How confidential is my use of the EAP?
Confidentiality is especially important to the success of any EAP. Therefore, we take several steps to protect your privacy and the confidentiality of your use of the program. First, in addition to ethical guidelines of mental health professionals, there are state and federal laws that protect confidentiality. To highlight this with all of our client companies, including yours, we have a clause in our EAP contracts that says that we will not release any identifying information to the company unless you request it in writing.
There are also practical steps we take to protect your confidentiality. We are typically paid a flat fee to provide the EAP. Therefore, we do not have to submit bills with employee names in order to be paid. Since we are not part of your insurance plan, we have no need to share information with them about your use of the EAP. Also, we will only contact you by phone at numbers you have given us permission to call.
Although your employer has no need or interest in learning about your personal issues, there are a few rare circumstances, such as child abuse, in which professionals legally need to contact a State protection agency, but not your employer.
Are the benefits really free?
You can receive a certain number of counseling sessions free of charge. The number of free sessions depends on the plan your company has designed. Your eligible dependents (your children and your spouse) are also entitled to receive free sessions. These sessions are provided by mental health professionals in private practice offices or virtually if you have Internet access. You do not need to ask permission of anyone at work to use this service. Also, you do not need to inform your insurance plan of your EAP participation. There are no co-payments for your EAP sessions.
What happens if I need more than my free sessions?
If you and your counselor agree that you would benefit from counseling beyond the free sessions, you typically can use your insurance plan to help cover some counseling services. Whenever possible we will refer you to EAP therapists who are also covered by your health insurance plan. However, with all the recent changes and restrictions in the managed care plans of the typical HMO, many therapists are excluded from some insurance panels. If your EAP therapist is not covered by your insurance plan, you may receive a reduced fee for services beyond the free sessions, or you can be referred to a provider approved by your health plan.
How do I register for free EAP services?
The way to get help from the EAP is quite easy. You simply call us and indicate that you that you want to use the company’s EAP. You will be asked a few questions and then you will speak with one of the intake therapists to discuss the general nature of your problem or concern. We then match you with a counselor in your area who would be qualified to work with you. To register, call (305) 666-8000 in Miami, or (800) 533-0020 outside Miami-Dade County.
What types of problems are seen through the EAP?
Although you may call for any type of concern or problem, there are some issues that are handled more frequently through the EAP. The most common problems include:
1. Emotional distress, including stress, depression, anger, grief, or anxiety.
2. Some type of marital/family conflict or relationship problems.
3. Child and adolescent concerns.
4. Job related problems or concerns.
5. Alcohol and/or substance abuse.
6. Health related concerns or a significant illness.
7. Significant life events (death, divorce, trauma, etc.).
8. Balancing work-life demands.
Can my supervisor tell me to go to the EAP?
Your supervisor can recommend the EAP to you if he or she sees some change in your work performance that could be due to personal problems. Some examples of these work performance problems include absenteeism, tardiness, failing to get your job done satisfactorily or on time, and conflicts with co-workers. In most instances, a supervisor will remind you that the EAP is available if you need help with a personal issue or concern. You do not need to discuss your personal problems with your supervisor, and seeking help is still your choice. Only in major violations of workplace policies such as threats of violence, sexual harassment, or positive alcohol/drug screens on the job, can the employer require you to participate in the EAP for job security reasons.
If you do receive a supervisor referral to the EAP, the material you discuss with your EAP counselor including the nature of your personal problems is still confidential. If you give us written permission, we will release general information such as your attendance/participation in the EAP, general progress, and when it is okay to discontinue counseling.
Regardless of whether you seek help through the EAP, it is still your responsibility to correct any work performance problems that led to your referral. Normal disciplinary procedures will remain in effect even if you do decide to participate in the EAP.
Who are the counselors and what is the success rate?
Most of the EAP counselors are psychologists, clinical social workers, mental health counselors, and marriage & family therapists. Success depends on the nature and severity of the problem, and the patient’s cooperation with recommended treatment plans. In some of our own research on feedback from those who use the EAP, we have found some very successful and encouraging results. For those coming into the EAP with emotional distress and/or relationship/family problems, they report improvement 75-85% of the time. For those with alcohol or substance abuse problems, we have found that about 68% report that they were successful in dealing with their problems.
Can I use EAP even if I do not live in South Florida?
Yes you can. We have a network of offices throughout the country that provide services in your local community. If we do not have a provider in your area we will add individuals to our network to assist you. Call (800) 533-0020 to register.