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EAP 101

Employee Assistance Programs: More Than Just an Employee Benefit

Employer-sponsored services designed to assist employees and their families with managing work and life’s daily challenges

MHN’s EAP services include:

  • clinical services
  • work & life services
  • management consulting
  • training and development
  • online services
  • Employee Support
    • Provides resources for daily life issues, job performance
    • Identifies and resolves workplace challenges before they result in high medical and disability costs
    • Promotes a healthy lifestyle
  • Employer Support
    • Provides resources/support during crisis
    • Provides resources that complement HR department
    • Reduces potential for litigation and supervisor mismanagement of issues

EAPs originated with alcoholism programs established by a few major employers in the 1940s. Since then, EAPs have evolved to help employees manage daily challenges in work and life.

Depression: $44 billion annually in lost productivity -- Stewart, Walter F., Ricci, Judith A., Chee, Elsbeth et al. 2003. Cost of Lost Productive Work Time Among US Workers With Depression. Journal of the American Medical Association 289 (23).

Substance abuse and mental illness: $100 billion annually or $3,000 per employee -- Impact Publications. Employee Assistance Report. 2001.

The EAP Solution

The Value of EAPs:


  • Employee satisfaction
  • Productivity
  • Managerial effectiveness


  • Cost of stress
  • Risk of workplace violence
  • Turnover
  • Risk of litigation
  • Absenteeism

EAP Issues

  • Marital conflict
  • Parent/child conflict
  • Phase of life problems
  • Grief/loss
  • Family transition
  • School/academic problems
  • Workplace issues/job loss
  • V-Code issues

Managed Care Issues

  • Major depression
  • Bipolar, Schizophrenia, Anxiety and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders
  • Recurring substance abuse 
  • Medication management
  • Psychological testing


  • Case finding
  • Consultation re: benefits
  • Workplace-related services
  • Assessment and referral
  • Problem-focused counseling
  • Work/life problems

Managed Care

  • Case solving
  • Benefit administration
  • Health care services
  • Treatment planning
  • Medical necessity
  • DSM diagnosis

EAP Solutions at MHN

Face-to-face assessment, crisis counseling, professional intervention, short-term counseling, follow up, treatment referral, online resources and provider search capability

Problems addressed:

  • Substance abuse
  • Marital and family issues
  • Psychological problems
  • Psychiatric disorders
  • Chronic diseases
  • Urgent clinical cases
  • Stress management
  • Job issues 

Telephonic, online and in-person information, counseling and consultation


  • Concierge services
  • Organization of life’s affairs
  • Consultation on personal finance, childcare, eldercare, tax and pre-retirement issues

Management Consultation

Telephonic consultation for managers, supervisors and human resource personnel

Support for:

  • Job performance
  • Employee well-being
  • Staff group dynamics
  • Violence in the workplace

Job Performance Referrals

Telephonic coaching for constructive confrontation/intervention with troubled employees and mandatory referral of employees to the EAP due to personal problems

Referrals may involve:

  • Treatment planning
  • Follow-up
  • Return-to-work monitoring

Helpful Tools at Manager’s Corner on

Resources for managers on coping with change, layoffs and more

Debriefings after critical incidents 24/7, 365 days/year, analysis of the psychological impact on the affected group and intervention planning

Critical incidents include:

  • Bank robberies or other criminal activity
  • Industrial accidents
  • Sudden death of a co-worker
  • Fire
  • Any incident involving media attention, children or bomb threats
  • Communication skills development
  • Role and process clarification
  • Workplace protection
  • Conflict resolution and team-building
  • Leadership coaching
  • Organization values
  • Goal clarification

Employee Assistance Professionals Association


World’s oldest and largest membership organization for employee assistance professionals

Hosts annual conference, publishes Journal of Employee Assistance, offers training, resources and Certified Employee Assistance Professional Credential

Employee Assistance Society of North America


Advances knowledge, research and best practices toward achieving healthy and productive workplaces

Offers conferences, publications and accreditation

For additional information


1600 Los Gamos Drive, Suite 300
San Rafael, CA 94903


The MHN Practitioner Inquiry Line
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. PST
Monday- Friday