Mental Health in the Workplace Level 3 (VTQ)

62 videos, 2 hours and 49 minutes

Course Content

The employer assistance program

Video 45 of 62
2 min 43 sec
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Can you tell us a little bit about an employer assistance programme, and how that works?

EAPs are becoming more and more common. The employer buys in services from a company that supply counsellors for their employees. As I said, it is confidential, it is often only limited to six sessions, but those six sessions can be a real help in assisting the employee to see how it's affecting their daily life, which of course includes how they work. So it might be possible to suggest ways of coping with actually getting to work, if that's a problem, with maybe adjusting hours, and helping them to find the right form of words to talk to either their HR department or to their line managers about how life may be easy, and how they can cope with it whilst they are experiencing what they're going through.

So would it be something that the employers could sort out as and when they find they have a member of staff that they think may they need it? Is it something they sign up to on an ongoing basis, just in case they have a member of staff that needs counselling? How does it actually practically how does it work?

I think employers would find it most helpful to sign up to this right from the start, because most employers, at some point, will have an employee that needs help. If the system is already in place, it's more reassuring for the employee, and the employer will know that help is available and offer it straight away, and that employee can start benefiting from the support immediately.

What would you say is the benefit to the employer?

The employer would find that his workforce are more engaged in what they do, they are more engaged in their job, there's less time off sick, and it's more supportive. I've found that people. If people can own to their colleagues that they are having difficulty, other colleagues will say, "Yes, I've coped with that." And it's a more bonding thing sometimes for them. It's not so easy sometimes to talk to your employer because you fear that something will be put on your employment record that might be used in not such a helpful way in the future, but it's very much down to the HR department and the manager how this is handled.