EAP expands free counseling sessions

Beginning immediately, Iowa State's employee assistance program (EAP) is offering up to three additional free counseling sessions annually to benefits-eligible faculty and staff.  The change doubles the number of free counseling sessions from three to six per incident, per year.

"We reviewed the market to see what other employers and universities were doing, and we found that many allowed for four or more sessions," said Ed Holland, director of benefits. "We requested additional market and cost information, and presented a proposal to the university benefits committee."

What is EAP?

Iowa State's EAP, administered by Employee and Family Resources (EFR), is a free, confidential benefit available to employees and their family members to help with a variety of problems, from health concerns, to anxiety and depression, to legal and financial issues.

Licensed professional counselors work with individuals to determine how to resolve their situations.

Who's eligible?

EAP-eligible participants include benefits-eligible employees, family members living in their homes and legal dependents who may live elsewhere. Family members may contact the EAP on their own and receive the same confidential services. More information about these services is available online.

Problems solved

Holland said less than 3 percent of eligible ISU employees contacted the EAP last year. But the rate at which the EAP helped those employees was more impressive.

"The resolution rate our provider (EFR) reports during the initial three sessions was almost 42 percent.  With the expansion to six sessions, we believe problem resolution prior to referral will improve even more, encouraging employees to utilize this tremendous benefit."