What is EAP?
Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP) are confidential helplines offered by employers. An EAP is intended to help employees deal with personal problems that might adversely impact their health and well-being. Health Assured’s EAP service includes 24/7 access to support over the phone, structured short-term counselling, referral services for employees and their immediate family, trauma support and financial information.
To maintain confidentially and where available, the service remains separate from the organisation in order to encourage individuals to seek support when they need it, without fear of their employer finding out. Whilst we work hard to reduce the stigma associated with seeking support, we recognise the importance of individuals feeling confident in using our services.
Why should an organisation put an EAP in place?
There are proven links between mental health, physical health, relationships and life events, which makes the support we provide invaluable to employees, organisations and wider society. Confidential support is available and, dependent on the nature of the issue, counselling or advice can be provided by fully qualified professionals.
Health Assured offers more than just an EAP. We work in partnership with our clients in order to deliver a holistic approach that draws upon our EAP services, but also an organisation’s existing support structures that can promote wellbeing. We ensure that wellbeing is high on companies’ agendas and that suitable, fresh approaches to wellbeing continue to be delivered in order to offer maximum support to employees.
Health Assured prides itself on offering services that exceed its clients’ requirements through simple and effective processes that focus on providing the right service for the individual and the employer.
Our EAP service is focussed on:
- Reducing mental health-related sickness and absence
- Improving overall employee health and wellbeing
- Encouraging employee engagement
- Improving employee morale and productivity
- Builds confidence for managers to deal with mental health issues more effectively
- Improving outcomes and reducing costs of absenteeism and presenteeism through:
- Return to work
- Sustained performance at work
- Improvement in functioning
- Reduction in symptoms of poor mental health
Who answers the calls and where are they based?
We pride ourselves on operating a true 24/7 UK-based service centre with qualified BACP counsellors on-site at our premises, to help support our client’s day or night. We do not have a separate triage team, use answering machines or transfer calls abroad at any time.
Is the service confidential?
Health Assured adheres to strict ethical guidelines provided by British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. We adhere to strict data protection standards in relation to confidentiality. All of our counsellors follow the BACP guidelines around clients’ privacy and confidentiality in order to prevent unauthorised disclosure. Confidentiality is explained to all counselling clients and client consent is obtained wherever necessary.
All calls are confidential between the client and the relevant professional – the only exception being if it is considered that the individual is at risk to themselves or others.
How many times can someone access the service?
Users have unlimited access to our 24/7 confidential freephone helpline and our portal.
Our services are accessible by telephone, email, online or through the Health Assured ‘Health e-Hub’ mobile app, and therefore fully accessible regardless of the location of staff. Our team is trained to sensitively handle accessibility issues and use innovative approaches in offering support to all.
In addition to the telephonic services, we provide unlimited online EAP services, including a range of accessible tools such as factsheets, webinars, health checks and tailored programmes, all of which are available from computers and smart devices.
Where does the counselling take place?
Our high quality face-to-face counselling and work-life support is delivered by a network of counsellors and practitioners across the British Isles, with access to further counsellors if needed.
- Telephone counselling:
Our high quality telephone counselling is delivered through an in-house team of over 60 BACP counsellors and advisors. Each session is as per the therapeutic hour, lasting 50 minutes with 10 minutes allocated for the counsellor to make their case notes. There are reported benefits of online and telephonic counselling support as individual can often feel dis-inhibited due to the relative anonymity of such services.
All of our counsellors are highly skilled with working to short-term models of support. Where possible, we match the individual with a counsellor who meets their particular needs and preferences, for example gender, ethnic background or experience in a particular area.
If we identify that longer-term support is required, we will signpost and refer onwards to other local support specialists who will be able to provide the necessary support on an ongoing basis.
- Online Counselling:
Such technological tools also reduce any travel impacts on an individual in accessing face-to-face counselling, as telephone and online counselling can be conducted at a time and location suitable for the individual.
This provides an accessible alternative to telephone and face-to-face counselling via clinical assessment to ensure client safety and appropriateness of intervention. In our experience, this service supports those who would not otherwise access support.
We offer online counselling via secure VoIP including video link, whereby individuals can speak with a counsellor over the internet one-to-one in real time. We don’t use ‘off the shelf’ online platforms due to their insecure nature and have invested in our online counselling service to improve outcomes, increase access to difficult-to-reach groups, reduce costs and improve efficiencies.
Is management information provided?
From a reporting perspective, management information is provided on a consolidated, anonymous basis in order to provide informative utilisation and trend data, whilst maintaining the confidentiality of the service.
We are able to provide an electronic quarterly Management Information report (MI), at an agreed frequency to protect confidentiality.
Our MI will provide informative data to demonstrate how services are being used and help to evidence the return on investment. Your relationship manager will analyse any trends in the data and will work with you to develop appropriate solutions to mitigate risk and provide effective controls, promote the EAP and wellbeing as appropriate.
What happens if a caller is at risk?
All calls are confidential between the client and the relevant professional – the only exception being if it is considered that there is a serious risk of harm to the caller or others. As part of the service, we capture personal details including name, address, contact number and GP details. These details are captured to support at risk situations and therefore this detail is captured for all cases, regardless of whether there is a perceived risk at that time.
We provide a level of care for the welfare and wellbeing for those using our services. Additionally, we must act in the interests of the public for those employees in safety critical roles (e.g. those operating heavy machinery, working in aviation or working with vulnerable adults and children).
In Immediate Risk cases the practitioner will agree with the individual that they or an alternative identified practitioner will call them back within 24 hours to check on all actions collaboratively agreed. It may be decided that an alternative action is more appropriate than a 24-hour call-back.
Is there support for managers?
Through specific targeted promotions at managers and HR professionals, e.g. manager workshops and manager guides, we can help to inform managers of the services available and help them to champion the service.
- Our manager workshops not only highlight the service provided, but give an understanding of how the service can help support management roles and how to encourage a healthy workplace culture where issues can be openly discussed. The workshops cover:
Managers also become more proactive in dealing with difficult employee situations, make more referrals and know how to use the service as a management tool.
Additionally, through supporting managers and building their resilience and skills, we can help our clients in being successful and sustainable businesses. We provide a range of support mechanisms through our counselling services, including manager coaching and the ability for managers to refer employees where they have cause for concern. We provide an empathetic ear and guidance to the manager on how best to handle situations that occur.
What is in place for employees where English isn't their first language?
For those whose first language is not English, we offer a translation service with an interpreter to give general advice and support in over 200 languages.
How do you store employee information?
In order to operate efficiently, Health Assured uses and stores sensitive information about staff, clients and their employees. We regard the lawful and correct treatment of personal information as very important to the successful and efficient performance of operations.
Can family members including children access the service?
Although the focus of the EAP provision is for employees, it is understood that employees may be affected by family and relationship difficulties. Reflective of this, access is available to dependents in line with HMRC guidelines for welfare counselling.