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10 Reasons Why People Don’t Use Their Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

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By: Steve Gainey, MA, LLP, ADS, CAADC, EAC Clinical Specialist

It can be frustrating to know someone is emotionally struggling.  It is even more frustrating when there are programs designed to assist those who may need support.  Employee Assistance Programs provide no cost and confidential assistance, so, why do people not reach out for help when they are dealing with tough, life issues?

Here are 10 reasons why people do not use their EAP benefit and why those reasons do not hold up.

1.I’m strong, therefore I don’t need counseling.”

Many people think they are strong and being strong to them means they can handle things on their own. They may think, “If I just try harder, this will go away or I will solve it.”  Truly, however, strength also means asking for help and support. Some issues just can’t be solved alone.

2. “I personally don’t need counseling, but I just need information about various issues.”

Some people may feel they just have some questions or need some education on topics such as depression, anxiety, family conflict, substance abuse, child raising, etc. Questions and information gathering are good for anyone. And it is perfectly acceptable to reach out to the EAP with questions.

3.If I go to counseling that must mean I’m really bad off.”

Sometimes, there is stigma with family members or society that only those with a mental illness go to counseling. However, many of us go to the doctor, dentist, massage therapist, physical therapist, trainer at the gym, etc.  Doing so does not mean we are “so sick” we just have to go. Often, they are just regular checkups. In keeping good mental health and wellness, it can be the same.  Schedule a mental health check-up today.

4. “I don’t have time.”

It’s heard time and time again… “I’m too busy.” Are you also too busy to help a friend?  Go to the movies? Work in the garden?  Take time for yourself?  As a timesaver, you can even eliminate the travel to and from an appointment by scheduling a teletherapy session.

5. “It costs too much.”

Employee Assistance Programs offer a specific number of sessions at no-cost (covered by the sponsored employer).  Even just one session with a counseling can be very helpful and beneficial.

6. “My employer will know I’ve used the program.”

Employee Assistance Programs are confidential.  The only way an employer will know it has been used is if the individual tells them.

7.It will take many weeks to get an appointment.”

The demand for counseling services has increased greatly.  Some places have a waiting list up to 3 months. Many Employee Assistance Programs (including EAC) have more availability and can often schedule within the same week, if not two weeks.

8.It’s uncomfortable to talk about myself and especially to someone I don’t know.”

Yes, it can be uncomfortable to have the focus on you, but you are entitled to have the focus on you and learn about your issue and self. The counselor is non-judgmental and should make you feel comfortable.

9. “I have no issues.”

Nobody has to have therapy. Sometimes, however, it can be helpful to learn about yourself or just look at your mental wellness and have some introspection on yourself.

10. “Counseling will not work for me.”

A statement such as that is like not going to the doctor or dentist because they will not be able to help you or explain what is going on with you.  Research shows time and time again that counseling works and can help.

Employee Assistance Programs exist so you can have a better day at work and at home.  Many of the reasons why people call include:

  • Personal issues/problems
  • Family Relationships
  • Depression
  • Stress and Anxiety
  • Past issues that have not been resolved
  • Anger Management
  • Work issues
  • Grief and loss issues
  • Alcohol/Drug problems
  • Legal Referrals
  • Financial issues
  • Or questions about all the above

Don’t let the reasons not to call stop you from reaching out.  As one EAC client said, “Why didn’t I do this years ago?”

Call your EAP today and get the assistance you need and deserve.

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