Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) are a valuable resource for employers and employees alike. They provide a range of services to help employees manage their personal lives and improve their work performance. EAPs are voluntary, confidential, and free of charge, and they can be provided in-house or through an external provider. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) may come into play when requiring an employee to use an EAP.
Services are confidential, except in rare cases where disclosure is required by law, such as when there is a security concern. For example, if an employee signs a consent form, the counselor can provide limited feedback to the employer about their fitness for work after treating the employee. Providing employees with access to resources and support to help them manage their entire lives will make them happier and more productive. However, the stigma associated with mental health support can discourage employees from seeking help.
It is important for all employees, including leadership members, to understand the benefits of EAPs and how they can play an important role in mental health. Federal professionals oversee and evaluate the delivery of program services and ensure that the needs of employees and agencies are met. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides technical assistance to federal agencies on drug testing, medical screening, laboratory certification, and the overall implementation of the drug program. The Federal Department of Occupational Health (FOH) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provides professional consultation and technical assistance to agencies in the development and oversight of EAP programs and provides comprehensive EAP services to agencies through inter-agency agreements.
An external program provides employees and their family members with access to a toll-free number for admission to the service. The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides evaluation, short-term counseling, referral, management consultation and training services to federal employees, and is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Each EAP must include education and training on drug use for employees and training for supervisors who make decisions to test employees based on reasonable cause. Under this structure, an employee can meet with an in-house employee assistance professional if the location is convenient. Familiarizing yourself with your agency's emergency action plan, as well as the resources available to help employees before, during and after an emergency, is helpful if you're in an emergency situation.
Providing employees with support for issues that affect their well-being will improve the effectiveness of your drug-free work program. Employee Assistance Programs are a valuable resource that employers should take advantage of. They provide a range of services that can help employees manage their personal lives while improving their work performance. By familiarizing yourself with your agency's emergency action plan and resources available to help employees before, during and after an emergency, you can ensure that your workplace is safe and productive.