Are EAPs Worthwhile?

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By Amy Kazmierczak, Chief People Officer

When your employees aren’t thriving, neither is your company. That’s why more and more organizations are offering Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) as part of their benefit packages. Originally focused on helping workers address mental health needs, EAPs have evolved significantly over the years and now offer a broad array of services such as childcare, elder care, financial services, legal support and referrals, and other concierge services beyond counseling to support their employees’ overall well-being. EAPs yield benefits for both the employee and employer—they improve workforce morale and well-being while also boosting companies’ bottom lines. According to the World Health Organization, for every $1 organizations put into mental health programs, they get $4 back in increased productivity and better health outcomes.  

Amy Kazmierczak

“Offering a comprehensive benefits package that includes mental health helps companies convey that they are committed to employees, as well as attract and retain talent.”

Amy Kazmierczak – Chief People Officer

Today’s workforce needs EAPs 

The U.S. is experiencing a mental health crisis, with more people suffering from stress, anxiety and depression than ever before. Eighty-three percent of U.S. workers report suffering from work-related stress. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, job-related stress is a leading workplace health problem, costing employers $225.8 billion, or $1,685 per employee, each year

EAPs empower companies to help their employees resolve many of their stress-related and other personal issues by giving them access to confidential mental health resources they can call on when needed. Offering a comprehensive benefits package that includes mental health and other support helps companies convey that they are committed to their employees, plus attract and retain talent. Openly addressing the availability of mental health resources engenders a sense of community (“we’re all in this together”) within an organization and can help reduce the stigma attached to seeking help.  

Why EAPs are often underutilized 

Almost all mid- to large-size companies in the U.S. now offer some form of EAPs, yet utilization of these programs remains woefully low: only 4% of employees use them each year, according to some estimates. The reasons for this underutilization are varied and complex. In some cases, employees may assume that their EAPs are only for mental health, even though many programs offer resources for financial and legal counseling, life coaching, crisis support, substance use disorders and other services. Others may worry that the EAP is not truly confidential, and if used might be held against them by their employer. Another significant obstacle is the lingering stigma associated with seeking mental health support in general. Lack of awareness or understanding of the benefit – many employees overlook EAPs when reading the description of their benefits package – is another factor, as is the perceived complexity of accessing the resources.  

Lucet’s EAP 

Lucet offers an industry-leading EAP that provides employees with free, confidential access to the programs and services they need to prioritize their well-being by: 

Delivering concierge-level service

Our care navigators and licensed clinicians provide ongoing, white-glove, 24-hour support and guidance for employees to ensure they get the right care for their needs, when they need it. 

Ensuring the highest level of care

Employees are assessed and treated by skilled, clinically informed care navigators and licensed clinicians who provide behavioral health benefits, clinical management, and crisis intervention coverage across the acuity spectrum. 

Reducing stigma to increase utilization

Online member resources are made readily available to encourage open workplace dialogue, boost acceptance of seeking help, and reduce mental health stigma and complexity surrounding care.

Amy Kazmierczak is chief people officer at Lucet, The Behavioral Health Optimization Company.

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