewed the outcomes of more than 28,000 EAP counselling interventions and showed that EAPs were effective in providing expedited treatment for individuals in mental distress; on average the time from initial contact to first appointment was just nine days) in 92% of cases. The vast majority (88%) of clients presenting to EAPs also scored above the clinical cut-off level, indicating their needs are similar to those presenting to NHS outpatient mental health services.

EAPs are one of the quickest ways for people who are struggling with a wide range of issues to access counselling and related support services. The industry has established stringent standards of professional practice and delivery and is getting people back to work quickly, minimising their psychological distress.

When there is such a demand on NHS mental health services, our role in supporting employees to identify and resolve personal problems that are affecting their mental health and may be impacting (or have the potential to) impact on job performance and the wider workplace is more important than ever. We are committed to working with the NHS, government and the mental health community to see that EAPs are playing their role in this crisis and that ultimately, the needs of the individuals affected by mental health, are met quickly, professionally and for the long term.

Is EAP work right for you?

Written by Vicky Mulchinock on . Posted in News

Is EAP work right for you?

EAP counsellors and psychotherapists are seeing more complex and high risk cases, says Amanda Smith, UK EAPA’s secretary and author of the last ‘EAP Matters’ column in the BACP’s ‘Counselling at Work’ journal.

In the article, Amanda discusses the skillset and experience required of affiliate counsellors when it comes to working with clients who present with a wide range of issues that are, in the case of EAP work, interwoven with organisational complexities that can additionally impact on their issues.

“Affiliates benefit from a multidisciplinary therapeutic approach and EAPs are often looking for therapists with experience of CBT and solution-focused approaches, as well as training in time-limited counselling… affiliates will also benefit from having a working knowledge of general mental health diagnosis, types of psychiatric medications and what this may tell us about a client’s current presentation and previous history to support the current issues that are facing.

“It helps to know your locality and the support services that are available so you can signpost your clients for advice and information for themselves, or for family members, whose mental health may be a contributory factor.”

For more information about ‘Counselling at Work’ and to find out how to subscribe, go to http://bacpworkplace.org.uk/journal.

What’s the point of EAPs?

Written by Vicky Mulchinock on . Posted in mental health, News

What’s the point of EAPs?

A recent article in People Management discusses the role of EAPs within organsiations and the extent to which organisations truly understand and appreciate the value that EAPs can generate. It’s an important debate, says UK EAPA Chair, Neil Mountford, and reminds us again of the importance of measuring and evaluating the impact of programmes.

“The more effort an organisation puts into promoting the programme and driving engagement and utilisation, the better its data will be, and the more insight it will gain into the organisation… At a time when organisations have never had a higher interest in the physical and mental wellbeing of their employees, they should be looking at the EAP and broadening their own perceptions of what it can do and how it can fit in with a wider wellbeing strategy,” he said.

You can read the full article here.

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