The University of Maryland School of Social Work – the only social work program with a dedicated Employee Assistance (EA) curriculum as part of the larger MSW program – hosts the Employee Assistance Digital Archive.

The Employee Assistance Digital Archive is a free, publicly accessible site where EA professionals can post original works, historical documents or other related papers. The intent of the Archive is to preserve important historical documents in the EA field as well as to provide a national depository for all significant articles in the field.

Please visit our Employee Assistance Digital Archive Homepage to learn about how you can submit and use the Archive.

Recent Submissions

  • Emotional Resilience During Times of Civil Unresst

    Concern EAP (Concern, 2020-02)
    Unlawful riots broke out in the United States capitol recently, causing havoc, injuries, conflict, and damage. Images of angry and armed people storming the nation’s capitol have flooded social media and the news. If you are fearful and anxious, you’re not alone. This is an unprecedented moment. Seeing images of violence and destruction may have direct impact on your health and wellbeing, potentially resulting in anxiety, elevated blood pressure and other physical and emotional symptoms. With emotions ranging from grief and genuine anger to shock and disillusionment, it’s no surprise that many of us are feeling unsettled.
  • Social Unrest Grips the Nation

    Concern EAP (Concern EAP, 2020)
    The worst civil unrest in decades erupted in cities around the U.S. this past week, sparked by the tragic death of George Floyd, a Black man in police custody. Demonstrations stretching from coast to coast rocked the nation at a time when we’re still grappling with an unchecked pandemic and an economic crisis that has put millions out of work. This combination of issues has escalated tensions and frustrations, bringing into sharp relief resentment due to racism and inequality in our country. The issues are big, important ones—social justice, institutional racism, and nonviolent and violent protest. Events of the past week have made these issues hard to ignore.
  • How to talk to your children about racism

    Concern EAP (Concern EAP, 2020)
    As protests spill into a second week, many parents are struggling with the need to protect their children from seeing the worst of the violence while at the same time trying to explain the consequences of racism. Whether from social media, talking with friends, or overhearing conversations, children know what’s going on. This might be a good time to start a conversation so that they don’t have to navigate their feelings alone, and to keep the conversation going when we’re not in a crisis mode.
  • Breaking the Chains of Stigma in the Construction Industry

    Beyer, Cal (2021-04-12)
    For the 25 years I’ve been in the construction industry, there is one trait among all others that has been held up as the most quintessentially “construction-esque” — the stoic workforce culture. Construction tradespersons evoke a particular hard-nosed and smashmouth image showing pride of their chosen occupation and craft. Individually and collectively, construction workers are strong-willed and never give up. These qualities of tenacity and persistence reflect the grit of the workforce. Construction trades workers are also known for their loyalty and commitment to excellence in their chosen craft, and they have honored old-school traditions. These traditions are mostly unspoken rules of engagement that become embedded like DNA, and they become the accepted way things are done in a job, trade, or within a company. This is how the stoic culture of not talking about feelings or showing any outward signs of being different is so strong. Above all else, construction workers are tough and showing feelings could be perceived by others as a possible sign of weakness.
  • How Behavioral Health of Employees Impacts Business Continuity

    Vergolias, George; Brown, Hart S. (2021-04)
    Webinar on how the behavioral health of employees affects business continuity. When traumatic events happen, whether a robbery, natural disaster or even a pandemic, it impacts the lives of employees. It is imperative for business leaders to understand this process and plan for these events as much as possible. This webinar presented by two experts from R3 Continuum discuss some of the data from their work in the crisis arena and how best to prepare or adapt to some of these traumatic events.
  • EAP and Covid-19 2021: What About the Children: The COVID-19 Impact

    Perspectives (2021)
    For more than a year, children have been navigating social isolation, stressed-out parents, the effects of financial uncertainty, school from home or even from Wi-Fi-equipped school buses if they don't have internet. They worry whether they will see their friends and relatives, go back to school or get sick. Parents are typically adept at making plans for their children, but most future events are on hold. What’s more, the challenges facing parents may interfere with their usual ability to address their children’s emotional needs—almost half of all parents report experiencing higher levels of stress during COVID-19. This increases their children’s risk for experiencing family adversity (e.g., child abuse and neglect, domestic violence, etc.) and related mental health problems. The social, emotional and behavioral well-being of children and youth is a critical aspect of human development that lays the foundation for lifelong health and well-being. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, as many as one in five children had a diagnosed mental health disorder. While research on the pandemic’s effects on mental health is still in the early stages, current evidence shows a surge in anxiety and depression among children and adolescents, including among young people of color and among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer and/or questioning (LGBTQ) youth.
  • EAP and COVID-19 2021: Emotional Phases of Disaster Response

    Saia, Sharon (2021)
    At the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic it was not immediately understood that these conditions would endure for the entire year ( 2020). However, as time marched on and surges continued to appear, it became apparent that the Pandemic was a slow moving disaster similar to those like 911, Katrina and other disasters manmade or natural. The presentation of the SAMSHA slide of the emotional phases following a disaster when presented to the Ohio State University Healthcare workers and University staff, resonated and validated their emotional responses. They could see themselves in the graph and even reference verbally where they were. Many were in the “cliff of disillusionment” phase and yet understood this as a normal part of the disaster reaction. The racial and social injustice demonstrations and movements were seen as trigger points. In addition, the Presidential Election and the concurrent political vitriol became yet another trigger theme. As the disaster progressed past the triggers to the one-year anniversary, it gave rise to people noticing they were having anniversary reactions. Perceiving that it brought on the need to notice and feel the grief associated with all the losses in the past year. At present, we all understand that the reconstruction phase is ahead, but many employees are not there, but still in grief. This pictorial display of the Emotional Phases of a Disaster, has permitted our healthcare workers to have words to put to their feelings. There is also an understanding that has emerged that there is a process to what they have been and continue to experience.
  • A Treatment Improvement Protocol: Trauma-Informed Care in Behavioral Health Services

    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA, 2014)
    Many individuals who seek treatment in behavioral health settings have histories of trauma, but they often don’t recognize the signifi­cant effects of trauma in their lives; either they don’t draw connec­tions between their trauma histories and their presenting problems, or they avoid the topic altogether. Likewise, treatment providers may not ask questions that elicit a client’s history of trauma, may feel unprepared to address trauma-related issues proactively, or may struggle to address traumatic stress effectively within the con­straints of their treatment program, the program’s clinical orienta­tion, or their agency’s directives. By recognizing that traumatic experiences and their sequelae tie closely into behavioral health problems, front-line professionals and community-based programs can begin to build a trauma- informed environment across the continuum of care. Key steps include meeting client needs in a safe, collaborative, and compas­ sionate manner; preventing treatment practices that retraumatize people with histories of trauma who are seeking help or receiving services; building on the strengths and resilience of clients in the context of their environments and communities; and endorsing trauma-informed principles in agencies through support, consulta­ tion, and supervision of staff. This Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) begins by introducing the scope, purpose, and organization of the topic and describing its intended audience. Along with defining trauma and trauma- informed care (TIC), the first chapter discusses the rationale for addressing trauma in behavioral health services and reviews trauma- informed intervention and treatment principles. These principles serve as the TIP’s conceptual framework.
  • Intimate Partner Violence within the Marine Corps: Examining the Socio-Demographic Risk Factors of Active Duty Marine Perpetrators and Types of Abuse

    Hubbert, Paulette D. (2013)
    Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is understood to be the result of intersecting sociological, psychological, and environmental factors none of which can be considered in isolation. Research suggests that tailoring interventions to the types of abuse can greatly improve the effectiveness of interventions and treatment. Moreover, a growing body of empirical research has demonstrated that types of (IPV) can be differentiated with respect to partner dynamics, context, and consequences. Few studies have been conducted on the IPV within the United States Marine Corps (USMC), and there are no studies that have examined types of abuse perpetrated by Marines, or the association of socio-demographic risk factors that predict this abuse. This study seeks to address those gaps by highlighting the socio-demographic risk factors that are salient in predicting IPV types of abuse within the USMC. Findings from this study will increase the understanding of both the effects of risk of violence and the unique risk factors that predict types of abuse within the USMC. The study findings will also assist in developing adequate prevention, intervention and treatment protocols, as well as contribute to policy development for IPV within the USMC.
  • Navigating Family-Friendly Workplace Policies: Multiple-Case Study of Fathers in Dual-Career Families

    Quamina, Ian B. (ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 2018)
    The growth in dual income households has risen steadily since the 1950s as we see both men and women continue to enter the job market. This trend has created a significant shift in how roles and duties have been shared within the home. Over the last 40 years, this notable change (the dual-earner couples) in the family structure and the U.S. workforce has progressively focused attention on the need for workplace policies to assist employees in balancing work and family life. Making workplaces more family-friendly has potential benefits for both employees and employers, but research findings are mixed about the take-up rate of such benefits and the outcomes for improving work-family balance (Baxter & Chesters, 2011). There is a new generation of fathers who are more involved, more nurturing, and more present in their children’s lives (Burnett, Gatrell, Cooper, & Sparrow, 2011; Gregory & Milner, 2011a). This qualitative study explored how access to and use of family-friendly workplace policies influence the work-family enrichment of fathers within dual-career families. Using a multiple-case study research design this study collected data through semi-structured interviews, field notes and company records pertaining to fathers in dual-career families working full-time in family friendly firms. The data analysis revealed several themes regarding the work-family interface of working fathers. These themes included: (a) Fathers in the workplace, (b) Family involvement, (c) Managing dual roles, and (d) Need for support. The insight gathered from this study not only adds to previous research on work-family enrichment, but it substantiates the need for continued support for work-life integration in organizations, as much more is desired to meet the unique challenges of working parents, including fathers.
  • The Bar that Wasn't: Journey of a Soul in Long-term Recovery

    Wrich, James T. (Jim W. Publications, 2021)
  • Taking a Stand: One EAP’s Journey to Anti-Racism, Cultural Relevance & Bridge Building

    Board, Nancy (EAPA, 2021-04-01)
    In November 2018, I joined the Washington State EAP as its Clinical Services Manager, with responsibilities for developing and managing the quality of our contracted EAP provider network. The network was comprised of licensed mental health professionals, most of whom worked in private practice. Early on I recognized the lack of racial diversity of this network and considered that our network demographics likely did not fully represent the demographics of our workforce, as just 12% of our contracted providers identified as non-white. I wanted our services to be inclusive, representative and accessible to everyone and looked to target at least 25% representation with Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) / multi-cultural, multi-faceted providers within a year. I believed this goal was achievable since I had successfully built an EAP provider network in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region encompassing 18 countries. I also vowed to learn more about our current providers as individuals, review their practice specialties and build a strong working relationship with them.
  • EAP and COVID-19 2021: Effective Crisis Leadership During COVID-19

    VandePol, Bob (2021)
    Both blind denial and conspiracy theories abound in every conversation, but all eyes are looking to leadership to define the course of action. Your response will reverberate through your organization as people take their cue from what they see and hear from you. Of course, you will be instantly criticized regardless of your decisions and, frankly, you cannot control those responses. You CAN control how you lead and that will stand the test of time. The Pine Rest Employee Assistance Program recommends the following crisis communication process – ACT.
  • Run, Hide, Fight The Case for ‘Common Sense’ Gun Control

    Hughes, Daniel (EAPA, 2020-04)
    I was first introduced to American gun culture in 1960 when I spent six weeks in Wyoming. I was ten years old and spent the summer with my uncle, Cleo “Doc” Davis. Uncle Cleo was a self-identified “cowboy” who was born in Scotts Bluff, Nebraska and raised in Laramie, Wyoming. He served in the Merchant Marine during World War II and trained as a chiropractor on the GI Bill. Following his marriage to my mother’s sister, they settled in Wyoming where he opened a practice. I arrived in Casper, Wyoming, after a two-and-a-half-day train journey. We attended a re-enactment of the Pony Express commemorating the 100th anniversary of the legendary trans-continental Postal rides. As I watched, two riders completed a flawless, albeit furious, exchange of a mail pouch. The crowd whooped and cheered with delight. I quickly learned that Wyoming was far from Brooklyn. It was a summer of new experiences. I visited Yellowstone, attended rodeos, wore cowboy boots, explored alpine forests, and was introduced to the thrill of hunting. Uncle Cleo was a classic outdoorsman. He had grown up hunting and fishing. Each year he would obtain a license and harvest an elk. He would dress out the animal and prepare it for freezing. Elk meat would provide his family protein throughout the year. It was a lifestyle he cherished. He taught me to shoot responsibly, emphasizing safety. Repeatedly, he would remark that “all guns are loaded and every horse kicks.” He also cautioned that one should respect the power of nature. “Out here weather can kill you,” he’d say. These were valuable common sense lessons for a 10-year-old kid from the city. Today, in the wake of multiple school shootings, we teach 10-year-olds to “run, hide, and fight.”
  • Addressing Racial & Ethnic Bias in the Workplace

    McNutt, Bryan R. (EAPA, 2021-04)
    In the wake of the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and other Black lives at the hands of police in 2020, many organizations have been challenged with addressing the presence of racial and ethnic discrimination within their own cultures, especially those with predominantly white leadership. While many organizations are gradually beginning to acknowledge the need to address these uncomfortable realities, only a minority of them appear to be making efforts of substantive change.
  • Critical Incident Response Updated Literature Review

    Herlihy, Patricia A. (2021-04-01)
    During the last ten years there have been numerous mass casualty events (MCE) in the United States including: the San Bernardino shooting; Las Vegas shooting, Pulse Nightclub shooting; Pittsburgh Synagogue shooting; Dayton Ohio shooting; Parkland School shooting and; more re- cently, the Atlanta shootings targeting Asian Women. In addition, there have been unprecedented high-profile/high intensity crisis events that have impacted the Nation, such as the Covid 19 Pan- demic, the civil unrest following the death of George Floyd, and the assault on the US Capitol Building on January 6, 2021. Historically, incidents as buildings collapsing, train and bus colli- sions, plane crashes, earthquakes and other large-scale emergencies like the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 and the September 11 attacks in 2001 are further well-publicized examples of mass casualty incidents. Finally, in addition to these major newsworthy incidents there are daily events that require Disruptive Event/CIR interventions such as: robberies, layoffs/downsizing, and deaths in the workplace. In response to both the larger MCEs and the more “routine” daily interruptions, employers have begun to take a more proactive stance to anticipate and prepare their workers for potential disruptions of any size in the workplace. In all these cases, the continuity of business and organizational operations have been severely disrupted. Such events can be viewed through the lens of Nassim Nicholas Taleb"s book: The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable (Taleb, 2007). Such events were unexpected and unplanned for. The growing recognition and frequency of such incidents has reverberated across all organizations and pushed them to consider how to quickly restore the continuity of their operations and ability to function. Obviously, such continuity efforts include programs to support employees in their recovery to normal functioning and productivity. Further, business leaders are frequently being held accountable for their response to crisis events, with both inter- nal and external stakeholders expecting a humane and appropriate response – or being judged harshly if they fail to do so. One response to these tragic MCEs is an effort by the National Institute of Standards & Tech- nology (NIST) Public Safety Communications Response (PSCR) Division. They are hosting a meeting early in 2021 focused on !Building Apps for Mass Casualty Events and Triage” (NIST, 2021). In 2015, this author conducted a literature review focused on the Critical Incident Response field (Herlihy, 2015). This current paper explores and emphasizes the shifts that have occurred since that time and seeks to update how language related to practice has shifted and evolved, what new models of delivery have emerged, and new research published.
  • Peer Coaching: Impacts on Physician Well Being: New Data and Existing Evidence

    Ferron, Liz; Shannon, Diane W. (Vital Work Life, 2021)
    Physicians today are not thriving. Numerous national studies have demonstrated rates of burnout upwards of 50 percent. Suicide rates among physicians are twice that of the general population. The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified the stress, overwhelm and moral injury many physicians experience as part of their working life. The well being of the physician workforce has profound implications for healthcare organizations. Physicians who report higher levels of burnout are more likely to reduce their work hours and are twice as likely to leave their organization within the subsequent two years. In addition, decreases in productivity and reductions in clinical hours can directly affect patient care revenue from reductions in procedures and referrals. Replacing physicians who have left is expensive, with estimates of $500,000 up to $1 million for recruitment, onboarding and reduced productivity while a new physician gets up to speed. Given there is a projected physician deficit, possibly as high as 86,000 physicians by 2033, attracting new physicians is projected to become more difficult and costly in future years. Maintaining the health and well being of physicians is critical. Full engagement of physicians in meeting the performance goals of the organization is unlikely if they are experiencing emotional exhaustion, depersonalization or other symptoms of stress and burnout. It is impossible if they have left the organization for a more appealing position or have chosen to leave practice entirely. In addition, because physicians are key revenue generators in most healthcare organizations, their ability to engage and work at their full potential has direct financial consequences. Peer coaching is emerging as an effective solution for improving physician well being. This paper will describe the existing evidence base and new data from VITAL WorkLife that demonstrate the impact of peer coaching in supporting physician well being.
  • EAP and COVID-19 2021: Psychological Adaptation after the Epidemic in China: Search for New Meaning and Purpose

    Li, Peizhong (2021-04)
    On March 10th 2021, Employee Assistance and EAPA colleague Peizhong Li shared his insights during EAPA’s Weekly Pandemic conversation on family, community, work, trust, Emotional First Support (EFS), rural ancestral home vs. urbanization/new home, support among strangers, and many challenging realities to COVID-19 acute and post-acute China. He emphasized that various communities need to create a refreshed sense of meaning and purpose for individuals. He believes that the workplaces can play a significant role in this aspect. The following is a summary of Peizhong’s Pandemic Conversation presentation.
  • Best Practices in Working with Law Enforcement

    Herlihy, Patricia A.; Rascati, James N.; Barber, Brad W. (EAPA, 2021-04)
    Employee Assistance Professionals have an unusual opportunity to provide workplace expertise during these unprecedented and stressful times. Law enforcement in particular is one population that is under unusual pressure these days. Law enforcement has always been a challenging and stressful occupation, but there has been an increase in their need for emotional support within the last year. An officer’s stress level impacts not only themselves and their ability to perform on the job, but also their family members and community. In one state where an EAP agency provides services to approximately 56 of the 102 police departments, a significant increase in the demand for EAP services was noted. A majority of these police departments experienced either double or sometimes even quadruple the number of requests for EAP services within the last two years. With this increase in demand for behavioral health services, opportunities arise for EAPs. However, for opportunities and partnerships to be successful, EA professionals need to better understand the subculture of law enforcement in the United States.

View more