In his review of the benefits of EFAP programs, Richard Csiernik (2002, 2003 and 2005) describes an organization’s employees as its single greatest asset. He adds that protecting the health of that asset is good for employees, good for families and good for business (please see the above noted references below). Csiernik goes on to say that troubled employees are less productive and less efficient. They have more sick days and absenteeism and lower morale, levels of concentration, quality of work output and workplace engagement. He and others (Martin Shain, 2003) suggest that, within the context of a healthy workplace, prevention, intervention and wellness initiatives in a quality EFAP are a critical “first line of defense” in an organization’s response to an employee’s mental health and addiction treatment needs.
The Canadian based “Global and Economic Roundtable on Addiction and Mental Health” reports that the data available to us suggest that in any given workplace somewhere between 5% and 10% of an employee group will manifest serious and acute problems with depression, anxiety, substance abuse or some combination of these at any given time. Another 10%-15% will likely manifest lower levels of these disorders. Disability represents anywhere from 4%-12% of payroll costs in Canada. Mental health claims (especially depression) have overtaken cardiovascular disease as the fastest growing category of disability costs in Canada. It adds that depression in the workplace has become a workplace crisis (Shain and others, 2003)
Employees and their families are struggling with issues related to mental health, addiction, eldercare, childcare and relationship breakdown. The Vancouver Island Counselling “Model of Care” effectively assists organizations, their employees and family members by offering the much needed responsiveness that their life issues and needs demand. Here are some of the benefits of our program:
- A free confidential assessment and counselling service for all employees and eligible family members.
- No fixed limit to the number of sessions per individual or family.
- Commitment to immediacy, availability, capability and compassion.
- Decreased amounts of time off with the resolution of the presenting counselling issue.
- Increased workplace productivity as a result of increased employee well being.
- Decreased employee accidents and safety issues due to addressing untreated addiction and mental health matters.
- Counsellors and administrators who live and work in your community and are well acquainted and familiar with local mental health and wellness resources.
- Csiernik, R. (2002). An overview of Employee and Family Assistance Programming in Canada. Employee Assistance Quarterly, 18 (1), 17-34.
- Csiernik, R. (2003). A review of Canadian EAP Policies. Employee Assistance Quarterly, 18(3), 33-43.
- Csiernik, R. (2005a). Wellness and work: Employee Assistance Programming in Canada. Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press.
- Csiernik, R. (2005b). What we’re doing in EAP: Meeting the challenge of an integrated model of practice. Journal of Employee Assistance and Workplace Behavioral Health, 21(1).
- Shain, Martin and others (2003).
- Mental Health Round Table