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Employees Assistance Programs

U.S. Office of Personnel Management

An EAP is a service available to all federal employees at no cost. It is staffed by professional counselors who will help you address problems that can adversely affect job performance, reliability, and personal health. The counselor may refer you to other professional services and resources within your community for further information and assistance.

Information about your discussions with the EAP cannot be disclosed without your permission. There are regulations (42 CFR Part 2) that require confidentiality of alcohol and drug abuse records, and they provide penalties for unlawful or unauthorized release of information. These same regulations prohibit the implicit or negative disclosure of information and, as such, agency EAPs may not release any information without a signed consent, no matter what the nature of the problem is.

What Kinds of Problems do EAPs Help Resolve?

A EAP counselors will work with you to help resolve a wide variety of problems including alcohol and drug abuse, work and family pressures, legal and financial problems, job stress, and other concerns which can affect your work performance and personal health.

Do EAPs Offer More Than Counseling Services?

In addition to counseling employees on an individual basis, EAPs often sponsor lunchtime seminars, send out employee newsletters, and provide information designed to help you and your co-workers establish a healthier and more rewarding lifestyle.

How and When May I Contact the EAP?

A telephone call is normally all it takes to make an appointment with an EAP counselor. EAP operating hours usually are flexible so the employees can make appointments before, during, and after the workday. For specific information on hours of operation and procedures for making appointments, you should check your agency’s bulletin board, telephone directory, or call your agency’s EAP office.

Will Matters I Discuss With the EAP Counselor be Kept Confidential?

Yes, your privacy is protected by strict confidentiality laws and regulations and by professional ethical standards for counselors. The details of your discussions with the counselor may not be released to anyone without your written consent.

How Successful are EAPs in Helping Employees?

Periodic evaluations conducted by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management indicate that the vast majority of the thousands of employees who annually seek assistance from their EAPs are helped in overcoming their problems.

How Much Will the EAP Cost Me?

There is no cost to employees who receive counseling and other services provided by the agency’s EAP. Costs for outside treatment and professional services, which can result in personal expense, may be covered by your Federal Employee Health Benefits plan or private insurance. The EAP counselor will work with you to identify the best available outside treatment program and services in line with your individual finances.

When is the Best Time to Contact the EAP?

Don’t wait too long! The sooner you seek help, the sooner your problems can be resolved. Problems left unresolved can often lead to more serious situations with a greater risk that your health or job performance will be jeopardized. If you take advantage of the help and support offered through your EAP and address your problems before they become serious, you and your organization will both be winners.

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