Do you qualify for free counseling sessions? Did you know that many employers offer Employee Assistance Programs, or EAPs, that provide counseling sessions to their employees and their family members? That’s right! Usually, the larger employers like hospitals, county employees, school board members and large corporations often have EAPs that allow employees and their family members anywhere from three to ten sessions of mental health counseling at no charge to the employees. The concept works like this: the employer contracts with and EAP insurance company such as Ceridian, Aetna, Cigna, Empathia, and many others. They pay a lump sum amount to the insurance company to provide a variety of services to their employees, of which includes mental health counseling. The idea is that employers provide these services in an attempt to help employees maintain a work/life balance and in the end, employees and their family members are healthier and able to work more efficiently without time lost from work. Ultimately, this saves the company money.
EAP services are completely confidential and your employer does not even know you are accessing the services. All you need to do is to call your Human Resources office and ask for the number to the EAP. You do not need to let them know your name and they should not ask for your name. Once you have the number call the insurance company or EAP directly and let them know what you need. They will need to know the name of your employer and your demographic information and they will ask you questions about your safety. Then you will be provided with the names of counselors in your area that accept the EAP and you will be given an authorization with the number of sessions you are allowed. And that’s all there is to it!
So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and get your appointment scheduled. You don’t have to be mentally ill to take advantage of this service. Most people use the counseling services for a variety of reasons that include, but are not limited to stress at work, relationship problems, elder care stress, bereavement/loss and grief, money issues, any many more common, everyday issues that people face.