• Bridging Public Health with Workplace Behavioral Health Services: A Framework for Future Research and a Stakeholder Call to Action

      Bennett, Joel B.; Bray, Jeremy W.; Hughes, Daniel; Hunter, Joan F.; Jacobson Frey, Jodi; Roman, Paul M.; Sharar, David A., 1961-; McPherson, Tracy L. (2015-09)
      Despite significant investment in behavioral health services by work organizations, the evidence-base supporting such services is lacking. Recent health care policy and delivery changes, such as those resulting from the Affordable Care Act in the United States, highlight the need for rigorous studies on such workplace behavioral health services and the employee assistance (EA) programs and professionals that deliver them. This paper proposes a new framework to promote and organize such research for the U.S. and around the world. The framework is partly informed by input from EA professionals and researchers, collected in a group meeting and a quantitative survey. The framework encourages collaboration across five stakeholder groups: work organizations, EA professionals, researchers, educators of EA professionals, and funding agencies that can support new studies. Specific recommendations (“calls to action”) are provided to these stakeholders to help promote and align EA studies with the broad field of public and global health (including the disciplines of workplace health promotion, occupational health, and organizational studies).