• The 5th US/Canada Forum on Mental Health and Productivity: Reference Report of Presentations and Proceedings

      Attridge, Mark; Lackey, Helen; McIntyre, Roger S.; Ricciuti, Joseph; Wilkerson, Bill, 1942- (Mental Health International, 2014-01)
      This report provides detailedi nformation on the content of the 5th US/Canada Forum on Mental Health and Productivity in 2013. The full-text of each of the presentations delivered at the Forum is included here in this report as edited transcripts based on the audio recording of the event. Other content is presented concerning the key themes from the discussion that occurred during the meeting and select ideas captured in the comments and interviews obtained after the meeting from the panel of experts. Other related source material from the Forum is also provided in the appendices to this report.
    • Able-Minded: Return to Work and Accommodations for Workers on Disability Leave for Mental Disorders

      Attridge, Mark; Wallace, Scott, Ph.D. (Human Solutions, 2010-07)
      The 2010 report brings the most current and empirically validated perspectives to this very important issue. Mental health disability is the fastest growing health-related disability in Canada, and has claimed this title for over 20 years. These cases can be complex but typically respond well to appropriate treatment, coordinated stakeholder actions, and employer and organization support. Our hope is that this report will assist employers by illuminating the many advances in this area in recent years, and help organizations to be proactive and/or respond effectively when the need arises.
    • Addiction and Wellness in the Canadian Workplace

      Attridge, Mark (2010-12-02)
      Addiction and Wellness in Canadian Workplaces. Learn the facts about addictions and their prevalence. Hear about models for disability and return-to-work programs, flextime, and policies that help addicts and their supports. Explore practical opportunities in workplaces for prevention through education, work culture change, early identification, treatment and support.
    • Alcoholism in the Workplace: a Report on Theories & Practices

      Corneil, D. Wayne (1976-07-23)
      On first reading the literature, it appeared that the preparation on a report on alcohol in the workplace would be relatively easy. Most of the material seemed straight forward and said basically the same thing. However, as I began to read between the lines, the complexities appeared. In attempting to prepare an overview of the field these complexities have been reflected in this report.
    • Bringing EAP to Faith Communities: Genesis of a Canadian Congregational Assistance Plan

      Vennen, Mark Vander; Smit-Vandezande, M.; Van Wyk, Ken, M.Phil., M.B.A.; Csiernik, Rick (2013)
      Inspired by Employee Assistance Programming, this article reviews the evolution of a parallel process for a different constituency, members of faith communities, a Congregational Assistance Plan. The relationship between spirituality and counselling in Canada is discussed leading to a review of the process through which two Christian-based counselling agencies developed a network to serve the personal and mental health needs of church parishioners. The goals of the Congregational Assistance Plan are presented along with its structuring, implementation and utilization data for the churches that piloted the initiative.
    • Canadian Employee Assistance Programming: An Overview

      Csiernik, Rick; Csiernik, Alex (Taylor and Francis, 2012-05-08)
      A study of 142 Employee Assistance Programs from across Canada found a vibrant range of programming. The focus of programming remained upon the individual provided by professionals but there were a significant minority of EAPs that had branched out and were offering services to enhance organizational wellness. All programs offered voluntary assistance with one third having a formal referral route and one third including mandated counseling for performance issues. The majority of organizations were using third party counseling services external to the workplace though one third of the programs still employed internal counselors while a minority still had active peer components. The study clearly indicated the lack of utility for capping counseling services and found that the average use of uncapped services was less than the artificial ceilings the majority of organizations had placed upon the counseling that was allowed to be provided to employees. There was a lack of uniformity in terms of how utilization rates were calculated underscored by the finding that there were over 20 different definitions in use for what a case was. This is a clear example of the need for the EAP field to come together to develop agreement upon key empirical fundamentals for the profession. The study also discovered a drift away from essential program underpinnings including fewer joint labor-management committees to administer programs, less development of formal EAP policies to govern programs and fewer organizations engaging in new employee orientation and ongoing promotion and staff training.
    • The Canadian national behavioral consortium industy profile of external EAP vendors.

      Csiernik, Rick; Sharar, David A., 1961-; Granberry, Stanford Wayne, 1953- (Taylor and Francis, 2014-08-06)
      A secondary analysis of data provided the initial examination of comparative metrics pertaining to Canadian employee assistance program (EAP) vendors. Contracts held by the 12 participating organizations ranged from 10 to 6,500 with lives covered ranging from 300,000 to 6.3 million, underscoring not only the diverse nature of EAP vendors in Canada but issues with comparing data among such vastly different providers. The most prominent model of service provision was capped EAP counseling which led to an average of 3.1 counseling sessions per client with only one vendor having a mean of greater than four. The majority of counseling offered through Canadian EAP vendors is provided by fee for service affiliate counselors. All client satisfaction scores were positive; however, the vast majority of clients did not complete any type of evaluation leaving both EAP vendors and client organizations with no substantive knowledge of the impact of the service. In the comparatively small EAP market that Canada represents, it was not surprising to learn that the greatest business concern of the vendors was product pricing, especially as ten percent of EAP services were being provided as part of larger bundled benefits plans and thus there was no actual direct cost for the EAP.
    • Canadian Perspectives on Conceptualizing and Responding to Workplace Violence

      Chechak, Derek; Csiernik, Rick (Taylor and Francis, 2014-12-14)
      This article offers a Canadian perspective on the emerging conceptualization with implications for both legislative and organizational responses. The necessity of emphasizing both prevention and reaction in a comprehensive model that addresses workplace violence is underscored, particularly before benign actions potentiate into more serious forms of violence.
    • The Challenge of Delivering Health Care and EAPs: US/Canadian Perspective

      Herlihy, Patricia A.; Heirich, Max A.; Hylton, Chris; Legault, Francois; Mulvihill, Michael D.; Murray, Ben, 1962- (2010-05-07)
    • Changing Landscape of Mental Health in Canada

      Attridge, Mark; Davidson, Dylan, B.A.A.; Samra, Joti (Employee Assistance Professionals Association (EAPA), 2017-10-01)
      Changes over the past decade have produced many promising trends in workplace mental health, although certain problems remain. That is the consensus of a recent research project that examined the evolution of workplace mental health policies and strategies in Canada between 2007 and 2017. The study focused on the five areas of legal advances, shifts in business priorities, changes in education and training, media trends, and research priorities.
    • Changing Landscape of Workplace Mental Health in Canada: Implications for EAPs in United States

      Attridge, Mark (2017-10-11)
      This talk reviews a recent research project that examined the evolution of workplace mental health policies and strategies in Canada.
    • Characteristics of working Canadians associated with poor mental health: a cross-sectional study

      Milot, Marc (Workreach Lab, 2020-12)
      This cross-sectional study aimed to identify the characteristics of working Canadians associated with poor mental health. The demographic and occupational characteristics of workers in a representative sample of working Canadians (N=1000) as well as their mental health (anxiety and depression) and help-seeking tendencies (i.e., seeing mental health professionals, accessing employee assistance programs) were assessed via an online survey (October 2019). A prioritization framework identified the characteristics of working Canadians most strongly associated with an increased vulnerability to poor mental health outcomes. Being a younger working Canadian was a consistent and robust predictor of both poorer mental health and a reduced likelihood of seeking help, independent of industry of work, occupation type, gender, province/region of employment, education level, and many other demographics and characteristics. Such findings confirm that this segment of the Canadian working population requires greater attention regarding mental health. Other important predictors of an increased vulnerability to poor mental health outcomes in working Canadians included working in the public sector and in an insecure job. Recommendations for employers based on the study findings are provided to help address psychological health in the workplace and prevent disability.
    • A content analysis of print Canadian employee assistance program promotional material.

      Brown, Matthew; Csiernik, Rick (American Journal of Social Sciences, 2015-01-02)
      Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) are services made available to employees and their family members for the purpose of assisting with both ordinary and extraordinary circumstances related to their work and personal lives. This includes issues of addiction, family problems, finances, grief and bereavement, mental health and concerns arising from the nature of work and the workplace, itself. A dominant method of program promotion to enhance service utilization, both historic and contemporary, has been and remains the rudimentary 8.5 x 11 inch three fold print brochure. The marketing of EAPs continues to rely upon information pamphlets that contain explanations of what the purpose of the EAP is, the types of issues it deals with, how to access the program and what services are provided. A content analysis was conducted on 54 brochures voluntarily provided by a range of Canadian organizations that were diverse in terms of their geographic location, sector and method of delivering EAP services. Each brochure was examined regarding problem focus, program access, counselling format, employee concern and graphics. A lack of consistency was found across all five units of analysis which speaks to the lack of a constant message being provided regarding EAP but also to a lack of best practice principles even in this fundamental domain of the field.
    • Employee Assistance Program utilization: developing a comprehensive scorecard.

      Csiernik, Rick (Employee Assistance Quarterly, 2003-09-02)
      In the EAP field, utilization rates are an important concept routinely used as a descriptor of EAP success, yet there has been little formal research conducted in this area. In a study of 154 Canadian EAPs, 102 organizations reported their utilization rates along with how they defined both utilization and a case. Mean utilization rate was 9.2% with utilization being greater in organizations with a union where labor was involved in establishing the program, providing assistance in accessing the program and in managing the program through participation on a joint labor-management committee. Utilization rates were also found to be greater where there was an EAP policy in place and where ongoing program promotion occurred. However, what was also discovered was that most of these statistical conclusions were questionable as there was a lack of consistency in how utilization rates were calculated by various organizations, nor was there any agreement on what even constituted a case. This brings into question the utility of EAP utilization rates in any comparative program monitoring or evaluation. A comprehensive EAP Utilization Scorecard is offered as a response to this situation. The scorecard counts the actual number of employees, retirees and family members who use the EAP, either face-to-face, through telephone counselling or via e-counselling. Also presented is the idea of a new calculation, penetration rate. This value would include counselling offered by the EAP along with the other services, including group counselling, critical incident debriefings, consultations and mediations, workshops and seminars, peer referral contacts and telephone inquiries. This approach would provide a more comprehensive understanding of what EAPs do and would also allow for longitudinal program comparison as well as comparisons between programs.
    • Evolution of EAP: Historical Changes Over 30 Years and What Purchasers Want Today From Employee Assistance Vendors

      Attridge, Mark (2018-08-08)
      This slide presentation shares the results of a survey study conducted in 2018. It asked about three issues: 1) How the employee assistance program industry has changed over the past 30 years? - 2) What is important to purchasers of EAP today for buying services in general - and 3) Why employers decide to purchase one EAP over other EAPs? Data is from 155 senior level professionals with average of 23 years experience in EAP field.
    • An examination of a combined internal-external program: The St. Joseph’s Health Centre Employee Counselling Service.

      Csiernik, Rick; Atkinson, Brenda; Cooper, Rick; Devereux, Jan; Young, Mary, M.S.W. (Employee Assistance Quarterly, 2001-10-02)
      Employee Assistance Programs have become integral components of health care institutions throughout North America. Their value in aiding employees and their family members contend with a wide range of work-related personal problems has been widely reported and acknowledged. More recently employee counselling programs have been called upon to also assist with organizational restructuring, particularly in the Canadian health care sector. This article examines the evolution of a hospital-based counselling service during a turbulent period of economic restructuring in the Canadian health care field. The parallel changes faced by the organization and the changesmade by the Employee Assistance Program are discussed to demonstrate the importance of Employee Assistance Programs being linked to the unique needs of an organization, its employees, and their family members.
    • An Examination of Labour Welfare and Occupational Assistance in Canada

      Csiernik, Rick (2009-08-04)
      This article explores labour welfare in Canada across three distinct periods of occupational assistance: 1. Welfare Capitalism which began with the industrial revolution and persisted through the depression of the 1930s; 2. Occupational Alcoholism Programming which emerged during World War II and the typically unreported domestic labour strife of the 1940s and lasted through the post war economic boom into the 1960s; and, 3. The Employee Assistance Programming era with the introduction of the broadbrush approach to workplace-based assistance which also witnessed organized labour in Canada provide fundamental supports to workers that were originally introduced by workplace owners during the Welfare Capitalism period though now to benefit workers rather than to control them. Since the beginning of the industrial revolution and into the new information and technological era of work, organized labour has had a distinct role in shaping and providing services to enhance worker and community wellness in Canada. “Unions have traditionally taken care of their own members not only by negotiating protection clauses in collective agreements, but they have assisted members with problems that may or may not have arisen out of the workplace.” Dick Martin, Vice President, Canadian Labour Congress, 1986.
    • From the Outside Looking Out: A Qualitative Examination of the Experiences of Canadian External EAP Providers

      Csiernik, Rick; Darnell, Kristi; Trotter, Mary Lynn (Employee Assistance Society of North America, 2016-01)
      A qualitative examination of 145 members of the Ontario Association of Social Workers who were or had worked as contractual EAP affiliate providers was undertaken. Participants averaged over 23 years of total clinical experience and over 11 years of work in the EAP field. Respondents indicated that despite limits to the role they continued in this capacity because of the diversity of clients this introduced to their practice and the importance of serving this population in need of clinical services. However, several serious issues arose, both professional and personal. While there were some exceptions, in general, respondents indicated that their practice was limited by parameters placed upon them by Canadian and international EAP vendors. For example, some workplaces were informing their employees that they had access to more counselling sessions than the vendors were supporting the affiliate clinicians to provide. Other prominent themes included ethical issues associated with working for some EAP vendors and the lack of adequate remuneration for the work performed.
    • A Global Perspective on Promoting Workplace Mental Health and the Role of Employee Assistance Programs

      Attridge, Mark (2019-04)
      This is a literature review article. It highlights the epidemiological prevalence rate data for mental health and substance disorders from the US, Canada, Australia, Europe and globally. I also describe how the workplace can both hurt and help employees. The growth of employee assistance programs (EAP) globally is noted, including key trends in program use and global evidence documenting the effectiveness of brief counseling on workplace outcomes (particularly for reducing employee presenteeism). Finally, 21 leading organizations are profiled that are active in supporting workplace mental health in different parts of the world and select key resources of interest on their websites.
    • Internal versus external Employee Assistance Programs: What the Canadian data adds to the debate.

      Csiernik, Rick (Employee Assistance Quarterly, 1999-06-02)
      Since the emergence of external Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) in the 1970’s to challenge the ensconced internal model, there has been an ongoing debate over which method of service delivery is superior. Numerous assumptions have arisen about the various strengths and limitations of the two models though the empirical support for these beliefs remains relatively limited. In this article, 36 Canadian EAP studies are used as the basis to assess the suppositions surrounding internal and external EAPs.