Browsing School of Social Work by Author "Zhao, Mark"
Attracting New EAP Users Through Online Text-Based Chat ServicesVeder, Barb; Torino, Stephanie; Beaudoin, Kelly; Zhao, Mark (Employee Assistance Society of North America, 2012-09)With individuals’ increasing comfort with technology, and demand to access services when and how they choose, many services including clinical ones are moving online. As individuals adapt to an ever-changing world, they expect their service providers to also keep pace with these changes. This report examines the impact of First Chat, a secure, synchronous, live counselling chat tool used to provide clients with immediate clinical support in an EAP setting. First Chat is a solution- focused, clinical consultation that helps a client address issues of immediate concern under the guidance of a trained clinical counsellor. Our staff collected data from a sample of 407 chats taken from the period of December 5, 2011 to January 31, 2012. We also measured the level of client satisfaction on post-chat surveys collected from 95 randomly-selected chats. In addition, client age and sex were then compared against normative utilization data from the suite of Shepell·fgi EAP support services for 2011.