EAPs – Combatting Isolation and Uncertainty

You’ve heard all the catch phrases: Unprecedented times, challenging, new normal. These are times of change, and with change comes uncertainty and stress. For many, losing contact with their colleagues is a serious side effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. It leads to feelings of isolation and can, at the least, affect productivity; at worst, it can lead to depression.

And this is often just the tip of the iceberg. New school policies, a spouse’s lost income, and concern for the health of loved ones, all pile onto the shoulders of you and your employees. Personal and work challenges blur into one mass and can result in increased absence, less productivity, and reduced quality of life.

More and more, business owners are seeing the value in providing an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to help their employees maintain their mental health. An EAP is a confidential resource for employees to have access to qualified experts and professionals who can help them, and their eligible dependents, deal with situations affecting their mental and emotional health and wellness.

It’s not just life-changing events that can affect employees; it can be the cumulative effect of many issues that are causing anxiety. When stress comes without a timeline for when it will be relieved, like in the case of the current pandemic, it can lead to feelings of hopelessness. However, with counselling, your employees can develop the tools they need to deal with the emotions they’re experiencing. Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan offers the Arrive® EAP benefit, managed by Arete® HR Inc., and the process couldn’t be easier.

When your employee takes advantage of their EAP, a friendly and professional intake specialist will ask them some basic questions, listen to them, then find the best resource for them. If counselling sessions are the answer, they will search their professional network database to find the best fit possible, then connect the employee with that professional to make an appointment at the employee’s convenience. The service is entirely confidential; the fact they are even using the service will not be shared with anyone—not even the employer—without the employee’s written permission.

Chambers Plan’s EAP can also help employees manage other stressors on their mental health, including issues around legal concerns, finances, childcare, and eldercare. Today’s economic and health conditions make an EAP an essential tool for any small business. Business owners generally don’t have the time or expertise to address the mental health challenges their employees face, or even that they themselves face. Adding EAP to your benefits plan is a way to show you care about the well-being of your employees and their families.

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