I Should Have Called the Employee Assistance Program

By Patrick Doyle, LICSW, Sr. EAP Counselor, KGA

We frequently hear people say, “I probably should have called the EAP a year ago.” So why is it so hard to reach out for help? Human nature is often the answer. We hope things will get better in time and we avoid dealing with difficult issues. Also, in the midst of personal difficulties, we can forget the resources available to help us.

These are three things managers can do to encourage employees to seek help sooner.

• Consult – Consult with the EAP as soon as you are aware an employee has a personal problem. We can advise a manager on what to say and how to make an effective referral to the EAP.

• Reinforce Confidentiality – Reassure the employee that when they call, their issues are kept confidential. No one at the office will know they used the EAP.

• Refer Often –Encourage employees to reach out for support for many issues, not just a personal crisis. Reminders about the EAP will help to ensure employees remember the benefit when needed.