• The Business of Mental Health

      Greer, Kathleen; Quick, John (Arizent, 2021-04-26)
      When the pandemic hit, the need for mental health care increased, just at a time when the system was not functioning well. A shortage of licensed providers along increasing need caused a floundering industry to become vulnerable to disruption. The increase in demand was partly due to the pandemic, but also caused but further acceptance of mental health care, the opioid crisis, and the growing acceptance of tele-health and CBT solutions. As these digital disruptors entered the field, they took aim at EAPs and caused many companies to re-evaluate what they had to offer employees and family members.
    • Data Game Changer: Current Utilization Figures Inaccurate

      Masi, Dale A.; Frey, Jodi J; Harting, James; Spearing, Michelle (EAPA, 2022-01)
      In late 2020, Dr. Dale Masi wrote a letter to the editor that was published in the Journal of Employee Assistance titled “EAP Utilization: EAP Field Doesn’t Do Itself Justice.” In the letter, Dr. Masi brought attention to the EAP field citing a 5% employee utilization in one given year as the goal of EAPs. For example, 50 employees using an EAP in a company with a total of 1,000 employees would have 5% utilization. Using this method resulted in a great deal of criticism, as seen in two recent articles – the first published in the Wall Street Journal article (Feintzeig, 2020) while the second was an article in the Society for Human Resource Management (Agovino, 2019). Dr. Masi went on to explain how EAPs responded by using various methods to raise the utilization count using their services. These included counting the employees’ family members, employees who used Work/Life services, and even individuals who didn’t show up for counseling. These figures were added into the numerator of employees using programs without changing the denominator of the number of employees. EAPs calculated these as part of their annual utilization count.
    • EAP Utilization: EAP field doesn't do itself justice

      Masi, Dale A.
      Dr. Dale Masi writes about a new way of measuring EAP utilization with a focus on cumulative use of the EAP over the course of years rather than measuring individual use over just one year. Dr. Masi encourages the EAP field to consider different ways to define and count utilization to more accurately demonstrate value and show uptake over time.
    • Employee Assistance Programs: Trends and Technology

      Attridge, Mark (American Psychological Association & National Institutes of Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH), 2021-11-05)
      This presentation provides a research-based overview of the current state of the art for the employee assistance programs (EAP). It focuses on facts and industry trends in EAP utilization, outcomes, and best practices, as well as the proliferation of mental health apps and technology/telehealth solutions.
    • Guidelines for Increasing EAP Usage

      Vi, Theresa (2021-11-16)
      For many years, employee assistance programmes (EAP) have recorded a trend of low utilisation within organisations across the world. This is a trend some industry professionals attribute to the stigma that surrounds mental health issues. However, with unprecedented demands being placed on workers and the resultant rise in stress and anxiety since COVID-19 struck, it is a very relevant time to reintroduce and promote your EAP to your employees.
    • Impact of Terrorist Attacks on Use of Critical Incident Stress Management Services

      Attridge, Mark; Parker, Marcie; Bergmark, Edward (2002-06)
      Critical incident stress management (CISM) services can help employees cope with traumatic workplace events. National data from an employee assistance provider (Optum), shows a dramtic increase in use of CISMs after the 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks on America. Also, results of evaluation surveys collected nationwide and reflecting the workplace experiences following 135 CISM events found that managers highly valued these crisis response services. A five-item evaluation measure is presented for CISM services from EAPs.
    • Integration Insights Column #7: Implications of Pricing for EAP Integration and ROI

      Attridge, Mark (Employee Assistance Professionals Association (EAPA), 2017-01-01)
      This article explores the implications of a financial budget devoted to EAP services and how it either promotes or limits, the opportunities for creating effective partnerships and key integration. I summarize key points from my EAP Talks keynote presentation on the Organizational Health Map conceptual model at EAPA’s 2016 World EAP Conference in Chicago.
    • The National Behavioral Consortium Benchmarking Study: Industry Profile of 82 External EAP Providers

      Attridge, Mark; Cahill, Terry; Granberry, Stanford Wayne, 1953-; Herlihy, Patricia A. (2013-03-10)
      It is common practice in many professions, fields and industries to disseminate benchmarking information. Absent this vital resource an individual company cannot accurately evaluate their performance against a similar cohort and therefore must rely upon anecdotal information. The findings of this study address this deficiency in the external Employee Assistance Program (EAP) field by reporting publicly available empirically derived benchmarking data for external providers of EAP services. During 2012 the National Behavioral Consortium conducted a survey that collected data from 82 external EAP vendors primarily located in the United States and Canada. The survey included a total of 44 items organized into eight categories: (1) Company Profile; (2) Staffing; (3) Customer Profile; (4) Utilization Metrics; (5) Survey Tools and Outcomes; (6) Business Management; (7) Business Development; and (8) Forecasting the Future of EAP. The survey respondents included companies that ranged in size from local providers to global business enterprises. The combined customer base represented by these vendors included over 35,000 client companies and over 164 million total covered lives. Results reveal a wide range between vendors on almost all of these factors. Primary findings for utilization include an average case level utilization rate of 4.5% of the covered employee population using the EAP for counseling in the past year (median of 3.6%), with an average of 2.5 counseling sessions delivered per each case. Counseling services were also the most common type of service provided by EAPs, accounting for over 90% of all EAP-related services provided when also considering the use levels for organizational services. In addition to EAP services, 75% of vendors also offered work/life and 49% also offered workplace wellness as “primary” services. Comparisons between smaller and larger market vendors revealed some differences whereas comparisons between countries had few differences. Select benchmarks were also explored between vendors with different pricing models. The role of the Human Resources department at client organizations and product pricing were important themes for business management. Implications for operational practices are discussed along with considerations for future research.
    • Next Generation EAP: A Modern Program for a Modern Workforce

      Skinner, Susan (WorldatWork, 2019-09)
      The employee assistance program (EAP) industry grew out of the central idea that when employees at any level of an organization come to work compromised or impaired (e.g., substance use, anxiety, depression), personal and organizational performance will suffer. One of the most essential functions of an EAP is to provide confidential mental health support services on demand, when and where employees need them, as well as life management services to help keep employees focused, prepared and resilient.
    • Research Matters Column - Making the Business Case for EAPs: A Conceptual Framework

      Attridge, Mark (Employee Assistance Professionals Association (EAPA), 2001)
      Brief article in Research Matters column. Review of research findings and strategic arguments for how to make the business case for employee assistance programs.
    • The State of EAP: Observation from the Trenches

      Sharar, David A., 1961-; Bjornson, Tom; Mackenzie, Alex, M.F.T., C.E.A.P. (Employee Assistance Professionals Association, 2010-01)
      This article is intended to provide a glimpse of what is going on in the field of EAP as we embark upon a new year. First, the bad news: our field is currently in peril for two reasons: 1) slowness in demonstrating how EAP adds value to the organizations we serve; and 2) the flawed process through which EAP services are contracted. Now, the good news: as a field we are in a position to address both of these problems.
    • Update on EAP Market and Research

      Attridge, Mark (Workplace Collaborative, 2022-04-29)
      Overview of current trends in the business market for employee assistance programs in the United States. Includes review of several applied research projects on EAP outcomes.
    • Utilization of EAP Services

      Attridge, Mark; Amaral, Thomas M., 1952-; Bjornson, Tom; Goplerud, Eric N.; Herlihy, Patricia A.; McPherson, Tracy L.; Paul, Rich; Routledge, Sandra; Sharar, David A., 1961-; Stephenson, Diane; et al. (Employee Assistance Society of North America, 2009-12)
      This Research Note reviews the issues concerning different ways of how to measure the use of employee assistance program services and which utilization rates are most useful for understanding the effectiveness of the program. They key metrics for utilization to consider include the clinical case rate, the all people use rate and the all activity use rate.
    • Work Outcomes and EAP Use During the COVID-19 Pandemic

      Attridge, Mark; Steenstra, Ivan (EAPA, 2021-10)
      Brief article summarizing key findings of 2021 survey of EAP professionals and 11-years of research data collected from over 45,000 EAP counseling cases with data on Workplace Outcome Suite (WOS).
    • Workplace stress, organizational factors and EAP utilization

      Azzone, Vanessa; McCann, Bernard A.; Merrick, Elizabeth S. Levy; Hodgkin, Dominic; Horgan, Constance M.; Hiatt, Deirdre (Taylor and Francis, 2009-06-01)
      This study examined relationships between workplace stress, organizational factors and use of EAP counseling services delivered by network providers in a large, privately-insured population.Claims data were linked to measures of workplace stress, focus on wellness/prevention, EAP promotion, and EAP activities for health care plan enrollees from 26 employers. The association of external environment and work organization variables with use of EAP counseling services was examined. Higher levels of EAP promotion and worksite activities were associated with greater likelihood of service use. Greater focus on wellness/prevention and unusual and significant stress were associated with lower likelihood of service use. Results provide stakeholders with insights on approaches to increasing utilization of EAP services.