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Good Practice Guide

Psychological support services for your employees

An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a work-based intervention support program which provides external professional mental health support for employees.

EAP providers deliver psychological services to employees and their families, whilst considering their workplace needs. EAP providers typically offer services for mental health issues, substance misuse, as well as family, relationship and marriage concerns, workplace bullying and/or stress.

Most EAPs offer confidential counselling from mental health professionals, including Psychologists and Counsellors. EAP providers can assist employees who are experiencing both personal and work-related issues – including mental health issues, substance abuse, relationship concerns, stress or financial concerns. Most counselling services can be offered to employees (and often their immediate families) either in person or via telephone or video conferencing.

Further reading

The importance of offering an EAP

The Employee Assistance Trade Association (a professional body that helps organisations to understand their EAP options) has produced a best practice guide for EAP services.

Further reading

Selecting an endorsed EAP provider

When selecting an appropriate EAP, it is importance to select a provider considered to be ‘gold standard’. A list of gold standard EAP providers is available through the Employee Assistance Professional Association of Australasia.

Further reading

Selecting and Strengthening Employee Assistance Programs: A Purchaser’s Guide

When selecting an EAP provider it is also importance to ensure the services they offer as appropriate for your organisation and/or industry (for example the emergency services require an EAP that provides critical incidence response and trauma counselling).  The Employee Assistance Trade Association provides a guide to assist organisations to understand what employee assistance programs offer and how to select an appropriate provider.