Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Work is making you nuts--so get help there

Did you know that under a new law, work health plans will need to cover mental health services the same as physical health?

Companies are reacting by putting short-term counseling in place, according to Shirley S. Wang, WSJ, Dec 15, 2009.

These would be the EAPs—Employee Assistance Programs. You may be able to get more free sessions.

A problem can be that by asking people to go to the EAP first, before outside help, companies may keep people who need more help from seeking it.

Plus—those same people will have one therapist, then need to adjust to another one.

Often EAPs offer a few—3-8 sessions, and these may be telephone sessions.

Now this may be more with adoption counseling, elder care, and other services added.

If you are in a company with more than 50 people, watch for changes—though for once, they may work in your favor.

Crazy-making, right?


Bernie Dyme said...

I suggest that you provide a better understanding of how EAPs should work. First of all, the BENEFIT of an EAP is that they can do an accurate assessment and either provide help at the initial point of contact or refer to a provider or providers who are best matched and suited to help. What happens when people search for behavioral health care services on their own is that they get caught in the morass of different providers many of whom may not be appropriate. You see, mental health is different from medical/surgical situations. Why, for example, use a psychiatrist for marital counseling when that is not their primary area of expertise? Also, in counseling, the relationship with the provider is a major curative factor leading to a positive outcome. Next, most people won't even seek help for emotional problems because of the stigma that is attached so a good EAP will also provide education about mental health, counseling and prevention.

Star Lawrence said...

Good points. Thanks!