You’ve invested in an EAP, now learn to use it

By John Butler
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 06/19/2002

Employee assistance programs have been around for decades as a way for companies to provide assistance that contributes to the health and well-being of employees.

Originally, EAPs were designed to help employees struggling with substance abuse problems, but over time they have expanded to include a number of ways of counselling and helping employees and their families — from referral for mental health services to grief counselling, stress reduction, anger management, help with legal problems, credit counselling and health maintenance consultations.

Many groundbreaking in-house EAPs were created in large industries, such as auto manufacturing, as joint projects between employers and unions; both had a stake in avoiding labour strife by helping “problem employees” rather than firing them.