Benefits of Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP) schemes during COVID-19.

A significant number of employers provide access to professional advice and mental health support in the form of EAP schemes and these schemes could be available to employees at this difficult time. 

A recent study by the Mental Health Foundation showed that 62% of UK adults felt anxious and worried because of the coronavirus pandemic. 29% felt unprepared to deal with its ramifications and 18% felt hopeless. Recent times have not been easy on the mental health and wellbeing of the British general public. Mounting Brexit uncertainty over the years, now compounded by the current COVID-19 pandemic have taken a toll. 

Adding in fears of another economic recession, many feel worried, anxious and unprepared for the difficult times ahead. It’s more important now more than ever to use the resources available to combat these current challenges. 

Fortunately, EAP schemes aid employees with personal or professional advice and mental health support. The types of schemes differ but the majority of schemes cover a wide variety of issues offering a combination of counselling and informational services. 

These include marital and family difficulties, relationship counselling, stress and depression, substance abuse, bereavement support, financial issues, wellbeing or decision-making, medical advice, wills, and inheritance support. Any strain caused by working at home or dealing with family issues due to COVID-19 during lockdown would also be included in their services. 

Many UK-based EAP providers maintain online resources and helplines available 24/7 every day of the year. Some provide more support such as mobile phone applications to ease communication, access to resources and help to manage the stresses and concerns of everyday lif. If your company is registered with an EAP scheme, you do not need to let your employers know you are using them. Being completely confidential, you are free to access their services at your own time and discretion.

Through the turbulent ebb and flow of the COVID-19 crisis, it is crucial to consider how these services may be available to you and how to use them. These tools are not solely for crisis or emergencies. Use them anytime, whenever you or your staff need advice or counselling.

If you need mental health support or advice, please check whether your employer is registered with an EAP scheme provider. Additionally, as an employer, please do not forget to remind your employees of the support programmes available to them.

Further support is always one phone call away. The NHS has specified wellbeing helplines. For immediate help if you do not have an EAP scheme, go to https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/mental-health-helplines/.

So my message is: 

Employers, make sure you let your employees know and provide access to these services. 

Employees, you can avail of these services in the strictest of confidence, knowing that it’s you the schemes are in place to help. Don’t hesitate to use them for you and your family’s wellbeing. 

For further advice on EAP schemes, do not hesitate to contact us on 01224 582185 Please stay safe and healthy during these times. We are here to support you.