Employers Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly does an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) do?

EAP's provide counseling, support, education, and referrals for most of the personal issues that interfere with your daily lives.

We offer the following services:

  • Assessment, short-term counseling, referral and follow-up - Our approach is broad in nature, as we must be responsive to a wide variety of problems such as stress, anxiety, depression, substance abuse/addiction, family/marital/children's issues, child/elder care, and legal & financial difficulties.
  • Work/life services - The Work-Life Program provides information, articles, resources, links, and interactive "calculators" around child care, elder care, daily living obligations as well as legal & financial challenges—the typical issues that impact everyone's daily lives. Individuals access services via telephone and/or on-line with a company-specific ID and password.
  • Training and Consultation - ERS offers an extensive array of trainings (PDF, 268KB) in addition to the basic EAP services. We work closely with the Managers and Supervisors of each client company regarding Management Consultations and Job Performance Referrals. We also provide consultation and assistance in policy development for companies (I.e. Drug Free Workplace, Violence in the Workplace, Harassment, etc.)
  • Managed care services - ERS provides gatekeeper, PPO & case management services related to behavioral health benefits. This means that discounted fee arrangements are established with therapists and treatment programs. Clients then contact the EAP before they access their behavioral health benefits. When long-term treatment is authorized, the EAP works with the in-network provider to establish a treatment plan and ensure that the client receives effective clinical interventions.
  • CISD's & Grief Groups- ERS conducts grief groups and Critical Incident Stress Debriefings (CISD's) for any extreme circumstances such as death, injury, or violence within the work setting.
  • Models of Service
    • 1-3, 1-5, 1-6 or 1-8 session models are available. The 3 session models are primarily limited to assessments with referrals. Short-term counseling is possible within the 5, 6, or 8 session models.

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How does it work?

A typical EAP case goes through these stages:

  • Intake: The initial telephone contact includes a complete assessment of the presenting problem and an assessment of imminent risk to safety.
  • Assessment: An in-person session is always offered to the caller. The in-person assessment will be with either an employee or clinical affiliate of ERS.
  • Brief counseling: Our clinicians are experienced in short-term counseling work. They explore the circumstances surrounding the problem and identify specific tasks to address the problem and alleviate the stress associated with it.
  • Consultation: For presenting problems that are beyond the scope of the EAP, the ERS counselor will link the employee to the appropriate provider or treatment program utilizing the client's health insurance plan.
  • Referral: Once appropriate services have been found, the EAP counselor will provide the client with the name, address and contact person with whom the client can communicate in order to begin further treatment.
  • Follow-up: EAP counselors will follow-up with the client following any referral to an external agency or provider. Cases will only be closed when both the EAP counselor and the client are satisfied that the client has received appropriate treatment.

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Who provides the service?

All EAP counselors at ERS have a minimum of five years experience, hold a Master's degree within the mental health field, and are licensed within the state. In addition to licensure, several clinicians are Certified Employee Assistance Professionals (CEAP's) as well as Substance Abuse Professionals. (SAP's.)

ERS maintains a national provider & affiliate network composed of counseling professionals including psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, marriage & family therapists and counselors. All of these mental health professionals have a minimum of five years experience and a wide variety of specialties. ERS' Provider Relations Department is responsible for researching, recruiting, credentialing and monitoring our provider & affiliate network.

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How do I contact the EAP?

The first step is to call ERS' toll-free "800" phone number which is available 7 days per week, 24 hours a day, however, cases are typically opened during regular business hours. Counselors with foreign language capabilities are available.

In non-emergency situations, callers will schedule an appointment to meet with a counselor in-person near the caller's home or workplace. In more urgent situations, callers speak immediately with counselors who assess the situation, provide crisis intervention and develop a safety plan when appropriate.

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What about confidentiality?

The most important aspect of a successful EAP is confidentiality. Without it, a program loses its credibility and will inevitably not be used. ERS counselors are obligated legally and ethically to maintain confidentiality—in accordance with state and federal regulations. Exceptions are made for any threat-to-safety situations such as child abuse, elder abuse, homicidal or suicidal threats, and stalking. In such cases, only the appropriate authorities are notified to ensure the safety of all involved.

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How much does it cost?

For ERS' client companies, this is a FREE benefit for all employees and their family members. Companies view this as an investment in their employees. By providing support services, they are better able to retain productive workers and lower insurance costs.

For companies that are "shopping" for EAP services, they must take into account that there are several variables that affect the cost, such as:

  • Model of Service - 1-3, 1-5, 1-6, or 1-8 session models are available.
  • Work/Life Services - Articles, calculator tools, and resources are available in areas such as childcare, eldercare, legal & financial services as well as daily living tasks to supplement the clinical supportive services of the EAP.
  • Size of your organization
  • Geographic locations of your organization - ERS may incur additional costs while supplementing provider & affiliate coverage.
  • Managed Care Services - For an additional fee, ERS can manage a company's behavioral health benefits--provide case management and treatment planning in conjunction with a network's discounted fees.

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