Trends in Eap Programs

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Management Cluster

Trends in Employee Assistance Programs Over the last 30 years, Employee Assistance Programs (EAP’s) have been on the fast-track of evolution. EAP’s have evolved into sophisticated wellness programs that address many issues that affect the lives of employees and negatively impact job performance. These issues can range from depression, anxiety disorders, substances abuse, and marital issues or divorce. EAP’s provide employees confidential counseling and referral services for a myriad of personal concerns, from anxiety to parenting at no cost to the employee (Carlson 1). EAP’s have evolved from initial efforts which were originally a response to alcoholism, to today’s broad brushed programs directed at a multitude of personal and professional work-related issues. Basically, what started out as an employee-movement has become an integral part of today’s society. According to a report by the Partnership for Workplace Mental Health in Arlington, VA, U.S. employers incur annual costs of $80 to $100 billion due to issues such as lost productivity and absenteeism related to mental illness and substance abuse. The report estimates 25% of working adults are affected by mental illness or substance abuse each year (Mortland 1). Employee Assistance Programs can help to deter some of these costs while at the same time helping to increase productivity within the work force. History of Employee Assistance Programs Employee Assistance Programs can be traced back as far as the early 1900’s; The New York city department store, Macy’s, opened the first department exclusively aimed at helping employees deal with professional and personal problems. However, most large corporations didn’t start to recognize the overwhelming need for these types of programs until after World War II. It was then that corporations began to recognize that they could no longer ignore the needs of white-collar



Cited: Page Carlson, Leah. "Employee assistance programs fill many needs." Employee Benefit News 19.15 (2005): 19. Business Source Premier. EBSCO. Web. 22 Mar. 2010. Chickowski, Ericka. "Employee assistance program can be a cost saver. " Journal of Evolutionary Psychology. Institute for Evolutionary Psychology. 2002. HighBeam Research. 20 Mar. 2010 "Employee Assistance Programs." Encyclopedia of Business and Finance. Ed. Allison McClintic Marion. Gale Cengage, 2001. eNotes.com. 2006. 21 Mar, 2010 Groves, Leonard. "Problem Solvers." Indiana Business Magazine 42.11 (1998): 24. Regional Business News. EBSCO. Web. 20 Mar. 2010 Fitzsimons, David J. "Cost-effective EAP’s pay off in the long run." Journal of Compensation & Benefits 8.3 (1992): 28. Business Source Premier. EBSCO. Web. 20 Mar. 2010. Hartwell, Tyler D., et al. "Aiding Troubled Employees: The Prevalence, Cost, and Characteristics of Employee Assistance Programs in the United States." American Journal of Public Health 86.6 (1996): 804. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 20 Mar. 2010 Mortland, Shannon. "Employee assistance programs aid recovery." Crain 's Cleveland Business 31.8 (2010): 13. Regional Business News. EBSCO. Web. 21 Mar. 2010. Oss, Monica E., and John Clary. "The evolving world of employee assistance." Behavioral Health Management 18.4 (1998): 20. Academic Search Elite. EBSCO. Web. 21 Mar. 2010. Reynolds, G. Shawn, and Wayne E.K. Lehman. "Levels of Substance Use and Willingness to Use the Employee Assistance Program." Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research 30.2 (2003): 238. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 20 Mar. 2010

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